EL BLAST doesn’t just bring literacy rich storytime programs to young children, they also offer several professional development workshops for Pittsburgh educators, early childhood practitioners and other adults who provide care and support for young children.
Every Child Ready to Read, a national initiative of the Public Library Association and the Association of Library Services to Children, provides the main framework for early learning professional development and parenting workshops that Early Learning BLAST and other children’s librarians present. Participants at the Library’s workshops learn that five early learning activities (talk, sing, read, write and play) can be done with children during everyday interactions in order to prepare them for future reading and school success. If needed, specially qualified librarians provide workshop participants with PQAS continuing education credits.
Other early learning Library workshops include:
- Using Technology with Early Learners
- Library 101: Resources for Adults Supporting Early Learners
- Sensory Storytimes
An annual training centered around the Pennsylvania’s statewide One Book, Every Young Child initiative is also created by EL BLAST and is available to early childhood professionals. In cooperation with Trying Together, attendees at this workshop receive PQAS or ACT 48 continuing education credits.
Organizations across Pittsburgh engage the Library in providing these workshops to their employees or customer-base. The workshops have been modified for several different audiences including early childhood educators at Pittsburgh Public Schools, child care providers, early intervention specialists, home visitors, and parents incarcerated in the Allegheny County Jail.
Each workshop includes connections to library resources, takeaway materials and ideas to help educators create developmentally appropriate, literacy infused, enriching classroom experiences that adhere to PA Early Learning Standards.
The workshops widen the network of caring adults who understand the importance of early literacy and can engage children with fun activities that foster early literacy development. Additionally, workshop participants learn strategies for supporting parents as their children’s first and most important educators.