Take home a family Storytime Kit (English or en español) at the “Be Ready Fair” on Thursday, May 6. A message from early-literacy librarian Melanie Kozlowski, and PK-2 Principal Erin Miller...

Melanie Kozlowski and Erin Miller

How much of our brain structure is developed before the age of 5? Would you guess … 25%, 50%, 75%?

The amazing answer: 90%. Babies, infants, and toddlers may not be able to form sentences, but their brains rapidly absorb the words, stories, songs, and positive play-time we give them. Feelings, behaviors, language, learning — it’s all being developed.

Early learning is crucial. It leads to better grades in school, higher graduation rates, and even lowered crime rates.

We at the Library, the School, and EVICS (Estes Valley Investment in Childhood Success) are concerned by a recent trend: only 36% of Estes Valley kids arrive for their first day of Kindergarten meeting school-readiness benchmarks. That’s why our three organizations are working to connect families with essential early-literacy resources.

We’re spotlighting two special opportunities to make those connections. April is the Month of the Young Child, and the first week of May brings it all together.

First is Kindergarten Round-Up—Monday, May 3—for kids starting school this fall. It’s the launching pad for the Class of 2034! Schedule an appointment at estesschools.org/epes.

That same week, it’s the Be Ready Fair (as in “be ready for school and lifelong learning”) on Thursday, May 6 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. It’s for every family with kids age 0 to 8.

Everything families need is all bundled together. Cruise into the Elementary School parking lot for a drive-through treasure-trove of free early-learning goodies: books, backpacks, hands-on activities, snacks, and more. Kids will enjoy seeing cheerful costumed characters, and bright shiny fire trucks too.

Everyone will take home an Estes Valley Library Storytime Kit, packed with creative ideas — in both English and Spanish — including:

  1. Register your incoming Kindergartner to receive 100 free books in the mail.
  2. Reserve monthly grab-and-go Storytime Explorer kits: a book, activities and games, all in one bag. Add a parent —- and you’re on your way to fun and meaningful literacy-learning.
  3. Sign up for the 2021 Summer Reading Program—and earn delightful kid-friendly prizes for time spent listening to books.
  4. Attend free programs, like Library Storytimes and Early Childhood Music. Virtual programs are on the Library YouTube channel—with in-person programs returning this summer.
  5. Indulge your child’s interests and curiosity with your Library Card. Search the catalog and check out stacks of books. Thousands of possibilities are within reach. Dozens of new picture books and early-reader titles are always on display!

It’s rocket-fuel for young minds to soar! There is no sign-up or registration necessary for the “Be Ready Fair”—it’s open to all.

The Library, the School, and EVICS are pleased to share these “Be Readiness” goals, a partnership as important as ever.

Don’t have young kids at home? Share this news with a local family you know. Your friendly encouragement just might open the doors to someone’s lifelong joy of learning and reading.