GPL Column: GPL offers Early Literacy Mini Conference

One of my most treasured memories is a series of pictures of my toddler grandson arduously climbing over the furniture to get to the extra board books his mother had stashed behind the couch.

He would then throw them one by one across the sofa onto the floor before taking them to his mom to read. Alex had A LOT OF BOOKS so mom had “hidden” these to declutter, but Alex did not like his book availability stifled and took this on as a daily quest.

Instilling a love of reading early in children is so important for future academic success, and we are thrilled at Greenwood Public Library to support those efforts with our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program, in addition to our Early Literacy Mini Conference.

With the recent studies in brain research, scientists have found how vital early literacy activities are to later reading success. The Greenwood Public Library has received a grant to equip parents and daycare workers with information and strategies to help establish an early literacy foundation.

On May 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. we will be hosting a myriad of experts in the field. Our keynote speaker will be Mary Jo Huff, who has inspired and entertained children and educators at conferences all over the nation. Lacey Ladd, a senior literacy specialist from Marian University Center for Vibrant Schools will speak on the science of reading and strategies for early literacy.

We will have experienced educators and therapists sharing practical everyday methods for developing the fine motor and phonemic awareness skills that are invaluable for school readiness. There will be make-and-take sessions and a swag bag full of “must haves” recommended by our specialists. We will also have a food truck available.

Online registration is now open and is $10 at Please consider joining us for a day full of ideas to encourage your children to become life-long learners.

My grandson’s love of reading continues. As an 11-year-old he sends out lists of desired titles for birthday and Christmas gifts. On a visit to his home last spring we shared a book from the Young Hoosier Book Award list: “Batpig: When Pigs Fly.” After a few chapters with him rolling onto the floor with laughter, I went to bed, exhausted after a long flight to Texas.

A few minutes after retiring there was a soft knock on the door and a desperate request — could he have the book to read ahead on his own … please? Nothing could fill the heart of a librarian grandma more.

Anne Guthrie is a kid’s librarian at Greenwood Public Library. GPL staff members share in writing this twice-monthly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to [email protected].