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GRT Early Literacy Support Team

Growing Readers Together

Because of the significant work of the public libraries involved in Growing Readers Together (GRT), the project was selected for inclusion in the 2019 Colorado Preschool Development Grant!

What does this mean for Growing Readers Together and Colorado’s public libraries?  Three Early Literacy Specialists became State Library staff as of May 15th, and are offering numerous ways for libraries to enhance their existing early literacy programs.  Think of this expansion as an opportunity to learn more about early literacy services, particularly those targeting informal child care providers, via an Interlibrary Loan of an Early Literacy Librarian, or at least by “checking them out” in digital format or other events in Colorado. 


Meet the Growing Readers Together Early Literacy Support Team

Photos of GRT Early Literacy Support Team

Kate, Melody and Gail  have been gearing up to offer online and regional events to Colorado library staff and informal caregivers, and are ready to get started!  You may already know one or more of them, as Kate, Melody and Gail each brings years of experience in Colorado public libraries to their roles, including family and community engagement, active involvement in CLEL, and development of early literacy offerings in library settings.   Since joining they’ve immersed themselves in learning more about library services to informal child care providers, particularly with the local Growing Readers Together libraries that are national leaders in this emerging area of library services. They are ready to launch a fantastic array of opportunities! 


Here’s when/where you can find team members during the next several months:

·         Beginning August 6th  - Join a series of online micro-learning (20 min.) opportunities on topics related to early literacy library services and informal child care providers.  More information here

·         September – “Check Out” Kate, Melody, or Gail for a one-to-one conversation on early literacy. They will be at the State Library booth at the Colorado Association of Libraries Conference.

·         Late Sept. – Early Oct. – Attend a series of online webinars on outreach and informal care

·         October – Meet them and attend their session at the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy Conference

·         Late Oct. – Nov. – Meet them at their section of the regional Youth Services workshop


Growing Readers Together offers four-part outreach webinar series

The Colorado State Library’s Growing Readers Together (GRT) Early Literacy Support Team is pleased to present GRT@Your Library, a four-part series of webinar learning opportunities for Colorado children’s librarians and staff interested in developing or expanding their relationships with informal family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) caregivers in their communities. Join Gail Yerbic, Kate Brunner, and Melody Garcia on Tuesdays at noon beginning October 15th for an in-depth exploration of the GRT Success Cycle, a powerful tool for building impactful connections with your local FFN community.

During these webinars, the GRT Early Literacy Support Team will share more information about bringing early learning workshops for Family Friend and Neighbor caregivers to public libraries throughout the state.  Any library potentially interested in hosting a GRT FFN workshop later this year will benefit greatly from attending the GRT@Your Library webinars in order to learn more about initiating and/or strengthening relationships with their communities’ FFN caregivers before hosting.

These online learning opportunities will be hosted by the Colorado State Library via Adobe Connect. Each session will focus on one quarter of the four-part GRT Success Cycle. These webinars will build on each other, but do not have to be attended in order. All sessions will be archived and available for later or repeated viewing.

The GRT@Your Library series schedule is as follows:

  • October 15th - GRT@Your Library: Look & Listen with Gail & Kate:

Join Gail & Kate to learn about the GRT Outreach Success Cycle. We’ll investigate how to spark new community conversations about FFN care in our area, look beyond our library walls, and gain a clearer understanding of our communities' early childhood landscapes as we begin to build or strengthen relationships with the FFN caregivers in our area.

  • October 22nd - GRT@Your Library: Explore & Examine with Kate & Melody

Join Kate & Melody to learn about the GRT Outreach Success Cycle. We’ll explore our libraries’ existing assets, examine how to build relationships with families, caregivers, and early childhood experts in our communities, and expand our expertise as we begin creating a network of support for engaging FFN caregivers in our area.

  • October 29th - GRT@Your Library: Dream & Discover with Melody & Gail

Join Melody & Gail to learn about the GRT Outreach Success Cycle. We’ll dream about new possibilities for early learning in libraries, discover how to set meaningful goals, and become powerful advocates for young families and FFN caregivers in our area.

  • November 5th - GRT@Your Library: Innovate & Inspire with Gail & Kate

Join Kate & Gail to learn about the GRT Outreach Success Cycle. We’ll craft innovative ways to experiment and educate in our libraries and beyond, inspire ourselves and each other, and celebrate our successes together, along with looking forward to how we can once again look & listen as we seek to continually refine our FFN caregiver and early learning outreach efforts.

The team will also offer a preview of a variety of future early learning and community engagement opportunities coming this winter from Growing Readers Together, to include ways to bring the team directly to your library.  If you already know you’d like to bring an early learning workshops for Family Friend and Neighbor caregivers to your library, please fill out the interest form here.

And November 2019 – early 2020
Members of the team would love to come and visit your library!   Kate, Melody and Gail are developing two different playful and highly interactive programs that support  informal child care providers in their work with young children.   Programs focus on skills that support school readiness, such as early literacy and STEM programming for young children, and are completely free.  In fact, the grant funding allows Growing Readers Together to include materials for caregivers to take home, as well as materials for your library to keep and use in future programs.   This is a great opportunity for a library that’s looking to get new ideas about early literacy programming and/or that’s located in a community where child care resources are scarce.   Libraries of all sizes and in all parts of the state are welcome to contact Kate, Melody and Gail to discuss scheduling a  program during the period.

General Interest Form

If you are interested in learning more about how Growing Readers Together can support your library, please complete this form.


FFN Workshop Form

If you are ready to host a Family, Friend, and Neighbor Caregiver Workshop, please submit this form



Webinars: Growing Readers Together Quick Bites

GRT Quick Bites are 20-minute micro-learning opportunities designed for busy children’s librarians across Colorado who are interested in accessing a bit of fresh early learning information and inspiration.

Caregiver Café: What Is It & How Do I Host One? – Wondering what a family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) caregiver is or how to connect with the FFNs in your community? This Quick Bite introduces a simple, but impactful program you can use to jump start relationship building and outreach to this important population.

Creating Synergy: Weaving Together Early Learning Services – Early learning comes in many shapes and sizes and impacts all areas of growth in the first 5 years. During this time, the foundation is created for later success in life. Join Gail Yerbic from our new Growing Readers Together (GRT) Early Literacy Support Team for a “Quick Bites” look at how to weave together learning opportunities for language, cognitive, social & emotional, and physical development as we discuss how to create sparks in those little brains!

Early Literacy Tips That Stick: Refining Your Early Literacy Message

Right Size Your Early Literacy Programming

Brilliant Baby Brains 

Process Over Product: Explore the Magic of Open Ended Creativity


Success Model Series

Look and Listen