All Aboard for Kindergarten

Libraries are a hub for communities and a place for families to get a variety of resources that contribute to their health, education and job security. For families with young children, especially those in rural and low-income communities, libraries are the primary source for information and early learning resources. These communities have the greatest need for the services that libraries can provide to families.

As their child's first and most important teacher, parents and caregivers are critical in the kindergarten readiness effort. For families who do not have not access to high-quality early learning programs and supports, libraries can help close the kindergarten readiness gap.

Children should not have to play “catch up” when they enter Kindergarten. All Aboard for Kindergarten will:

  • Develop a statewide ready for school program that libraries can incorporate into their early learning programs using input from early learning partners;
  • Focus on the 60% of children who are cared for by Family, Friends, & Neighbors (FFN);

The resources on this page, which include kindergarten readiness information, activities and research are designed for library staff to share with parents, caregivers and early learning providers. We hope they will inspire our community to ensure that all children are ready to succeed in school and in life.

Kindergarten Readiness Resources

General

  • Getting School Ready!® is a helpful guide for parents and caregivers that outlines ways they can help their child to become socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively prepared for kindergarten.
  • Love.Talk.Play. Parents agree they are child's first and most important teachers, but many say they don't know how to make the most of this role to give their children the best possible start in life. Whether you are a parent, caregiver, or someone who works with and supports parents, the Love.Talk.Play. website is an excellent resource to support parents in their daily interactions with their children ages birth to three.
  • The Vroom app and website turn shared moments into brain building moments. Whether it's mealtime, bath time, or anything in between, there are always ways to nurture a child's growing mind.
  • Department of Early Learning Kindergarten Readiness. Starting kindergarten is a big step for children. They will meet new people, spend time in a new classroom and learn new rules. Parents and caregivers can help their child start kindergarten ready to succeed. It is never too early to give your child a lifelong love of learning!
  • WaKIDS. Kindergarten teachers observe children during everyday classroom activities. This helps teachers find out what each child knows and can do at the beginning of the school year. Knowing more about children's entering skills and strengths helps teachers and parents work together to support student growth in the kindergarten year.

Information for Library Staff and Early Learning Providers

Activities

  • Early math
    • Zeno early math games. These tools and resources to help build a positive math culture that encourages kids to be confident and curious. Zeno games are free to download from the website.
    • Math at Home Guides. Free resources from the California Math Council
    • Get Ready to Read! Early Math Matters: A Guide for parents and Preschoolers. Get Ready to Read! is designed to support educators, parents, and young children in the development of early literacy and math skills in the years before kindergarten.
    • PBS Kids: Peg + Cat videos and apps that feature characters who “grapple with all kinds of loony, loopy obstacles to solve math problems to save the day.”
    • The Bedtime Math website, books and app (in English and Spanish) are a great way for families to have fun with math. Click for the daily math problem, a surprise problem, or any math problem in the searchable archive.
  • STEM/STEAM
  • Literacy
    • Supercharged Storytimes. Engaging young learners is an essential aspect of public library service. Through Supercharged Storytimes, OCLC, along with partners at the Washington State Library and Thrive Washington, has introduced over 500 public library staff members to research-based methods to engage children in story time, using resources and strategies developed by Project VIEWS2 (Valuable Initiatives in Early Learning that Work Successfully)
    • Every Child Ready to Read® (ECRR) at your library is a parent education initiative. It stresses early literacy which begins with the primary adults in a child's life. The ECRR toolkit empowers public libraries to assume an essential role in supporting early literacy within a community.

Research

  • Usable Knowledge. Harvard Education Newsletter
  • Brain Research—I-Labs. The Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington is an interdisciplinary center dedicated to discovering the fundamental principles of human learning, with a special emphasis on early learning and brain development.
  • Born to Learn: Brain Science and Early Learning. A documentary from PBS affiliate KSPS-TV Spokane
  • VIEWS2 evaluation report. The VIEWS2 Team set out to find simple ways to increase or emphasize early literacy techniques while maintaining the delight inherent in story times, thus encouraging and motivating children to read on their own. The most successful readers are those who are exposed to literacy concepts through infancy and childhood.

Contact

Carolyn Petersen
Assistant Program Manager
Library Development
carolyn.petersen@sos.wa.gov
360.570.5560
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Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).