Reading goes Wild with new Montana library program
September 22, 2010
The Montana State Library and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are pleased to announce a new program that will provide communities throughout Montana with a unique learning opportunity.
The Ready 2 Read Goes Wild! trunk program provides childcare providers, preschoolers, early elementary educators, parents and caregivers, and libraries an opportunity to share language, literacy, learning, and nature with some of Montana’s youngest citizens, children from ages 3 – 7 years old.
Part of MSL’s statewide early literacy initiative, Ready 2 Read, Ready 2 Read Goes Wild! uses nature and Montana animals to spark kids’ interest in language and literacy, math and science, and the natural world that surrounds them.
Each of the Ready 2 Read Goes Wild! trunks focuses on a theme. The themes for the current trunks include owls, ungulates (hooved animals), bears, and animal tracks. Each trunk includes puppets; a number of age-appropriate fiction and non-fiction books on the theme; rubber tracks; and animal parts, including items such as skulls, hides, antlers, feathers, and hooves.
“The Ready 2 Read Goes Wild! program is an excellent way to combine the best of what the State Library and Fish, Wildlife & Parks provide for Montana’s youngest citizens,” said Darlene Staffeldt, Montana State Librarian. “By working together to spark kids’ interest in literacy through the beautiful Montana outdoors, we will provide many of Montana’s children with a sound foundation for developing positive impressions about our natural world and lifelong social and academic skills.”
In addition to the hands-on materials for children, the trunks are supplemented with a “Growing Up Wild: Exploring Nature with Young Children” activity guide. The activity guide is correlated to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Head Start standards. It is designed for educators, librarians, caregivers and parents and features 27 field-tested, hands-on, nature-based activities that include crafts, art projects, music, conservation activities, reading and math connections and more.
“Montana’s outdoors is one of life’s best classrooms,” said Kurt Cunningham, education specialist with MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks. “The Ready 2 Read Goes Wild! program capitalizes on a child’s sense of wonder and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them while building social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills that will serve them throughout their lives.”
The Ready 2 Read Goes Wild! trunks are available through your local Montana public library. As with all library materials, the Ready 2 Read Goes Wild! trunks are free to check out for library patrons in good standing.
To learn more about the Ready 2 Read Goes Wild! program, contact Sara Groves, marketing and communications coordinator at the Montana State Library at (406) 444-5357 or firstname.lastname@example.org.