A complete guide to creating school readiness programs at public libraries

For Immediate Release
Thu, 07/23/2015


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association



CHICAGO —The public library is in the perfect position as a community resource to help bridge the gap between preschool and kindergarten; however, starting from scratch can feel daunting. In “Counting Down to Kindergarten: A Complete Guide to Creating a School Readiness Program for Your Community,” published by ALA Editions, R. Lynn Baker combines her background in early childhood education with her experience as a youth services programming specialist to present a school readiness program that can be tailored for any public library. Based on the successful framework of her tried and tested original program, this book offers everything that a public library needs in order to get started, including:

  • a six-week schedule of detailed lesson plans that combine the best practices of the Every Child Ready to Read® (ECRR) Second Edition (talking, singing, reading, writing, playing) with nationally identified school readiness skills;
  • a six-month family calendar with activities to help parents engage their children in activities that foster early literacy and school readiness skills at home;
  • tips for maintaining a collaborative relationship with early childhood stakeholders and policymakers to help maintain a program that fits the school readiness needs of the local community;
  • specific examples of successful school readiness programs and partnerships from public library systems.

Baker is a conference speaker and advocate for early childhood education, early literacy/school readiness programs, and public libraries. She is a former preschool and kindergarten teacher. In her current role as the Youth Services Specialist at Paul Sawyier Public Library in Frankfort, Kentucky, she has developed school readiness programs and curricula for preschool children, families and communities. She was instrumental in the development of the Kentucky Public Library School Readiness Task Force, also known as READiness Matters, in collaboration with the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or editionsmarketing@ala.org.