TRL offers programs and resources for early learners


Families with an early learner can find a growing collection of helpful resources, programs, and materials offered by Timberland Regional Library.

Unique book displays, narrated read-along books, audiobooks, story times, online resources, digital learning programs, and much more are all available with a Timberland Regional Library (TRL) card, said Lacey Timberland Librarian Kerry Martin.

“Early literacy is strongly correlated to success in school and in adult life,” Martin said. “Parents and caregivers are children's first and best teachers, and our collections and programs are carefully considered so that we can support family literacy.”

All early learning programs, resources, and materials offered by TRL are aligned with Washington State’s kindergarten readiness initiatives. An example of this would be ABCMouse, an award-winning digital education program for children ages 2-8.

“One of the most exciting digital resources for preschoolers and their families is ABCMouse,” Martin said. “ABCMouse provides a variety of learning activities in a fun, interactive format that kids find engaging.”

TRL also offers a variety of digital resources, including Baby Sign Language, Jbrary, Embrace Race, Children’s Reading Foundation, and several in Spanish such as Chile Crece Contigo and Colorin’ Colorado, and Spanish language guides.

Some of the other digital resources in the lending collection include:

  • Video picture books, which can be checked out in the OverDrive collection.
  • Vox Books, which offer a narrated read-along experience for kids, including in Spanish.
  • Launchpads, which are tablets loaded with educational activities that do not connect to the internet.
  • Playaways, which give kids access to the audio version of their favorite books without connecting to the internet.
  • Kanopy for Kids, which features a choice of films and TV series that help children develop social emotional skills and reinforce valuable learning topics.

As part of the library visitation experience, TRL offers the Picture Book City collection for young readers. The collection is arranged thematically in “neighborhoods” to make it easy and rewarding for young children to browse.

“The goal is to encourage families to read, write, sing, talk and play every day so that kids in our communities grow up to be enthusiastic readers and learners,” Martin said. “We want them to find materials that they will be excited to read, and our Picture Book City neighborhoods encourage children's natural curiosity, which is an important trait that supports overall literacy.”

At the Lacey Timberland Library, the children's area is designed to encourage imaginative play as well as family reading, Martin said. A recently painted “window” mural "looks out” on a playful woodland scene, and books are displayed in a way that maximizes visibility and accessibility for young children.

“Play is a vital component of emotional and physical literacy,” Martin said. “Preschool age kids have lots of energy, and our space is meant to encourage kids to interact with each other, with toys, and with books.”

Lacey and other TRL locations will return to offering in-person library programs starting in September. In-person family storytimes will return after Labor Day weekend, every Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Lacey also will offer open play times designed to support literacy building, Martin said.

Visit TRL.org for digital resources for children and go to Event.TRL.org to check for both online and in-person events and storytimes.


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