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Growing Readers Together




Once again, the Buell Foundation is generously supporting the Colorado State Library’s (CSL) partnership with public library systems across the state to implement Growing Readers Together (GRT).  Between 2016 and 2018, fifteen library systems piloted a variety of ways to engage with Family, Friend & Neighbor (FFN) child care providers through an enhanced focus on early literacy. 

Building on those experiences, in its third year of operation GRT is moving beyond the pilot phase and expanding into twenty-four library systems throughout Colorado.  While the expansion means greater geographic reach, the overall goals of the project remain the same: 
  • FFN caregivers in Colorado will have the skills, confidence and resources to engage the children in their care with early literacy materials and activities daily.
  • Public library staff in Colorado will have strategies to connect FFN caregivers in their area with early literacy services.
  • CSL will develop state-level infrastructure for early literacy support to FFN caregivers and the children in their care.
  • Children under six throughout the state will be exposed to language and literacy-rich experiences in informal childcare settings and at the library.



Learn why libraries choose to participate in Growing Readers Together by clicking here.

The participating public libraries that have been or currently are involved in Growing Readers Together are:
map of libraries participating in Growing Readers Together
Growing Readers Together participating libraries



According to the 2013 report School Readiness for All: The Contribution of Friend, Family, and Neighbor (FFN) Care in Colorado, in 2013 an estimated 142,100 children under six experienced some type of unlicensed childcare, with an additional 160,000 receiving care from a stay-at-home parent. For the report, FFN caregivers in eight Colorado communities participated in a survey that revealed that in-home caregivers had strong interest in receiving training and resources to help them improve their knowledge and skills in educating and caring for young children, including the topics of child brain development, appropriate developmental milestones, enriching activities, and techniques to bolster early literacy. FFN providers wished to receive such training and resources in informal environments with social interactions rather than more formal classes. These findings all point to the excellent opportunity for public library staff to provide library services to FFN providers in their communities, with the ultimate goal of increasing the quality and quantity of early literacy activities that providers engage in daily with the children in their care.