Pittsburgh Ready is a new Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh initiative that will extend early literacy resources and support to five select child care partners.
Preparing children to read and succeed is a big job! Pittsburgh Ready brings together a strong team designed to help young children grow into successful readers. It matches the literacy expertise of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and financial support from PNC Grow Up Great with devoted child care providers and parents. Five participating child care sites have been selected and will be announced soon.
As part of CLP’s mission to engage the community in literacy and learning, Pittsburgh Ready supports the early literacy development of children ages birth to five years old. It implements research-based literacy programs, encourages active family engagement and provides customized professional development to caregivers who serve young children and their families.
The Library will present monthly storytimes in each child care site, promoting five activities that develop early literacy skills: talk, sing, read, write and play. Each storytime includes literacy tips for the caregivers, which describe how small actions with young children can boost reading success later. For example, do you know how helpful it is to run your finger under the printed words when you read a book to a child? This helps the child know that the text is what is being read, not the pictures. Without that guidance, 4-year olds typically give 95% of their visual attention to the pictures! Empowered with research-based techniques, parents and child care teachers are more effective in building literacy skills. In addition, the Library will supply books to both the child care sites and the families they serve. The books selected will provide a springboard for strong literacy skill development. You can find some of these titles on CLP’s booklists “Best Books for Babies” and “African American Identity and Everyday Life”.
Pittsburgh Ready will provide toys that encourage active engagement, such as shaker eggs; when used with rhymes or songs, these toys help young children hear and distinguish the smaller sounds within words. This phonological awareness prepares children to learn to read later. To promote digital inclusion and enable access to library resources, Pittsburgh Ready will also provide technology tools like Wi-Fi hotspots. Professional development will be tailored to the needs of the child care providers–created with meaningful content, and structured to reduce common barriers to completion. In addition, Pittsburgh Ready will invite child care providers and families to attend family engagement gatherings and literacy-related events that emphasize how effective literacy activities can fit within their life’s context. The Library is excited to celebrate and amplify the many ways families and caregivers build the foundations of children’s reading readiness.
The child care partners, acting as literacy champions, are committed to advancing the early literacy skills of the children they serve. They are uniquely positioned to both impact young children’s learning and facilitate a strong relationship between families and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. CLP can learn from the experience and expertise of these child care providers and utilize their feedback to better understand and serve similar child care providers. Pittsburgh Ready is one way Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh reaches beyond its walls to support and empower a community of readers and future readers.