Wicomico Public Libraries is pleased to announce it has received a $9,500 grant from the Albert J. Bailey Wicomico County Fund at the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. These funds will help to support the Outreach Readiness program, an expansion of the already successful Reader Van service.
The most recent Kindergarten Readiness Assessments show that when compared to other Maryland preschoolers, Wicomico County’s youngest and most at-risk students are not prepared to enter kindergarten. These results demonstrate the need for intervention in providing training that encourages development of learning skills, creation of foundational vocabulary, and engaging activities that reinforce healthy, active and imaginative learning.
The Reader Van service addresses this need by providing a complete literacy learning kit to local preschools and daycare providers on a monthly basis. The Outreach Readiness program expands upon this with professional development, instruction on how to integrate literacy into the day to day curriculum, and by providing exposure to assessment measures within the classroom. Instructors will model best practices in the use of story time and other literacy or language based instruction.
The program includes workshops, educational materials and activities specifically highlighting the Ready 4 Kindergarten measures, and totes that target the Ready 4 Kindergarten Assessment and the Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ-3) measures. Using the “train the trainer” approach allows for maximum impact and provides professional development within the daycare community; a certification requirement.
In 2016, the Reader Van served 20 child care providers/preschools and 202 at-risk students. Today, it serves 31 centers and 574 students.
For more information about the Reader Van and the Outreach Readiness program, contact Krystal Dzimiera, Reader Van Coordinator at 410-749-3612 ext. 162 or email krystald@wicomico.org.
Wicomico Public Libraries are located in Downtown Salisbury, the Centre at Salisbury, on the grounds of the Pittsville Elementary and Middle School, and via the Bookmobile. The Library strives to create an accessible, welcoming space where the community can discover new ideas and connect with one another. Wicomico Public Libraries offer numerous resources such as free Internet access, a variety of classes and events, and an online Digital Library. Your Library supports learning, economic development, and community engagement. You Belong @ Wicomico Public Libraries!
For more information on Wicomico Public Libraries or if you wish to become a Friend of the Library, please visit our Web site – WicomicoLibrary.org or check out our newsletter – Belong – in the Library or online.

Photo caption:
Andrea Berstler, Executive Director, Wicomico Public Libraries, receives a check from Erica Joseph, President, Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. The Albert J. Bailey Wicomico County Fund provided an award in the amount of $9,500 in support of the Outreach Readiness program, an extension of the library’s successful Read Van service.

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