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About RFHF

Overview of RFHF

Currently the State Library is maintaining and updating early literacy resources on this website and facilitating an early literacy email discussion list; both of which are freely available to anyone working to get children ready to learn to read when they start kindergarten.  The State Library is also providing early literacy consulting services to all Oregon Healthy Start staff and Oregon library staff upon request. These activities are an effort to sustain the Reading for Healthy Families (RFHF) project indefinitely.
 
RFHF was a statewide project managed by Oregon Commission on Children and Families and Oregon State Library, funded by grants from the Oregon Community Foundation and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.  RFHF provided 295 Healthy Start family support workers and children's librarians intensive training in the Every Child Ready to Read @ your library early literacy curriculum and other related topics between October 2008 and May 2011.  Participating family support workers and librarians provided early literacy education to over 3,000 families while the RFHF project was active.  Many of them continue to use the information and resources from RFHF to provide families with the early literacy information, resources, and activities they need to get their children ready to learn to read when they start kindergarten.      

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Misson of RFHF

Reading for Healthy Families Oregon: Building Communities of Learning provides coordinated statewide early literacy support for Healthy Start family support workers and children's library staff to ensure that all families in Oregon have the knowledge, skills, and access to resources necessary to provide positive educational experiences their children need to be ready for school when they start kindergarten.

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History of RFHF

In 1995, a federal Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) grant was awarded to a consortium of libraries in seven counties that offered Healthy Start home visiting programs.  This grant funded the pilot program Reading for Healthy Start.  This program provided Healthy Start family support workers with literacy related activities, reading material, and educational videos to share during home visits with the families they served.  Additional LSCA funding was obtained in 1996-1997 to expand the program to serve more counties with Healthy Start programs; however no long-term plan to continue Reading for a Healthy Start was ever developed.
 
As federal funding for training and materials diminished, many libraries and Healthy Start programs had to limit or discontinue literacy related training and activities. Today, with the support of Oregon Community Foundation Ready to Learn grants, as well as local and private investments, many counties offer limited literacy training and related activities for families during home visits, at libraries or in other early childhood settings.  However, up until RFHF was fully funded, no comprehensive plan was in place to coordinate these efforts and ensure their sustainability. 
 
In June 2006, the Oregon Commission on Children and Families and the Oregon State Library received a planning grant from the Oregon Community Foundation to develop a comprehensive plan for statewide early literacy training of Healthy Start family support workers and children's library to ensure sustainability.  The Commission and State Library assembled an oversight committee comprised of Healthy Start family support workers, children’s librarians, and other early childhood professionals to:
  • Assess current early literacy activities.
  • Identify counties with the greatest need for early literacy activities.
  • Identify counties who are most ready to receive training, and who can apply their training by implementing early literacy activities locally.
  • Develop a comprehensive, sustainable, statewide early literacy training program for Healthy Start family support workers and children’s library staff.
 
In June 2008 the Commission and State Library received matching grants from the Oregon Community Foundation and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to implement Reading for Healthy Families Oregon: Building Communities of Learning (RFHF).  RFHF seeks to train Healthy Start family support workers and children’s library staff on evidenced–based early literacy curriculum across the state, and to work directly with high-risk families to help them increase the school readiness of their young children.  The long-term vision for this project is that all families in Oregon will have the knowledge, skills, and access to resources necessary to provide positive, educational experiences children need to be ready for school when they start kindergarten.
 
To achieve these outcomes, approximately 300 Healthy Start family support workers and children’s library staff will be recruited to participate in this three-year project.  Each participant will commit to attending two intensive two-day trainings.  A simple application process will be utilized to encourage participation and demonstrate a commitment to improving early literacy in local communities and to the long term vision of the project.  Local Healthy Start programs and libraries will fill out and submit one application.  Submitting the application together, with their supervisors signatures, demonstrates their commitment to the developing a local early literacy network, attending both two-day trainings, and providing early literacy training to a minimum of 15 families within a year of their first training.
 
As part of the commitment to the project, Healthy Start family support workers and children’s library staff will provide early literacy education to 15 families over the course of the year they participate in the project—5 families after their first two-day training, and 10 families after their second two-day training. A total of 4,500 families will be served over the three years.
 
RFHF expands on the Reading for Healthy Start program and establishes sustainable early literacy programs in local communities by:

  • Developing a network of Healthy Start family support workers and their local libraries.
  • Providing three years of intensive early literacy training statewide to both Healthy Start family support workers and children’s library staff.
  • Training Master Trainers who will be available to conduct trainings on a contractual basis after the three years of training provided by RFHF.
  • Establishing a website of resources that will be maintained and updated indefinitely by the Oregon State Library’s Youth Services Consultant.
  • Providing early literacy consulting services as needed by the Oregon State Library’s Youth Services Consultant.
 
RFHF incorporates the following recommendations from the Oregon Commission on Children and Families and the 2005 Statewide Early Literacy Planning Initiative:

  • Expand and coordinate early literacy training statewide
  • Establish and sustain relationships with key early childhood stakeholders (i.e. Healthy Start and children’s library staff)
  • Provide ongoing literacy support such as access to resources, support groups, books for families to keep, and increase the number of and availability of books in other languages
  • Train Healthy Start family support workings in evidence-based early literacy curriculum
   
RFHF supports the findings of Oregon! Ready to Learn’s Final Evaluation Report (September 2005), and addresses the following goals of the Commission, State Library, and Oregon Library Association:

  • Oregon’s Healthy Start Full Credential from the national Healthy Families America initiative that ensures that Oregon’s Healthy Start program meets the highest research-based standards for home visiting services to parents and their children;
  • Oregon State Library Goal 3: Lead public libraries to achieve excellence in services to children.
  • Oregon Benchmark #18: Percent of Oregon children entering school ready-to-learn.
  • State Library Agency Initiative to continue basic youth services training and efforts to educate on best practices; and use recommendations of the Statewide Early Literacy Planning Initiative to improve the program;
  • Oregon Library Association’s Vision 2010: Children and adults have access to quality educational programs at all levels; libraries promote the joy and lifelong benefits of reading; Oregonians consider libraries an essential community service; Oregon libraries collaboratively develop relevant continuing education opportunities to address needs in Oregon communities; the people of Oregon recognize libraries as key in the development of the love of reading and lifelong learning; Oregon libraries design and target services in response to community needs.
  • Oregon Library Association’s Vision 2010 Call to Action: To Serve Every Child—Nurture the joy of reading by providing every child in Oregon with quality library services from both public and school libraries.
 
RFHF represents a statewide commitment to increase early childhood literacy skills, to improve family engagement around reading, and increase healthy parent-child interactions at the county level. Through this project, parents will learn the skills and how to access the resources they need to help their child be ready to learn when they start kindergarten.

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Historical Project Documents

IMPORTANT NOTE: RFHF IS NO LONGER PROVIDING TRAINING.
The documents and information on this page are freely available for anyone wishing to use RFHF as a model for developing similar projects and for historical purposes. Please contact Katie Anderson if you would like to learn more about lessons learned from this project.
 

Applications and Forms
 
RFHF application 
 
Project description of RFHF 
 
Benefits of participating in RFHF 
 
Answers to frequently asked questions 
 
Participant commitments to RFHF
  • Attend both the first two-day training and the second two-day training (a total of 4 days of training). 
  • Complete the pre and post evualtions of the project.
  • Invite your supervisor to attend the recognition luncheon and the special training session on the afternoon of the second day of the second training or attend yourself if your supervisor cannot.
  • After completing the first two-day training session, you will provide Every Child Ready to Read @ your library® and/or point-of-contact early literacy educational opportunities to at least 5 families with children 0-5 years old over the course of the next three months.
  •  After completing the second two-day training, you will provide Every Child Ready to Read @ your library® and/or point-of-contact early literacy educational opportunities to at least 10 more families with children 0-5 years old over the course of the next nine months.
 
Guidance for participants 
RFHF Guidance provides the answers to questions like:
  • What constitutes a reportable parent education activity?
  • What do we do in small communities where there are less than 15 families to serve?
  • How do new staff to the agency become trained in the RFHF materials, RFHF project, and Every Child Ready to Read @ your library®?
  • If you are unable to attend the training session when it is in your cohort (maternity leave, vacation schedule, etc.), can you attend a later training session?
 
Travel reimbursement form for OCCF employees and non-OCCF employees.
Mileage and lodging will be reimbursed at Oregon government rates for those traveling more than 70 miles round trip (35 miles one-way) to the training destination. For details read answers to frequently asked questions.
  
Library Outreach application form.
Each program participating in RFHF is eligible to receive $200 for library outreach projects that either bring Healthy Start families into the library or get children's library staff out to where high-risk families already gather to provide early literacy activities and services there.  For more information please read our answers to frequently asked questions .

Training Information
RFHF Training Schedule Overview or Detailed View (excel)
 
Cohort Map 
To view this pdf. properly save it to computer.  Then, open the file and select "View" from the top toolbar, go to "Rotate View", and select "Clockwise". 
 
Healthy Start family support workers and children's library staff are only eligible to participate in RFHF when it is offered to their county.  This is necessary for the evaluation process that will take place throughout the project and one year after it is complete. 
 
Your cohort is the group of people (counties) who will be attending the same training as you.  The training will take place in one of the counties in your cohort in an effort to minimize travel.  Download and view the training schedule to find out which counties are in your cohort.  You do not need to contact us to let us know if you want to participate, we will send you an application prior to your training. 
 
Information will be updated as we plan specific training dates, locations, and schedules.  Please check back closer to the date of your training for more details.
 
The following factors and criteria were used to develop the training schedule:

  • The results of 2006 survey which asked Healthy Start family support workers and children’s library staff how ready they were to participate in RFHF.
  • The Commission and State Library’s knowledge of current staffing or operating issues in libraries and Healthy Start programs as of Spring 2008.
  • The percentage of parents reading to their children in each county as reported in Healthy Start of Oregon 2006-2007 Status Report. 
  • The RFHF budget supports training for 100 people each year.
  • Counties attending a training together must be geographically close together to keep travel to a minimum.
  • Some Healthy Start programs are structured regionally, not by county.
 
Healthy Start family support workers and children's library staff participating in RFHF will attend two, two-day trainings.  
 
Sample Agenda for the First Two-Day Training 
 
Day one and part of day two of the first training will consist of introductions and intensive training in Every Child Ready to Read @ your library®. Day two of the first training will cover how to effectively work with at-risk families, how to implement outreach services, and how local Healthy Start family support workers and children’s library staff can partner to provide early literacy services to at-risk families in their community.  Each participant will receive a resource kit that they get to keep.  The resource kit contains materials for conducting Every Child Ready to Read @ your library® workshops for parents/caregivers, and resources for planning and presenting storytimes or one-on-one book sharing.  After the first training, each participant will have three or four months to provide Every Child Ready to Read @ your library® training to at least five parents/caregivers.
 
Sample Agenda for the Second Two-Day Training 
 
The second two-day training will take place three or four months after the first training.  Prior to the second training, the RFHF Project Coordinator will informally survey participants to find out what parts of the Every Child Ready to Read @ your library® curriculum they would like to review and what additional topics they would like training in.  In the morning on day one of the second training participants will review the parts of the curriculum they identified in their survey, and will discuss their experiences providing Every Child Ready to Read @ your library® training to parents/caregivers.  Participants will have an opportunity to learn what worked for others and get suggestions to improve their Every Child Ready to Read @ your library® trainings. 
 
RFHF participants will receive training on special topics in the afternoon on day one of the second training and the morning of day two of the second training.  Special topic trainings will vary depending on what cohorts are most interested in learning about and availability of trainers. Special topics may include: serving English language learners, adult learning theory, working with special needs children, early literacy storytimes/book sharing, media literacy, or creating environments that foster early learning.
 
On day two of the second training, supervisors of RFHF participants will be invited to attend a luncheon at which participants will be awarded certificates of completion.  After lunch, there will be a workshop on professional development, advocacy, promotion, and fundraising for supervisors.  Participants will attend the afternoon workshop if their supervisors are unable to.  After the second training, each participant will have three or four months to provide Every Child Ready to Read @ your library® training to at least ten parents/caregivers.
 
Two meals will be provided to all participants during each day of training.  Participants traveling 70 miles or more to the training will receive a travel stipend to help cover the cost of gas, food, and lodging.  Travel stipends will be issued to individual participants based on their additional meal requirements, distance traveled, and lodging needs; and U.S. General Services Administration Per Diem Rates as of the writing of the RFHF budget in 2007. 

Site Coordinators
Two Site Coordinators will be selected for each Cohort.  One Site Coordinator will represent Healthy Start, and the other Site Coordinator will represent children’s library staff.  They will be enrolled as active participants in the RFHF project with their cohort.  In addition, they will facilitate networking and communication in their cohort, and provide local logistical recommendations and support to the Project Coordinator.  Site Coordinators will receive a $450 stipend at the end of the second training for completing the following tasks.
 
Site Coordinators will:
  • Recommend local training sites.
  • Recommend caterers for beverage and food service.
  • Recommend lodging accommodations that meet the State’s per diem rates for traveling trainers and participants.
  • Brainstorm ideas for establishing travel voucher details for the cohort cities/counties.
  • Brainstorm ideas for ongoing communication and resource networks with family support workers and children’s library staff, including their supervisors, after the training has been completed.
  • Come early to the training sessions to assist with set-up of materials, equipment, beverages, food service, room arrangement.
  • Stay late to assist with take down and clean up.
  • Facilitate “Building Teams: Give and Take” activity during Training Session One.
  • Facilitate “RFHF Delivery Review” activity during Training Session Two.
 
 

Recording Logs
RFHF participants commit to providing early literacy education activities to 15 families.  Recording Logs track progress towards meeting that commitment, and will be used by NPC Research in the evaluation of RFHF.  Children's library staff submit these Recording Logs, while the Healthy Start family support workers Recording Logs have been folded into their well established reporting process.
 
Download, complete, and email the completed Recording Log to Katie Anderson on the first Friday of every month until January 2012.
 
RFHF participants commit to providing early literacy education activities to 15 families.  Recording Logs track progress towards meeting that commitment, and will be used by NPC Research in the evaluation of RFHF.  Children's library staff submit these Recording Logs, while the Healthy Start family support workers Recording Logs have been folded into their well established reporting process.
 
Download, complete, and email the completed Recording Log to Katie Anderson on the first Friday of every month until June 2011.
 
What is the purpose of this form?
  • This form is intended to replace the hard copy form you have been using to record the Reading for Healthy Families (RFHF) curriculum activities you are presenting to parents.
  • The original hard copy form was available in your big training binder under “Nuts, Bolts, and Resources.”
  • Using this electronic form will help the RFHF project staff more easily compile information from librarians across the state by having all training log sheets in the same format.
 
Who should use this form?
  • All librarians who received the RFHF curriculum training will use this form to record the activities being presented to families.
 
When do I start using the form?
  • You should use the form to record any families you do RFHF activities with beginning February 1, 2009.
 
Do I need special software to use the form?
  • This form is a Microsoft Excel file and should be compatible with your library computer. No additional software is needed.
 
How frequently do I submit the form?
  • You should submit the form the first Friday of each month beginning March 2009.
 
What information do I need to put on the form?
  • Librarian Name
    • Put your name in the first column of the form. You only need to enter your name once per worksheet.
  • Family Name
    • Enter the family name in the space provided.
    • If you work with a family more than once, enter subsequent interactions on separate rows.
    • Remember to enter the family name for each interaction/activity.
  • Date
    • Enter the date you presented the curriculum/activity to the family
  • Book Giveaway
    • If you provided a book giveaway to the family during the visit, select “Yes”, if not, select “No.” Use the drop-down in the form.
  • Transportation Voucher
    • If you provided a transportation voucher to the family during the visit, select “Yes”, if not, select “No.” Use the drop-down in the form.
  • Main Education Session Emphasized
    • Select one of the education sessions listed as the MAIN activity you emphasized during the activity. Use the drop-down in the form.
    • It’s probably that you emphasized multiple activities during the session; however pick the one that you feel was the most emphasized topic.
  • Original ECCR by age (optional)
    • If you presented an activity as part of the original ECCR curriculum, please select the age group of the curriculum (this is an optional item). Use the drop-down in the form.
  • Session time
    • Please select how long the activity/session lasted with the family on this particular day. Use the drop-down in the form.
    • This should be a cumulative amount of time; please round to the nearest time.
 
What are the drop-downs and how do I use them?
  • The drop downs provide an existing list of choices that you can choose from (to eliminate the need for typing in answers)
  • When you are in an Excel cell that has a drop down list, a down arrow appears to the right of the cell. Clicking on this arrow will give you a list of choices from which to pick by clicking your cursor on the appropriate choice.

Resource Kits
As part of the RFHF project, Healthy Start family support workers and children’s library staff receive a resource kit that includes scripts for conducting parent education sessions, master copies of parent handouts and activities, early literacy training DVDs, professional books about early literacy and storytimes, finger puppets, flannel boards and story pieces, posters, and numerous children’s books to giveaway to the families they serve. 
 
RFHF purchased these materials from a variety of vendors, both in Oregon and in other states. Many of these vendors became RFHF Early Literacy Champions to support Oregon’s early literacy effort. 
 
Early Literacy Champions have provided:
 
Books on Story Time and Book Sharing 
A Box Full of Tales: Easy Ways to Share Library Resources Through Story Boxes by Kathy MacMillan.
Create dozens of storytime boxes with several picture books, songs/rhymes, activity suggestions and more.  Each box focuses on a theme and explains how to adapt it for toddler, preschooler, and family storytimes.  This book can make storytime planning easier for you.  A few suggestions: use this book to plan storytimes, use it to create storytime boxes for you to use now and in the future, share boxes with other libraries, or circulate boxes to Healthy Start family support workers, childcare providers, and preschool teachers.
 
Beyond Bedtime Stories: A Parent’s Guide to Promoting Reading, Writing, and Other Literacy Skills from Birth to 5  by V. Susan Bennett-Armistead
Parents will find early literacy milestones to watch for and tips for integrating early literacy such as reading, writing, talking, and listening into daily activities around the house.  The book is organized by spaces such as kitchen, bedroom, living room etc. 
 
Early Literacy Storytimes @ Your Library: Partnering with Caregivers for Success by Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Pamela Martin-Diaz
If you are only going to purchase one storytime planning book, this is the best one to purchase because it ties the research to storytime planning and implementation, provides ready-to-use storytimes, provides general planning materials to help you plan early literacy storytimes around whatever books and themes you want to use, includes programming advice, and programs are for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. 
 
Read Me a Rhyme in Spanish and English/Leame una rima en espanol e ingles by Rose Zertuche Trevino
Create Spanish or Spanish/English bilingual storytimes with several picture books, songs/rhymes, activity suggestions and more.  Books, songs, and rhymes are traditional and from Spanish speaking countries around the world or they are originally created by the author, a native Spanish speaker.  Books, songs, and rhymes are translated into English.  In the case where a Spanish book is not available in English titles with a similar theme are suggested.
 
Training DVDs
Hear and Say is a simple technique for developing a conversation while reading picture books that encourages young children to speak, thus improving their vocabulary and narrative skills.  Parents will learn how to initiate and expand conversations with their children about stories and pictures to foster their child’s early literacy development. (This DVD is no longer available to purchase) 
 
In Ready to Learn: Essential Tips for Early Literacy, LeVar Burton, Jamie Lee Curtis, and child development experts show parents how to help their children develop language skills and learning skills through everyday activities.  Parents will learn how to effectively communicate with their children, incorporate reading into their daily routine, and activities that will spark their child’s interest in learning.  Available in English and Spanish, booklet included. 
 
Playing Around with Words: Games and Activities to Develop Phonological Awareness in 4-5 Year Olds explains and demonstrates how playing simple games throughout the day develops phonological awareness, one of the key skills in getting ready to read. Developed by Provo Public Library.
 
In Success Starts with Reading parents share early literacy messages, demonstrating how to foster the development of early literacy skills by encouraging their chidlren to participate in the story.  Talking, singing, reading, and rhyming may seem just like fun and games, but they are important activities that lead to reading!
 
In Born to Succeed, young parents share their personal stories of reading with their infants and toddlers, describing how it benefits their relationships and develops their child’s early literacy skills.  Parents provide practical tips for other young parents.  This video is particularly effective to show to teen parents.  Available in English and Spanish. 
Poster and Brochures
Purple poster of six crayons, each naming and describing one of the early literacy skills.  Developed by Multnomah County Library, available in English and Spanish.
 
This brochure covers the importance of reading to young children, suggested reading list for kids, resources for parents, library visits, and tips on reading to your child. This brochure was included in the RFHF Resource Kit. Available in English and Spanish.
 
The RFHF brochure was developed to distribute to potential participants, and other organizations and agencies interested in the project.  This is not intended for families or childcare providers recieving early literacy education.  
Picture Books
The following four childrens picture books were included in the RFHF Resource Kit because they are high quality, developmentally appropriate books and many public libraries do not circulate these titles.  These are cloth, touch-and-feel, lift-the-flap, or pop-up books that do not lend themselves to heavy use library books receive.  However, they are great for storytimes or one-on-one booksharing. 
 
Healthy Start family support workers are encouraged to go to their local library to check out additional storytime books to share with the families they serve--don't forget to ask library staff for books in other languages.   
 
Fuzzy Bee and Friends by Roger Priddy
 
Tails by Matthew van Fleet
 
The Wide-Mouthed Frog: A Pop-Up Book by Keith Faulkner
 
Knick Knack Paddywhack by Paul O. Zelinsky
 
Mi familia y you/My family and I by Gladys Rosa-Mendoza
 
Story Time Props 
The following props were selected because they include a variety of animals that can be used to tell many other stories in addition to the stories they were designed for. 
 
Portable, foldable flannel board (16 x 22 with a set of 7 felt pieces) 
 
The Little Red Hen (felt story)  
 
Old McDonald (finger puppets) 
 
Music and Rhymes
This small book includes 19 fun, familiar rhymes in an easy-to-use format that is inexpensive to purchase to giveaway to families.  The Spanish edition features 17 traditional Spanish poems, rhymes, and songs--they are not translations of the rhymes in the English edition.
 
Hap Palmer adds original lyrics and melodies to Early Childhood Classics, while maintaining the charm and simplicity of traditional songs.

Jose-Luis Orozco captures the spirit of the Latino culture in De Colores and Other Latin-American Folk Songs for Children.
 
 

Giveaway Books & First Library Visit Incentive Books
Children's library staff and family support workers who participated in RFHF committed to providing early literacy education to 15 families.  RFHF provided each participant with 15 giveaway books, one for each family.  The RFHF advisory group recommended the books given away in Year One, and children's librarians across Oregon recommended books given away in Year Two.
  Based on feedback from Year One participants, RFHF provided special books as incentives for Healthy Start families visiting the library for the first time in Year Two and Year Three.  These first library visit incentive books were those pop-up, lift-the-flap, book on CD, and touch-and-feel that many high-risk families can't afford.  These special books play a wonderful role in developing print motivation.   These titles have been put on a digital bookshelf online, take a look!  
Sustainability Plans
During Training Session Two participants were given time to brainstorm early literacy activities they could partner together locally to implement and sustain RFHF.  At the end of Training Session Two, program managers selected one idea for each community to start planning and implement after RFHF. 
 
All of the brainstormed activities and plans have been documented here:

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