« Back to Education

Read.Talk.Play: Early Literacy at EPL

Edmonton Public Library
Go to Website
Innovation Leader: Kathleen Pine, Manager, Youth Services Division, Edmonton Public Librar, kpine@epl.ca

Problem Statement

Early literacy is everything that children know about reading and writing before they can read and write. Research on infant brain development tells us that a child's experience in the first three years of life directly impacts later development and learning. How could the library communicate the importance of early literacy development to parents and caregivers in Edmonton?

Innovation

On March 1, 2010, we launched our Read.Talk.Play.: Early Literacy at EPL initiative with the release of a new website featuring early literacy content. The site included information on what early literacy is, tips for how to develop early literacy skills, and videos that demonstrated how to include early literacy activities in everyday life. We also released a booklist of 100 Great Books to Read Together to encourage parents, caregivers, and children to explore books and read together. We created a “Welcome Baby” package of a free rhyme book with early literacy content, a free board book, a personalized nameplate, a library bag, and a library card. We reworked our preschool programming training so that our programs would include early literacy content. We developed Early Literacy Information Sessions to share early literacy tips and information with parents and caregivers. All of these initiatives are united under the Read.Talk.Play. logo and brand.

Progress

Read.Talk.Play.: Early Literacy at EPL has significantly contributed to the communication of the importance of early literacy to parents and caregivers in Edmonton. From 2009 to 2010, attendance at EPL’s preschool programs increased by approximately 25%. The number of library cards issued for children up to 24 months increased 22% from 2009 to 2010. Early Literacy Videos have been promoted through the library website, on Facebook and on Twitter. Over 300 parents have attended our Early Literacy Parent Information Sessions. Thousands of 100 Great Books to Read Together booklets have been distributed both in the library and in the community. Read.Talk.Play.: Early Literacy at EPL has been highlighted on Global Edmonton, Shaw TV Edmonton, and in the Edmonton Journal. EPL is committed to the future success of this literacy initiative.