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Friday, October 4 • 8:30am - 9:20am
Innovative Approaches for Fostering Early Language and Literacy

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Recent studies point to a powerful contribution of early language to later literacy ability; but parents and caregivers are not always sure how to provide an excellent language environment for their babies. Innovative ways in which libraries can help parents/caregivers foster strong language and literacy skills in the home and out and about will be shared with the audience. The presenters will draw on recent research findings from developmental psychology, sociology, pediatrics, and intervention science to show how libraries can be at the forefront of helping parents and children develop strong language and literacy skills. With the use of technological aids such as the LENA digital language processer, the Starling device, or the Vroom app, libraries can help to provide their patrons with the knowledge or nudges they need to make every day moments powerful language and literacy opportunities. Additionally, things the family already uses in the home, such as smartphones or tablets, will be discussed and tips on how to maximize their potential for learning and enriching, rather than just for entertainment, will be discussed.
Additionally, Lynne Carey, co-founder of Small Talk, and Craig Van Pay, current Small Talk Project Coordinator, will discuss what they have learned while providing an early language and literacy program called Small Talk in their community. Small Talk is a program at the Ames Public Library, created by a partnership between Iowa State University, Raising Readers in Story County, and the Ames Public Library. The initiative utilizes the LENA Start curriculum and other research-based ideas that helped it to win the inaugural Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting. The presenters will share their specific program details, the lessons they have learned doing the program, the great results they have seen in their families and community, and how other libraries can look to connect with local stakeholders to help increase early literacy rates and school readiness.

avatar for Craig  Van Pay

Craig Van Pay

PhD Student: Literacy Education, Iowa State University
Craig is a PhD student of Literacy Education at Iowa State University researching early language and literacy interventions and is the project coordinator for the Small Talk program at the Ames Public Library.
avatar for Lynne Carey

Lynne Carey

Retired, Ames Public Library
Lynne Carey retired from the Ames Public Library after 36 years of service. During her tenure she worked in nearly every area of service and developed a strong passion for community building through collaboration. Lynne received a BS in Psychology and Women Studies. She is one of... Read More →

Friday October 4, 2019 8:30am - 9:20am CDT
Windsor X