Sunday, March 2, 2014

ECRR Makes It... Better!

In thinking about how to balance the programs we offer, the class was asked to share an example of how they changed a program, grew it or adapted it to create a better balance. This is one in a series of posts in which class participants responded to the prompt: Share an example of a way you evolved a program that led to a more successful outcome

Melendra, who works for the North Central Kansas Library System (NCKLS) and is passionate about early literacy, found that introducing ECRR into storytimes made a huge difference.

I'm not sure that I've stayed in any one place long enough to have caused and then reaped the benefits of a true evolution of a program. I've had a hand in starting, or encouraging, a number of changes to existing programs, but I've not stayed long enough to judge their success.

One was the addition of Every child Ready to Read into storytimes at the first library where I worked. I attended ECRR training. My excitement about the program caused the children's manager to ask me to train the other children's librarians in ECRR and to plan all the storytimes for the next semester incorporating one ECRR skill into each storytime. Adding a discussion of the ECRR skills to each storytime was a big change for some of the librarians. The idea of addressing the parents at all was intimidating to many. 

During the spring semester that followed, the storytime staff integrated ECRR into all of the storytimes. The extra asides to the parents didn't lose the children's attention, and many of the parents started asking about the literacy skills. We added an ECRR tip to each of our storytime fliers, as well as an activity that related to the skill we'd highlighted in storytime. 

My family moved in the middle of the summer semester, but at that point, the seeds had been planted and the staff was committed to ECRR in storytime.

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