There’s a New Teacher in Town

Miss Humblebee’s Academy is an early literacy program for 3‑6 year olds (and their parents) to prepare for success in kindergarten and beyond. With hundreds of fun, interactive lessons in Math, Science and Social Studies, Language and Literacy, Art, and Music, the curriculum increases in difficulty as the user progresses through the program.

Miss Humblebee’s Academy assess cognitive skills at regular intervals for measurable improvement toward kindergarten readiness and offers a developmental observation checklist allowing parents to review and record social and emotional growth as an additional condition of preparedness. Libraries can also access aggregate data to see how young learners progress.

Sounds too good to be true? Read a review:

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Understanding Community Goals Leads to Success for Libraries and Communities – A post from the 2016 Library of the Year

By Leah Sewell, Communications Editor, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Have you ever been on the other line of a survey call? I haven’t, personally, but I’ve often wondered if I would be a willing participant. Perhaps in the midst of a particularly juicy book, soaking up one-on-one time with my fast-growing 9-year-old or closely watching a new recipe simmer, what would compel me to answer the phone, but also to converse with a researcher for an indeterminate spell? Well, for one thing, I’d pretty much drop everything and let dinner burn to gab with any stranger, on the phone or otherwise, when the topic is libraries.

You see, in my career as the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library’s Communication Editor, I am enamored with the “public” part of the public library. How does the public feel about our services? How will they react to a minor or a major change? How can we woo them, engage them, help them feel a part the community through literacy and learning, and subsequently change their lives for the better?

My library is focused on the public and the public good. It’s asking the right questions, discovering people’s goals and needs and assisting them so they can reach them. Ultimately, it’s about making a difference in the community by working with our fellow citizens to make their lives better. That’s a good chunk of the reason why we’re the Library Journal / Gale, a part Cengage Learning 2016 Library of the Year. We have our ears to the ground.

When the 2016 Pew Research Center report, Libraries at the Crossroads, was released in September 2015, I wondered about the people on the other end of those cell phones and land lines. Those individuals that Pew cites variously as “a share of Americans” or “a majority of Americans,” or “low-income Americans” are real individuals with busy lives, loved ones and their own dinners to prepare. Yet, they all sat a spell to gab about libraries.

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Digital Solutions Promote Pre-K Literacy Development and School Readiness

Posted on November 1, 2015
By Diane M. Sweetwood

Many research studies have shown the positive effects of quality early childhood education on future academic development, educational attainment, and earnings later in life. Yet, 59% of preschool-aged children across the nation—approximately 2.5 million—are not enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs through state preschool, Head Start, and special education preschool services.
Although as many as 30% of three- and four-year olds are fortunate to attend private preschools and child care centers, hundreds of thousands of children have no access to the programs that can help them build literacy skills and prepare them for kindergarten and beyond. The U.S. Department of Education’s 2015 report, “A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America,” notes that “while both states and the federal government invest in early learning, these efforts have fallen short of what is needed to ensure that all children can access a high-quality early education that will prepare them for success.”

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EDUCATION + SMILES = EFFECTIVE LEARNING

Early Literacy at the public library

Miss Humblebee’s Academy is a new early literacy product that will assist young learners in building foundational learning skills. Partnering with Miss Humblebee LLC., Gale, a part of Cengage Learning has co-developed a robust resource tailored specifically to the school and public library user, which includes the assessment tools libraries need to measure their impact on early literacy development in their communities. Studies show that participating in quality early learning can boost children’s educational attainment and earnings later in life, underscoring the importance for libraries to provide resources that serve this young audience.

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Put Preschoolers in Your Community on a Path to Learning

Pre-K learning for public libraries

Offer highly-visual and content-rich digital learning that will appeal to young children who are at the peak of curiosity and wonderment. With accessibility on tablets and smart phones, and anytime, anywhere access, educational materials are now easier than ever to integrate into daily life.

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Taxicab Confessions: ALA Edition

By Carrie Stefanski

I learned first-hand that there are more library conversations than the ALA show floor can handle, or maybe I was just high on libraries during the long conference weekend. Either way, the need for libraries followed me on all my ride-share trips around SF. And this made me happy!

Here’s the inside scoop on how the library love spilled out of the conference and into the taxi cabs.

Stop 1: Periodical 15

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Behind the Bugs: The Story of Miss Humblebee’s Creator

By Tina Creguer

In 1954, a book publisher challenged Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) to write a book using 250 words identified as key words for young readers to learn and instructed him to “bring back a book children can’t put down.”  And indeed he did. His success in marrying learning, reinforcement, engagement, and fun in the seminal Cat in the Hat was unprecedented.  His revolutionary approach introduced children to a way of learning that brought together appealing, relatable characters with basic learning concepts.

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Putting Preschoolers on the Path to Academic Success

Online Learning for Preschoolers

Whether or not they agree on the funding and implementation of programs, nearly every parent, teacher, and general citizen agrees that preschool education promotes learning at an early age and helps prepare children to be better learners.  Studies have shown that, “these early years before children ever show up for the first day of kindergarten are crucial for their brain development, and for fostering the very kinds of cognitive and social skills — concentration, impulse control, emotional stability — that help them do well later in school and in the job market.”1

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Miss Humblebee’s Academy Gives Libraries an Outcomes-Based Program to Support Kindergarten-Readiness

Early Literacy at the public library

By Kristina Massari

Supporting public libraries’ life-long learning initiatives, Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, is pleased to announce Miss Humblebee’s Academy, a new early literacy product that will assist the library’s youngest learners in building foundational literacy skills. Partnering with Miss Humblebee LLC., Gale has co-developed a robust product tailored specifically to the public library user, which includes the assessment tools libraries need to measure their impact on early literacy development in their communities.Studies show that participating in quality early learning can boost children’s educational attainment and earnings later in life, underscoring the importance for public libraries to provide resources that serve this young audience.

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Marketing the Virtual Library with the Wizard

By Nick Schultz

I’m lucky. Through my role with Gale Customer Care, I have the privilege of providing consultative services to the People’s University – many call this their local library – and the unsung heroes they employ on their journey to the betterment of society. After engaging with public librarians for the better part of two years, I think the following quote highlights the contrast between a librarian’s ideal library patron, Virginia Woolf, to the current reality.

“I ransack public libraries, and find them full of sunk treasure.”  -Virginia Woolf

As much of a modernist as Woolf was – I’m sure she’d be shocked to discover the virtual stream of information that exists in today’s world. The truth is most library patrons don’t allocate hours of time to “ransack” a library’s website troving for an online resource treasure chest.  In fact, according to a recent study done by Pew 91% of Americans think public libraries are important to their communities, yet 80% of Americans say they don’t know what their library has to offer.  Herein lies the challenge. How do libraries market their evolving services to their communities?

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