Issue 3. Growing like a Read. Print Awareness.


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Growing Like a Read
Quarterly eNewsletter from the Pioneer Library System - focusing on early literacy skills

November 1, 2011

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Head Start

by Terrie Vicknair, Head Start/Early Head Start Education Coordinator, Crossroads YFS

Crossroads logoCrossroads Youth and Family Services operate Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Cleveland, Seminole, Comanche and Pottawatomie counties.  Children ages 3 to 5 years who live in those counties are eligible to enroll in Head Start.  Children aged 2 weeks to 3 years may enroll in Early Head Start.  Crossroads Head Start provides a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to services including education, health, social services, nutrition and parent involvement.  The range of services is matched to each child's development, culture, language and heritage.

For more information about Crossroads Head Start, visit  Use the link at the top of the page to access information about the Head Start programs.  Information and enrollment forms are provided in English and Spanish. 

Cleveland County Head Start programs are located in Norman, Moore, Little Axe and Noble.  Pottawatomie County program are located in Shawnee, Maud, McLoud, Bethel and Tecumseh.  Seminole County has an Early Head Start center and the centers in Comanche county are located across the Lawton area including Elgin, Cache and Geronimo.  Address and phone contacts for each location are provided on the web page listed above.

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New in Story Time

by Valerie Kimble, MLS, PLS Center for Children's Services

Look for new activities in story time!

Pioneer librarians attended trainings this year by Saroj Ghoting, a nationally recognized early literacy consultant, and Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen, the developer of Mother Goose on the Loose. Both experts shared great ideas for introducing pre-reading skills to young children.

Baby, Toddler, Pre-school Story times, Rhythm Babies and Rhythm Toddlers, Growing Like a Read and other library programs for our littlest customers focus on developing a love of books and stories, and promoting school readiness by fostering curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and emergent social skills.

Look for different takes on nursery rhymes, musical games and activities, flannel boards and group interaction in story time.

Come often, and help those little brains grow!

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Print Awareness

By Jenny Stenis, Coordinator for the PLS Center for Children's Services

What do the books Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow, The Wonderful Book by Leonid Gore, Shout! Shout It Out! by Denise Fleming and Press Here by Herve Tullet have in common? These books explore the pre-reading skill of print awareness in different ways. One of the first pre-reading skills learned, print awareness is understanding that print is organized and functions in a certain way.

The Wonderful BookThe Wonderful Book by Leonid Gore starts with a rabbit finding a book in the forest. He tries to use it for a house, but it is too small. A bear comes along and tries to use it for a hat. Other animals try to use the book in other ways except for what it is intended, until a little boy finds the book. This is not very subtle, but it is effective. It shows the correct use of a book. 



  Shout! Shout it Out! When reading to your child, run your finger under the title and author as you read them as well as under some of the sentences. When books such as Shout! Shout It Out! by Denise Fleming have print flying all over the page, use your finger to show your child the proper reading order. When your child has some sense that books go in one direction, play the upside down game. Pick up the book and have it upside down or backwards, your child will know that it is not being held correctly. Ask, "What's wrong?" Wait for him or her to respond, "No, turn it around." Turn it another way. Ask what's wrong again. Wait for a response. Change the direction several times until it is in its correct direction. This game reinforces the knowledge that print is read left to right and top to bottom.


  Press HerePress Here by Herve Tullet is a simple but delightful book that calls for reader interaction.  Cleverly designed by Tullet, this book instructs your child to press and rub the illustrations on one page, suggesting he or she is affecting the change on the next page. This sets up anticipation and expectations of what will come next. Books that encourage interaction reinforce print awareness in your child.  Parents can use any book to reinforce this concept.  They can ask questions such as "Where are the words on this page?", "How many ducks are on the page?" (you count together as you move your fingers to the ducks), or "What is Caillou doing?" Through these types of interactions, children will learn that letters make words and words make sentences. It is not necessary to ask questions with every book. Sometimes a book just needs to be read straight through.


  Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the BedFive Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow is an excellent example of a predictable word book.  This book not only rhymes and has repetitive phrasing, but asks the child to count down as each monkey falls off the bed.  As a predictable word book, it fills all the requirements of rhymes, repetitive phrases, sentences or refrains. As children are exposed to the reading of the simple stories found in predictable and patterned books, they see how print looks on a page.

Although reading any books with children will develop book awareness and book-handling skills, the books listed here will help children to become aware of all aspects of print awareness including word boundaries, and differences in word lengths. Awareness of print concepts provides the backdrop against which reading and writing are learned.

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Success By 6 Brings Early Literacy to You

By Christy Emig, Director, Success By 6 Norman  

Success By 6 Norman is an Early Childhood Initiative of the United Way, and is one of the 18 community programs in Oklahoma funded by Smart Start Oklahoma. The vision of Success By 6 Norman is to ensure that all children in our communities are safe, healthy, eager to learn and ready to succeed by the time they enter school. One program that helps further this vision is the Community Resource Van.  

The Resource Van is a collaborative effort between community partners to serve the needs of children birth to six, by bringing helpful tools and educational resources to parents, parents-to-be, caregivers, educators. A visit from the van includes activities for children that focus on literacy and a healthy lifestyle, and parents receive resources and support. A session might include a story time and large group games like Duck, Duck, Goose or parachute play. There is also a place to bounce a ball, walk on a balance beam or dance with a hula hoop. At the end of the visit, every child receives a free book.  

From July of 2010 to June of 2011, the Community Resource Van gave away over 6600 books and touched the lives of more than 5000 children!

Keep an eye out around town for the Success By 6 Norman Community Resource Van. For more information check out our website at or our Facebook page Success By 6 Norman or contact Christy Emig at 405.364.3800 or