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GRT Early Literacy Librarian Team

Growing Readers Together

Because of the significant work of the public libraries involved in Growing Readers Together (GRT), the project was extended at the beginning of 2020 for 3 years by 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 15, 2019, 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 Librarian Team

GRT team in 2020

Melody and Kate

Melody and Kate have been offering online and regional events to Colorado library staff and informal caregivers, and the community is engaged! You may already know one or more of them, as Melody and Kate each bring years of experience in Colorado public libraries to their roles, including family and community engagement, active involvement in Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (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 continue to launch a fantastic array of opportunities!

Here are some highlights of their efforts:


QuickBites-Topics on Early Learning Webinars (New webinars scheduled!)

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. More information here.

Success Cycle

Success Cycle Webinars Growing Readers Together: Success Model Series

Download this worksheet (PDF) to use with each of the Success Model webinars.

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 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.

children's hands doing activity

Play, Learn and Grow Workshops

We understand with COVID19 library closures, in-person Play, Learn, and Grow Workshops will have to wait until the risks have passed. In the meantime, we are developing an online option (adapted from our in-person workshops) for you to share with your Family, Friend, and Neighbor communities. We plan to have this live by October 31, 2020. Please fill out this form if you are interested in discussing this opportunity, and a member of the team will reach out to you.
Keep in mind, when libraries gear back up, we would love to come and co-host workshops at your library! Kate and Melody have developed 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 popular activities 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 in all parts of Colorado are welcome to contact (KateMelody) to discuss the possibility of scheduling a program or fill out this form and we will get in touch with you.


The GRT Early LIteracy Librarian team has had the pleasure of visiting libraries who have invited us based on a particular need. If you are wondering if we can help with your questions and initiatives, please contact us directly, (Kate, Melody) or fill out this form.

Informative Early Literacy Tips on Social Media

Growing Readers Together's Facebook page (@growingreaderstogether) is alive with ideas! With 2020's unexpected social distancing requirements, the team has prioritized timely news and information as well as daily early literacy activities (based on the Colorado Day by Day calendar) for Colorado libraries to use and share.

Colorado Early LIteracy Framework

Since early 2020, the Growing Readers Together Early Literacy Librarian Team has engaged in a Colorado State Library initiative to develop an early literacy framework for Colorado public libraries. Contributions from public library directors and children's librarians from across Colorado are helping produce this framework which will serve to guide early literacy priorities for public libraries. View the Colorado Early Literacy Framework.

Colorado Association of Libraries (CALCON 2020 VIRTUAL) September 10 – 12

The GRT Early Literacy Librarian Team will present: The Missing Piece of the Early Childhood Puzzle: Family, Friend, and Neighbor Caregivers. Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FF&N) childcare is a critical part of today’s childcare ecosystem. We will explore ways for Colorado libraries to establish valuable partnerships and outreach strategies that connect FF&N caregivers with early learning inspiration for the children in their care.


Fall Youth Services Summer Reading Workshops

Dates for the annual Youth Services Summer Reading Workshops across Colorado are yet to be determined. Kate and Melody will work collaboratively with Beth Crist to facilitate useful information for summer reading programs.


If you are interested in learning more about how Growing Readers Together can support your library, please contact us.

The Growing Readers Together Early Literacy Librarian Team offers a variety of early learning and community engagement opportunities. If you would like to find out more about serving Family, Friend, and Neighbor caregivers at your library, please contact us or please submit this interest form.

General Interest Form

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

FFN Workshop Form

If you are ready to host a Family, Friend, and Neighbor Caregiver Virtual Workshop or want to plan ahead to host an in-person workshop, please submit this workshop inquiry form.