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A Supercharged Start to the Year!

2019 March 4
by Bethany Wilson

Over 200 Texas librarians kicked off 2019 by enrolling in the Texas Supercharged Storytimes Cohort. The cohort was created to connect storytime practitioners across Texas as they work through WebJunction’s Supercharged Storytimes self-paced course. The Supercharged Storytimes course was designed around significant studies focused on early literacy development in children and provides training and tools to help storytime practitioners integrate early literacy skills development opportunities into their storytimes. The course consists of six modules featuring videos, readings, activities and reflection questions.

As a result of taking the Supercharged Storytimes self-paced course, practitioners will be able to:

  • Explain the impact of library storytime practices on early literacy development in children, referencing significant studies such as the VIEWS2 research
  • Describe the key pillars of a supercharged storytime and integrate them into their own storytimes
  • Be intentional in supporting early literacy behaviors in relation to books and storytime activities through the use of the Early Literacy Planning Tool
  • Increase interactivity with children during story times, observing children’s behaviors, and engage parents/caregivers to reinforce these behaviors at home and in other environments
  • Share early literacy information with parents/caregivers, providing them with ideas and resources they can use with their children in everyday life
  • Use assessment tools to evaluate and improve storytimes, including self-reflection and the Project Outcome Early Childhood Literacy outcome-based assessment toolkit
  • Employ strategies to reach children and families of high need in communities served by the library
  • Confidently articulate the value of library storytimes to a variety of stakeholders and recognize how Supercharged Storytimes connects to other early literacy structures such as their state’s early learning guidelines, Every Child Ready to Read® and Head Start Child Outcomes

The members of the Texas Supercharged Storytimes Cohort began their journey on January 8 and have worked through four of the six modules so far. Members have the opportunity to discuss their learning, talk about their experiences, challenges and ideas, and ask questions during each module through live, facilitated discussions. Additionally, members were invited to join an exclusive Texas Supercharged Storytimes Cohort Facebook page to encourage open dialogue around course topics and early literacy concepts.

Some of the topics that have emerged in the facilitated discussions include best practices for delivering an early literacy tip to parents and involving them in storytimes, mindfully identifying opportunities to integrate an early literacy skill while reading stories, and participant thoughts on including nonfiction titles in storytimes. Participants in the facilitated discussions have shared book, song and flannel board ideas with one another and suggested resources to those cohort members who asked for help.

It is not too late to join the Texas Supercharged Storytimes Cohort! The course is self-paced, and participants can work through the modules as time permits. All cohort members, regardless of where they are in the course, are welcome to attend and participate in a facilitated discussion or to contribute to the Texas Supercharged Storytimes Cohort Facebook page. If you would like to begin the journey to Supercharge your Storytimes, please email Youth Services Consultant Bethany Wilson for further information on how to begin. 

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