Last week I got a few reminders about the importance and delight of engaging with and supporting families with young children for a multitude of reasons, including that it is a great way promote early literacy practices and social-emotional learning and well-being.  Early in the week I came across a lovely inter

Adult woman sitting on bench with a child who is holding binoculars, looking at each other and laughing

Image from Pixabay

view on Good Morning America with our own Wisconsin celebrity doctor/librarian, Dr. Dipesh Navsaria.  One thing he noted was even though families often feel like they are failing their children, especially during the difficulties of the past few years, they are actually doing important things–family meals and family snuggle time have increased during the pandemic.  Sometimes parents and caregivers need to hear what they are doing right.

Then last week we had a terrific webinar, Talking Is Teaching:  Trusted Messenger Training with representatives of the Chippewa Valley Talking Is Teaching Coalition.  Amy Fink from UW Eau Claire’s ECLIPSE program, Jessi Peterson from the Chippewa Falls Public Library, and Jerissa Koenig from the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire shared compelling and practical ideas for engaging with parents and caregivers about early literacy and social/emotional development.  They highlighted ways to become a trusted source of information (hint:  listen, validate, encourage!), and shared examples of some of the messages you might share.  You can find the recording, slides, and handouts on the IFLS website.

Mary Madiggan, one of the webinar attendees from the MIlwaukee Public Library also shared an excellent article that their library staff uses to understand the importance of two-way communication–more important that doing a word-dump on children!

For more ideas on this, please take a look at the IFLS website’s Storytime Resources page!