Celebrating early readers: Thousands of books and counting

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten graduation certificates

It’s been one year since we launched our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, and our early readers are off to a fabulous start. The library’s long-term reading program is designed to prepare babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to arrive ready to learn come kindergarten. So far, 36 families have achieved the goal of reading 1,000 books together … Read more

9 ways to encourage spontaneous, meaningful language

Encouraging spontaneous, meaningful language

This spring, parents and caregivers of children from birth to age 5 participated in a special workshop at the library, learning how to enrich their children’s lives with language and play. Pediatric speech-language pathologist Clare Kilbride from Kids Unlimited Therapy Services in Oak Park joined us to discuss communication milestones, red flags for communication, and … Read more

Tools for talking about race with kids

Book Covers: Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice by Paul Kivel, So You Want To Talk About Race By Ijeoma Oluo, Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children by Jennifer Harvey, Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald, Up! How Families Around the World Carry Their Little Ones by Susan Hughes, Skin Again by Bell Hooks, We Came to America by Faith Ringgold

Last year, the founder of local Facebook group Raising Race Conscious Kids in and around Oak Park reached out to us. Although she had been raised to be “color-blind,” Andrea Kovach wrote, she is raising her 3- and 6-year-olds differently because “research has shown that instead of dismantling structural racism, that way of parenting just … Read more

Building reading into each day

1000 Books Jillian Zarlenga

This summer, families with young children who sign up for our summer reading program also have the opportunity to sign up for our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. It asks families to read—you guessed it—1,000 books together before their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers become kindergarteners. After finishing 1,000 books, each child gets to pick out a … Read more

Diversity, inclusion & equity in storytime

Raising a brave generation: embracerace.org

Early childhood literacy includes preparing our community’s babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to arrive “ready to learn” come kindergarten. As part of her intentional work to ensure diversity, inclusion, and equity in all storytimes, Early Literacy Librarian Shelley Harris recently shared a resource she’s found impactful in her everyday storytime work and when auditing Oak Park’s early childhood … Read more

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