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April 24, 2014

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Marvelous Math Books for PreK and Up

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School Library Journal “First Steps” columnist Lisa G. Kropp suggests a wealth of whimsical math-focused titles, featuring everything from robots to toucans to poems by Edgar Allan Poe.

New Report: “Learning at Home: Families’ Educational Media Use in America”

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More than half of parents (57 percent) believe their children have learned “a lot” from educational media, but that learning from mobile devices falls short compared to other platforms, according to a new report by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center.

AASL, Head Start Praise Federal Budget’s Focus on Early Learning

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The American Association of School Librarians and the National Head Start Association are praising the early learning dollars included in this week’s federal budget. However, both say challenges to funding remain—and the budget comes too late to help the 57,000 children cut off from Head Start last year.

Goal: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten | First Steps

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Children need to enter school ready to learn to read, which means they must be introduced early to a host of varied vocabulary. Sharing 1,000 books with them before kindergarten—via programs for parents and caregivers that model best reading practices—is the ideal way to do this.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

School Libraries May Benefit from Congressional Budget Deal

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The $1.012 trillion spending bill unveiled by House and Senate leaders, if approved, will restore most of the critically needed federal education funding that was dramatically cut during last year’s sequestration. The boon to poorer school districts could ease budget squeezes that have forced the elimination of school librarians.

A Literacy Lesson from China: What an Exuberant Culture of Reading Can Teach Us

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The objective of a dynamic literacy initiative in some Chinese schools is not to raise reading scores but to develop positive reading attitudes that inspire children to read more at school and at home—and therefore to read, write, speak, and spell better throughout their lives.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Providence (RI) Community Library Launches New Early Learning Program

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In the coming weeks, staffers at Rhode Island’s Providence Community Library (PCL) are seeking to sign up hundreds of families for its new Ready for K! school readiness program, which aims to narrow the achievement gap for poor children.

CLEL Announces Shortlist for 2014 Bell Picture Book Awards

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Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) has selected 25 books for the shortlists of its 2014 Bell Picture Book Awards, which celebrate the early literacy practices of read, write, sing, talk, and play. Five books will be selected from each of the categories and announced on February 5, 2014.

Pictures of the Week: White House Honors Librarian; CPL Bookamania

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The White House honored 10 connected educators, including SLJ columnist and school librarian, Carolyn Foote. The Chicago Public Library celebrated families and early literacy with its 20th annual “Bookamania 2013: All Families, All Year”, a free, daylong children’s book festival.

Chew That Book: Why Babies Belong in Libraries | First Steps

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Essential is what our early literacy programs need to be—especially if we want children’s librarian jobs to be considered necessary community services. Make it your mission this year to increase early literacy services at your site by offering at least one nursery-rhyme-based program a month for ages birth to two years old.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

IMLS Grants $4.3 Million for School Readiness, Summer Reading Programs

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has announced that it is awarding $4,329,567 in grants to 20 museums and libraries in 17 communities in order to support the emerging role of these institutions in providing early learning opportunities, especially for low-income families.

YMCA Survey: Early Learning Program Improves Kids’ Kindergarten Readiness

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A new survey by the YMCA of its Early Learning Readiness Program reveals “impressive” school readiness results for participating preschoolers, the organization announced on Tuesday. The Y’s program, which launched two years ago and recently expanded to now more than 40 locations, serves children up to 5 years old, particularly from low-income communities.

Head Start Gets $10 Million Donation During Government Shutdown

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Philanthropists Laura and John Arnold have donated $10 million in emergency funding this week to support the National Head Start Association during the government shutdown, allowing more than 7,000 at-risk children to return to their Head Start classrooms.

STEAM, a Pinterest Board

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Curious about STEAM? Check out School Library Journal’s Pinterest board, curated by children’s librarian Amy Koester, author of our October 2013 cover story, “Full STEAM Ahead: Injecting Art and Creativity into STEM.”

IMLS Awards More than $14.6 Million in Federal Grants to U.S. Libraries

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today announced grants for 42 library projects totaling $14,670,66. Recipients in 27 states and the District of Columbia received funding, including the American Library Association, which will research the efficacy of early literacy programs; Westport (CT) Library, which hopes to create a new model for maker spaces; and the Chicago Board of Education, which plans to improve school librarians’ use of mobile technologies.

YMCA Expands Early Learning Readiness Program

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Thanks to a $1 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Y is expanding its Early Learning Readiness Program to an additional 19 YMCA sites nationwide, bringing the total number of participating cities to more than 40. The program aims to improve school readiness among children up to 5 years old, particularly from under-served and low-income communities, through a preschool-like experience.

Pictures of the Week: A Future Librarian Enjoys SLJ’s ‘Early Birds’ Cover Story

A reader's daughter (and hopefully future librarian) reads through SLJ's Early Literacy-focused July issue, which featured the iconic Sesame Street character, Big Bird, on the cover.

An SLJ reader’s daughter peruses our Early Learning-focused July issue, which featured the iconic Sesame Street character, Big Bird, on the cover.

Are Learning Apps Good for Babies?

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Rachel G. Payne, coordinator of early childhood services at Brooklyn Public Library, offers advice for parents.

Secrets of Storytime: 10 Tips for Great Sessions from a 40-year Pro

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Storytime is the premium service for children in public libraries across the country. For many youth librarians, it’s the most treasured part of their job. A storytime veteran shares her best practices.

Design to Learn By: Dynamic Early Learning Spaces in Public Libraries

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A design revolution is reinventing the children’s room in public libraries and changing the way young children learn. This new breed of literacy-packed play spaces in libraries is inspired by children’s museums and the developmental theories that drive them.