The Ready to Read Resource Center is a statewide resource for families and caregivers of infants and toddlers in Alaska. The Center’s mission is to promote early literacy development in Alaska’s pre-kindergarten children. To achieve this mission, the Center:
- Loans free reading kits to parents, caregivers, and organizations that serve infants and toddlers such as child care providers, libraries, health clinics, etc.
- Educates about and advocates for early literacy by giving presentations to caregivers and early childhood organizations.
With over 150 reading kits created specifically for babies, toddlers, and twos, the Ready to Read Resource Center hopes to engage all of Alaska’s youngest children with high quality, age-appropriate books.
See our current brochure for a quick guide to the reading kits we offer.
In 2006, the Anchorage Public Library partnered with the Alaska State Library in the statewide push to get children ready to read. The Center was born through a generous grant from the Alaska State Library, with support from the U. S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Some of the factors that influenced the creation of the Center:
- During the first three years of a child’s life, the brain develops at a phenomenal rate and creating the foundations for learning to read.
- More and more of Alaska’s children are spending part or all of their day in child care or childhood development programs and the children in these programs greatly benefit from a generous infusion of books.
- Many rural Alaskan communities have no bookstores or libraries and those communities that do have libraries, even in urban areas, may not find adequate collections of books for infants and toddlers as these collections are expensive to maintain.
Articles About the Center
- Delivering Early Literacy Resources to Remote Alaska (2013, Urban Libraries Council)
- New Early Literacy Kit Developed for Infants and Toddlers Statewide (2012, Newspoke)
- March 2012: Early Literacy Projects in Alaska and Kansas Prepare the Youngest Readers(2012, Institute of Museum and Library Service)
- Preparing Toddlers to Read Starts When They are Infants (2011, Alaska Star)
- You Can Help Fight Crime by Teaching a Young Child to Read (2009, Anchorage Daily News)
The Ready to Read Resource Center’s Advisory Board meets annually to discuss progress of goals and guide future activities. Current board members are:
- Beth Snyder – Early Childhood Specialist, Anchorage School District
- Abbe Hensley – Executive Director, Best Beginnings, Anchorage
- Melinda Myers – Program Manager, thread, Anchorage
- Carrie Longpre – Director, Aniak Public Library
- Sue Sherif – Librarian, retired