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Melissa D.'s blog

Announcing the 2014 Bell Picture Book Awards Winners!

Good morning! We are so excited to announce the first Bell Awards!

The winning titles are:


Open This Little Book, by Jesse Klausmeier, illustrated by Suzy Lee (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2013)

open the cover to discover five characters, each with their own little
book, all within the pages of the first. Open This Little Book
celebrates the pleasures of reading, sharing stories, and having a book
of your own.


New Bell Awards Webinar December 11th!

The end of the year is fast approaching which means the first Bell Awards announcements are not far behind! Would you like to learn more about the Bell Awards and how this new CLEL initiative supports early literacy and dovetails with public library Every Child Ready to Read-based outreach and programming efforts?

Lisa Guernsey to Speak at Arapahoe Library District

The Arapahoe Library District is pleased to host author, researcher, and advocate Lisa Guernsey at the Smoky Hill Library on August 7, from 6-8pm. Lisa Guernsey is the author of Screen Time: How Electronic Media–From Baby Videos to Educational Software–Affects Your Young Child.  

Suggest a Book for the Bell Awards!

Hooray! Our new CLEL Bell Awards are now officially launched!

This is a longer post today with information about how to suggest a title for consideration for the 2014 awards.

Who Can Suggest a Title?

While we are located here in Colorado, the Bell Awards are very much a national initiative, so the Selection Committee welcomes suggested titles from everyone with an interest in picture books and early literacy, no matter where you are located.

CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards Update

Earlier this year on this blog we announced the CLEL Bell Awards, a new children's literature award created to recognize picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy development in young children.

Put February 5, 2014 on your calendar because we’ll announce the first CLEL Bell Awards then! There will be five winners, with one title representing each of five early literacy practices: Read, Write, Sing, Talk, and Play.

Call for CLEL 12 News!

CLEL 12 News

Advocacy Tip for February: Create an Elevator Speech

When you meet someone at a party, and
they ask you what you love about your job, do you talk about early
literacy? When you’re chatting with your hairdresser or your
neighbor, and you tell them you work in a library, do they ask what
exactly you do?

When that happens, do you have an
“elevator speech” ready to go?

An elevator speech is a short pitch or
description of a business, a product, or a service. It’s designed
to pique someone’s interest in the short time it takes to share an
elevator from one floor to the next.

February CLEL 12 Update!

for our monthly update on the CLEL12 project, a set of early-literacy
related activities you are invited to complete this year. The actions
were developed as basic building blocks, to help you strengthen your
role as an early-literacy advocate, increase your participation in
the early literacy community, further your own professional
development and education, and expand your knowledge of the CLEL

been exciting to see the blog posts that have been sent in as part of
CLEL 12. We appreciate learning about what’s going on in your

Picture Book Review: Pond Walk

Are you looking for a book to share during your next parents’ and caregivers’ workshop?

Literacy-Based Crafts: Rocket Ship

One way to prompt conversations between a child and their grown-up during your craft time is to include some written questions as part of the project materials. For example, if you are handing out a coloring sheet, can you write in an open-ended question or two before you photocopy it?

This very simple rocket craft adds an “outer space” coloring sheet with a couple of prompts for the grown-ups to read as the children play.

Rocket Ship

First, the rockets!

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