Early Learning through Play: Library Programming for Diverse Communities

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This creative guidebook teaches librarians in diverse communities how to develop and implement early learning programming beyond traditional storytimes.

While traditional library storytimes are excellent tools for families, equally important is play. Children learn through play in many ways; it stimulates exploration and curiosity and builds gross and fine motor skills that are critical to reading and writing success. Perhaps most importantly, play has the power to cross barriers of culture and language, allowing families from differing backgrounds to learn together.

In this book, Kristin Grabarek and Mary R. Lanni-the pioneers of Little University, an early learning program that focuses on play-based learning-share their experiences and provide guidance for implementing similar programs at libraries of various sizes and budgets. They teach readers how to create programs for a diverse group of families, work with outside providers, choose supplies, estimate costs, market your programming, and overcome the challenges of both big and small budgets and many or few patrons. These practical plans will enhance storytimes and even help build a brand-new early learning program.

  • Connects library programs to parents' desire for children to begin formal learning at an early age
  • Offers a blueprint for making play a sustainable early-learning program series for budgets big and small
  • Includes ideas for making early learning activities relevant to the six early literacy skills in a public library setting
  • Emphasizes how library programming can support early childhood development and prepare children for success in kindergarten and beyond
  • Shares tips for marketing the program to parents and caregivers

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