The Mid-Continent Public Library System announced the launch of a new app designed to help caregivers engage in meaningful, rewarding and fun literacy activities with their children. Free to download from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, MCPL’s Grow A Reader app focuses on developing children’s pre-reading skills so they can become good readers and lifelong learners. of life, according to a statement.
“Caregivers are their children’s first teachers, and learning to read begins long before a child is able to pick up a book,” said Katie McDonald, MCPL’s youth services manager. “The Grow A Reader app is an easy tool that families can use to help their children build a solid foundation of early literacy, which we know is especially important when children start school and end up move from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn.'”
With a variety of videos, books and daily literacy tips, caregivers and their children can use Grow A Reader to work on 10 early literacy skills: Singing and Rhyming, Playing and Imagining, Writing and Creating, Speaking and listen, and finally, read. and share.
The user experience of the app can be personalized according to the age of the child (baby, toddler or preschooler) and contains content curated by library staff and updated regularly. Some content is also available in English and Spanish.
The books tab allows users to find suggested titles and put library books on hold for pickup at their local MCPL branch. The videos tab features videos of MCPL staff members performing songs, games and activities that caregivers and children can enjoy and replicate at home to further practice their skills. The final tab, Tips, provides ideas on how to support your child’s learning, such as “Reading is everywhere!” Point out the print all around you. Street signs, billboards, and grocery stores all have words printed all over them.
Grow A Reader users can also access other library services and resources within the app, including Dial-A-Story, an audio recording of a story hour with an MCPL staff member (the stories are updated monthly), as well as a list of upcoming MCPL programs. for children to which caregivers can register.
The Grow A Reader app will also soon be home to MCPL’s signature children’s book series featuring the library’s mascot, Marty the Martian. Written by Bridget Heos and illustrated by Dan Regan, the five books in the series will be released over the next few months, each focusing on a different set of early literacy skills. App users will first have access to the digital version of the books. More information about the series will be shared this spring before the first book is released.
Learn more about MCPL’s early literacy resources, programs and services at mymcpl.org/Kids.