Thursday, February 15, 2018

Announcing: Fostering Grade Level Reading!

Just in time for the proposed elimination of funding for the Institute of Museum of Library Services, I'm pleased to announce a new project funded by a Library Services and Technology Act grant: Fostering Grade Level Reading!

A teddy bear with an open book in its lap, appearing to read
on a blue background. Text reads, "Fostering Grade Level Reading."
Picture created in Canva with a free image as decoration.

Fostering Grade Level Reading (or Fostering Readers, as the team is calling it colloquially) is really one of those dream-come-true projects for me. As project co-manager, I'm able to deep dive into my background with literacy research to work with our project team toward providing librarians and out-of-school-time providers with what they need to support children learning to read, and foster student ability to read at grade level by third grade. At our first in-person meeting, I was able gush with our reading specialists about big names in educational research, which was fun! I'm using brain cells that haven't been tapped since 2009 which... hurts my head. But in a good way!

Fostering Grade Level Reading is a partnership between Washington County Cooperative Library Services and OregonASK. Right now, our subject matter experts are compiling research in preparation to create a toolkit for use in libraries and for out-of-school-time teachers/caregivers. In accordance with our LSTA timeline, we will have a toolkit prepared for publication online, available for free by the beginning of 2019.

We need your help: Currently, our funding is made possible by a grant obtained through the State Library of Oregon while Katie, project co-manager, was employed there are the state Youth Services Consultant. Katie has since become my new coworker (!!!) and our employer has taken over as the fiscal agent for the grant. We are applying for a second year of funding, which would allow us us to: 1) strengthen the toolkit with an official pilot and unofficial feedback from those around the country who are using it, and 2) make informed recommendations for training with the toolkit. For the second year funding, we are asking for support from youth services library staff in the form of letters of support; the more, the better! This will enhance our justification that not only is a product like this needed; but an evaluated and vetted product like this is crucial to filling the knowledge gap posed "after" Every Child Ready to Read. If you work in libraries and are not a youth services staff member, but can speak to the importance of this project for libraries and youth services, you're welcome to send one along as well.

Take a look at the documents linked below for more information and talking points you can use to craft your letter.

Please email me (brycek at wccls at org) or Katie (katiea at wccls dot org) your completed letter of support! Letters are due to us by March 16, 2018 for compilation and submission with our grant application.

Fostering Grade Level Reading description and talking points

Fostering Grade Level Reading Project Team
(I never get tone right on bios and if I get enough letters of support, I may be inspired to redo my bio on the blog not unlike my Emerging Leaders one)

Thanks for your consideration!

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