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Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library

Page history last edited by Jane McManus 12 years, 10 months ago

Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library is the American Library Association's program for early childhood literacy in libraries.


In the mid-1990's Congress established National Reading Panel under the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), to identify strategies that work in reading instruction

Between 1997 and 2000, the panel examined the available research and determined that to become good readers, children must

  1. develop phonemic awareness (an understanding of the sounds that make up spoken language), phonics skills (an understanding of the sounds that letters and letter combination's make), the ability to read fluently and accurately, and the ability to comprehend what is read.
  2. Guided repeated oral reading is important to developing reading fluency---ability to read efficiently & easily
  3. Vocabulary – taught directly (apart from text/narrative) and indirectly (as words are encountered in text) with repetition & multiple exposures to new words
  4. Reading comprehension is best supported when teachers use a variety of techniques & strategies


In 2000, they released a report on their findings  (Teaching Children to Read: An Evidence-Based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature on Reading and Its Implications for Reading Instruction). It was felt that in addition to teachers, this information would be useful to parents, child care providers and public librarians.  The public library was seen as the best place to disseminate the information. Public libraries have the ability to reach thousands of parents, caregivers and children and to greatly impact the early reading experiences of preschool children. So the Public Library Association of the American Library Association partnered with NICHD to help disseminate information about the report through our country’s public libraries & develop model public library programs based on research.


PLA contracted with Dr. Grover C. Whitehurst and Dr. Christopher Lonigan, well-known researchers in emergent literacy, to develop a model program for parents and caregivers, based on findings of Panel report. Whitehurst and Lonigan created a unique structure for the distinctive phases of a young child’s emergent literacy – pretalkers, talkers and pre-readers – 0-23 mo – bonding with books, 2-3 narrative skills, 4-5 phonic awareness.


The goal of the program was 2-fold--  to (1) enlist parents and caregivers as partners in preparing their children for learning to read and (2) to provide the most effective methods to achieve this end.

The program was tested in demonstration library sites across US twice. Evaluation shows that the information was incorporated into the behaviors of parents. The final program is called "Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library".

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