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Early Learning BLAST Helping Professionals Develop

At the end of the evening, a group of early childhood care providers is gathering up an armful of early literacy handouts, booklists, lesson planning ideas and hands-on activities that they can use the very next day with the children in their classrooms. A three hour workshop presented by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh may have just saved each of those teachers several days of planning and filling out lesson webs.

With a growing understanding of the importance of early learning, there is an increased demand for caring, passionate, qualified professionals to work with our youngest learners in early childhood centers. These dedicated practitioners seek training to grow their skillsets and stay on top of relevant information in the field of early education. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Early Learning BLAST Specialists strive to provide what these educators need in the field of early literacy.

Early Learning BLAST Outreach Specialist Korie reads a book during a professional development workshop.

Part of our role in Early Learning BLAST (Bringing Libraries And Schools Together) is to help educators create developmentally appropriate, literacy infused, enriching classroom experiences that adhere to PA Early Learning Standards.  We do this through a variety of professional development workshops including Library 101 and Using Technology with Early Learners as well as Every Child Ready to Read, an early literacy workshop developed in partnership by the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children, divisions of ALA. Early Learning BLAST has presented these trainings to a variety of audiences including early childhood educators, early intervention specialists and parents currently incarcerated in the Allegheny County Jail. Each of these workshops shares ways that adults can use the five early learning activities – Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play – during everyday interactions with young children in order to prepare them for kindergarten.

Early Learning BLAST Outreach Specialist Laura highlights early literacy during a workshop.

No matter who our target audience is, we continue to focus on providing the early learning community in Pittsburgh with creative, relevant, research-based professional development workshops that are designed to help adults foster children’s early literacy skills. The workshops also connect participants to additional library resources for children and the adults who care for them. Learning begins at birth and we strive to cultivate a lifelong love of reading!

To learn more about professional development opportunities, contact BLAST at or 412.622.3189

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Korie is part of the Library’s Early Learning BLAST Outreach team. Her favorite children’s authors are Amy Krause Rosenthal, Kevin Henkes and Audrey and Don Wood. She enjoys occasional craftingearly morning runs and ‘80’s era fantasy films.                 

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