We all recognize that a child’s home is their first classroom, and their parents and caregivers are their first teachers. To aid families’ efforts in developing early literacy skills and a love of learning in their children, the Poudre River Public Library District offers a variety of free resources, programs, and services. Many of the materials and programs are available in English and Spanish. A Spanish-language section of the Library’s website is also available.

Here is just a bit of what’s available through your public libraries.

Library Cards
There is no age requirement for getting a library card. When young children have their own library card, it helps them learn early that the library is a great place. Plus, with no extended-use fees on children’s materials, parents and caregivers don’t have to worry about overdue fines. When you sign your child up for their own library card, you also have the option to limit their access on library computers and the internet. This ensures that adults have control over how their children can use technology.

Each library storytime draws on professional literacy research, learning theory, and Every Child Ready to Read best practices. Specific themes, books, songs, digital items, and activities are chosen in order to create rich learning experiences that are developmentally appropriate and entertaining and can be duplicated outside of the library setting at home.

Whether you’re attending a baby, toddler, or preschool-aged storytime, the program will always include fun, inclusive, interactive experiences in five areas: talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing. Parents and caregivers will also come away with additional resources to expand their child’s language skills and to replicate or create similar activities at home.

The current schedule of library storytimes is available online and includes hora de cuentos bilignüe/bilingual storytimes, Noches en Familia programs, and World Language Storytime in Arabic, French, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, and other languages.

Programs and Events
Programming for babies, toddlers, and young children include opportunities for exploration, discovery, creativity, and socialization. Our classes and programs emphasize fun and learning in STREAM: science, technology, reading, engineering, arts, and math. With everything from Messy Hands Art for Preschoolers to music and theater performances to Animal Afternoons, there is sure to be a program that suits every family’s busy schedule. Plus, there are often pop-up activities in the children’s areas of the libraries for fun, interactive play and learning.

Children’s Areas
Each library location has a dedicated children’s area that is designed for fun! Here you can browse the shelves and choose picture books, board books, and early readers. Sit down to read or check out the materials to take home. Remember: there are no late or extended-use fees on children’s materials, so it’s okay if items are brought back a few days late.

While you’re visiting the children’s section, be sure to try out the interactive wall of STREAM activities, or play with the educational apps on our kid iPads. 

T.A.L.E.S. Kits
Check out the T.A.L.E.S. Kits next time you visit the Library. These “take-away literacy enrichment skills” backpack kits are designed to enhance young children’s early literacy development by providing parents and caregivers with an assortment of books, songs, and activities to do with their child – similar to what you might experience at one of the many popular Library District storytimes.

T.A.L.E.S. Kits are easy to use at home, at a daycare center, on vacation or school break, or anywhere else your child wants to read, and they include instructions and suggestions for learning through words, music, and play. Each backpack contains four books and four learning activities based around a particular theme like “Insects and Spiders,” “Fairy Tales and Folk Tales,” and “All About Me / Todo Sobre Mi.” Kits are available in English and Spanish.

Digital Resources
In addition to being able to checkout and download eBooks, audiobooks, and videos to your digital devices using free apps, the Library District also has specific online resources for young children to help them learn to read and develop a love of books.

Apps for Downloads – Try one of the free apps available to you to download or stream digital materials from the Library. OverDrive is one of the most popular apps, along with RBDigital for audiobooks. Odilo is great for Spanish-language materials.

TumbleBooks – This eResource is a collection of children’s eBooks with added animation, sound, music, and narration that are perfect for reading and entertaining. TumbleBooks offers digital books on demand, so there are no checkouts, holds, late fees, or fear of spilled apple juice! This makes it perfect for family vacations and road trips since you can use your laptop, tablet, or smartphone to access the books.

BookFLIX – Explore the world of reading with BookFLIX by Scholastic. This eResource is perfect for PreK-3, early readers, reluctant readers and English Language Learners. It includes 190 animated, talking picture books and more than 50 books in Spanish. Plus, users can play educational games.

Read Along Books
Read Alongs are a selection of children’s books that have audio embedded in the book. This allows young readers to hear the story and language as they follow along with the pictures and words. Another option for narrated books is the selection of “Book Kits” which include an audio CD (and occasionally a DVD) to accompany the book. There are also audiobook read along options through the digital apps.

Summer Reading Challenge
The annual Summer Reading Challenge is a fun way to stay engaged in reading and learning throughout the summer. The program is free, and we have versions for all ages. Even babies and toddlers! Literacy activities are abundant during the summer with programs and events tied to a theme and designed for families to have together at the library and at home. The popular Summer Reading Challenge features entertaining performances, storytimes, creative activities, and much more to develop a love of libraries and books in even the youngest participants. Summer Reading gets underway in late-May and goes through mid-August.

Your Librarians
The professional staff at Poudre River Public Library District is a great resource for families. They can point you to age-appropriate materials and programs, offer book recommendations, connect you with local organizations, and much more. The Children’s Librarians are especially happy to answer questions about developing early literacy skills and instilling a love of reading in your child.

Stop by any of the three library locations – Old Town Library, Council Tree Library, and Harmony Library – to get a library card and to access all of the free resources and services available to you and your family. More information about the Library District can be found online at www.PoudreLibraries.org or by calling the Answer Center at 970-221-6740.


Written by Katie Auman, a communications specialist with the Poudre River Public Library District.