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Early Literacy Initiative - About the Initiative
About the Initiative
Topics covered in this section:
     - Project advisors
     - Regional Early Literacy meetings
     - Planning documents

In late fall of 2005, an LSTA grant was awarded to Multnomah County Library called “Planning for a Statewide Early Literacy Initiative.” The purpose of this project was to develop a coordinated statewide Early Literacy initiative plan featuring public libraries as the leaders in improving literacy among children in their early years. Specifically, the project sought to promote Early Literacy activities in public libraries and give library staff the tools to implement the best evidence-based practices. A team of sixteen project advisors representing the library and early childhood communities guided the work of the project consultant.
The advisors conducted nine meetings held from August to October 2005 in key regions of the state. These meetings, which included thousands of invitees and hundreds of participants, aimed to determine how best to work together to ensure that public libraries can lead Early Literacy efforts. Thanks to the work of the attendees as well as the project advisors, public libraries now have access to practical suggestions for serving young children and their parents as well an inventory of current Early Literacy activities underway in libraries.
In addition to the wealth of information shared by public library staff, project advisors also received invaluable input from other early literacy community stakeholders such as:
  • State agencies (Department of Education, Department of Employment, Departmentt of Health and Human Services Child Welfare Division and Child Care Division, Oregon Commission on Children and Families);
  • County agencies (Commissions on Children and Families, Child Care Referral Networks, County Health Departments);
  • Local childcare providers (private daycare centers, Migrant Head Start, Head Start, Healthy Start, Even Start, Cobb Street Learning Center);
  • Organizations and services catering to young children (OMSI, Small Talk Learning, Salvation Army, Reading is Fundamental, First Book, Eastern Oregon Early Literacy & Learning League, SMART, Ocean Spray Family Center, United Way, Success by Six, EC Cares, OASIS, Melrose Reading Station);
  • Tribal partners (Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde);
  • School Districts and Educational School Districts (Harney County ESD, Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, Association for Child Educators International, Great Expectations, AfterWords);
  • Programs helping parents of young children (Recovery Village, Family Resource Centers, Family Nursery, Family Development Center, White Shield Center);
  • Universities and community colleges (OSU Extension Family & Community Development program leaders & 4-H staff, Early Childhood Education programs, Eastern Oregon University, Blue Mountain Community College, Clatsop County Community College, Oregon Coast Community College, Benton Community College, University of Oregon, Western Oregon University, Portland State University Center for Child Development, Portland Community College);
  • Private Foundations (Oregon Community Foundation has invited their past grantees funded through their Early Literacy initiatives); and
  • Corporations and Media partners (Oregon Public Broadcasting, Comcast, Family Talk Show).

Oregon’s public libraries will begin to recognize the important role they play and become passionate about this role.
Oregon’s public libraries will nurture the early literacy experiences of young children from birth through age five.
Oregon’s public libraries will support literacy-rich environments at child care centers, family child care homes, and preschools.
Oregon’s public libraries will promote the latest understanding about early literacy skills development to parents and caregivers of young children.
Oregon’s public libraries will take a leadership role in the development of a coordinated system of programs, policies, and services for children from birth through age four.

Oregon’s public libraries will integrate the latest early literacy research and best practices into their daily service.

Oregon’s public libraries will receive the recognition they deserve as key community partners and as a crucial community resource.

Early Literacy table of contents

• Early Literacy home
About the Initiative
• Why Early Literacy?
• What libraries can do
• What libraries are doing
• How to obtain funding
• Additional resources
• What's next?
• Contact us