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Someone asked a great question about Storybox Special. How do you decide which books to put in your boxes? (If you don’t know about Storybox, click here to read more.)

Here’s the basic mix. Each box contains:

  • books that support at least one early literacy skill,
  • books that support a developmental task of children ages birth to five (for instance, a new baby in the family, learning about emotions,  or potty training),
  • bilingual books, and
  • at least one teacher resource book.

More specifically, each box will have at least:

  • 3 books for phonological awareness,
  • 1 book for letter knowledge,
  • 5 books for narrative skills,
  • 1 book for print awareness,
  • 2 books for print motivation,
  • 3 books for vocabulary,
  • 2-4 books for developmental tasks,
  • 2 bilingual books,
  • 1 seasonal book, and
  • 2 board books.

Each box contains about twenty-five books.

Through an El Pomar grant, we are wrapping up processing twelve new boxes and hope to start circulating them after January’s early literacy class. If you know anyone in Alamosa or Monte Vista who is a home childcare provider, let them know we’d love to have them join Storybox Special. There’s no cost to participate and the only requirement is to attend the one-time class.

Read on!




It’s another Saturday and another day that I’m plugging away on my presentation for the ARSL conference coming up very soon in October in Denver. (I’ll also be at CAL in Loveland the week before, helping with the CLEL annual meeting and its early literacy un-conference.)

I love and adore teaching but don’t ever let anyone fool you into thinking it’s easy. Prepping is some of the hardest work I do.

But then presenting, ie teaching, time? It’s some of the most satisfying and rewarding work I do.

If you’re going to be at ARSL, drop me a comment or line. I’d love to see you while you are there!

And oh yeah, my presentation is titled “Early Literacy Storytimes: More than Eensy Weensy Spider.”

Hope to see you there,


P.S. Here’s the code for the acronyms: ARSL=Association for Rural and Small Libraries, CAL=Colorado Association of Libraries, and CLEL=Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy

I forgot to mention in the post below that, if you want to join Southern Peak’s Storybox Special program, attendance at the early literacy class on January 23 will qualify your home childcare for that.

And that’s ALL that is required! 🙂

Come learn about early literacy and then every month, I will deliver to your door a box of books specially selected to support your efforts in developing early literacy skills in the children you care for. It’s truly free and truly a win-win for all concerned. You become a better caregiver, your children get ready for school in an age appropriate way, and the library reaches out to kids and families we might not ever see otherwise.

Scroll down the left-hand column to see more pictures of the Storybox Special and to read more about it.

Remember, the class is free,  you can earn continuing education credits, and you join Storybox just by attending. But I need you to pre-register so I can prepare enough hand-outs. Call the library at 719-589-6592.

See you there!


33-35% of children start school already behind. What? Are they suffering from a lack of the latest educational toys? Did

photo from flickr's The Commons

they not have access to and instruction in computers? Did their parents neglect them and not sign them up for baby gym, music, and ballet?

No, they simply weren’t read to between the ages of birth and five.

33-35% of children in this country begin kindergarten not knowing how a book works, not being able to listen to a story, not being able to sing a song or nursery rhyme.

And all those “not’s” and more add up to a child not ready to learn to read. They add up to a child more likely to drop out of school, become a teen parent, spend time in juvenile or jail. Even if they fall into the best case scenario rather than the worst, they grow into young adults who “fail to launch.”

Want to learn more about the why’s and why not’s? Want to become part of the solution? Spend four hours with me on one Saturday–and then 10 minutes a day with a kid. Come find out more at an early literacy class I’m teaching here in Alamosa. (It’s January 23, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Alamosa Family Recreation Center.)

You’ll learn what early literacy is (and isn’t), how it works, what resources are available (free) to encourage and promote it, and how to put its principles into action. The class is free and I promise I won’t waste your time. Just call the library at 719-587-3065 to register. Parents, teachers, childcare providers, and anyone else who cares about kids can gain from this class. And you can even earn continuing ed credits. 🙂

Hope to see you there!


Come to Walmart in Alamosa on Thursday, October 8, from 3:30-6:30 p.m.theveryhungrycaterpillarl and be a part of breaking a record!

Jumpstart for Young Children is sponsoring Read for the Record, the one day world-wide reading of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Last year 700,000 children heard Corduroy. This year the goal is for 1 million children to all hear The Very Hungry Caterpillar on one day.

I’ll be at Walmart (one of the sponsors for Read for the Record) in Alamosa from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. reading to all children who want to be a part of the record breaking.

I’ll also have information on early literacy and Southern Peaks’ library services for adults.

Can’t make it to Walmart that day? You can still go to Jumpstart’s website and pledge to read to a child that day.  Every child counts–whether for the record breaking on October 8, or more especially, for the life and blessing they are to us all. Let’s give them the best.

Change a life; read to a child!




It’s that time of year again! If you’ve been thinking about homeschooling, and you’re, or you need more info, or whatever! Come join me Thursday evening, August 13, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. here at Southern Peaks Public Library in Alamosa, CO.

I have homeschooled for fourteen years (my oldest is a junior in college now) and I am still going at it with my youngest. I’ve lived and schooled in three states, primarily in rural areas, and love providing folks with the info and resources to make the best educational decisions for their children. Homeschooling is not for every child or every family but it is one of many viable (and legal) educational choices we have for our children.

Hope to see you there!


This week of May 24 is dedicated to getting all the last minute matters for Summer Reading done. You won’t be hearing much from me here on the blog as a result. 😉 I will be back next week though.


  • catrow-spot-1June 3  Lisa Moore and The Penny Project by the Train
  • June 10  Games in the Park: Get Creative with Play, Cole Park
  • June 17  Christine Jones-Daboll, drama & music, by the Train
  • June 24  Games in the Park: Get Creative with Play, Cole Park
  • July 1  Peggy Godfrey,  Sidewalk Poetry, check back for location
  • July 8  Games in the Park: Get Creative with Play, Cole Park
  • July 15  Games in the Park: Get Creative with Play, Cole Park
  • July 22 Shadows & Journeys, Now or Never Theatre from Boulder,  CO, Special location: Boys & Girls Club, Alamosa
  • July 29  Games, Awards, and Ice Cream by the Train

hopscotchIs there a connection between reading and playing? The jury may still be out on a firm conclusion but the articles linked below are very persuasive that there may be a connection.

And why not play games? What have we or our children to lose? Over the last couple decades, schools have taught and tested our children at younger and younger ages–yet scores have continued to decline.

Earlier is not better. Dr. David Elkind wrote in the 80’s about research showing that if we taught children too soon (in other words, taught them things that were not age appropriate) that they did not truly learn those things, they became stressed out, and by third grade they hated school.

So here’s to games and letting kids be kids!

School Recess Improves Behavior

Oakland Group Seeks More Play in School Day (summary and audio)

The 3 R’s? A Fourth is Crucial Too: Recess (based on a study from the journal Pediatrics)

And tell me what you think!


It’s hhheeeerrreee! What you’ve been waiting for! All the gory details on


summer reading! Read on! 🙂

Looking  for fun, games, and creative ways to fill those summer hours? Then come “Be Creative @ your library” with the Sum

mer Reading Club at Southern Peaks Public Library in Alamosa from June 1 through July 31.   The program is open to all young people, from birth through young teens, with visiting guests, prize drawings, storytime for toddlers, Mornings on the Lawn, and new this year—Games in the Park.

Why games this year? “Last summer we had a program when we all learned old dances—and then we got up and danced! Kids and adults alike had a great time. It got me to thinking about how little children get to play together any more,” says Babette Reeves, Children and Youth Librarian. “Since then, several studies have come out over the past year showing that in schools where games have been recently re-introduced to recess, the kids are doing better in their learning and social skills. Finally, games help us relax and loosen up and that helps us be more creative. We’re really sensing a lot of excitement around these game days and hope folks will come out and have a good time together.” All game days will be on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. in Cole Park behind the library.

On other Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. the library will continue its tradition of “Mornings on the Lawn” under the tents near the train with special guests and activities. The Penny Project and Sidewalk Poetry are just two of the programs offered. A special presentation by the Now or Never Theatre from Boulder, Colorado, will also be part of this summer’s creative line-up. Toddler Time for children from birth through age 3 will happen on Thursday mornings at 10:15 a.m. Complete schedules are available in the newspaper each week, from the library at 589-6592, or on the web sites, or here at The Passionate Librarian, . All programs are free of charge.

New this year is the opportunity to register your children online at under the Summer Reading link on the left. “We realize how busy parents are and hope online registration will make life a little easier while still encouraging parents and children to read during the summer,” says Reeves. “Registration is optional, there’s no deadline, and it can be completed from any computer anywhere at any time. Registration will help us with planning, and with a good response to it this year, we may be able to move reading logs online next year.”

Reading logs can be picked up at the library beginning May 25; children can begin recording their time as of June 1 and continue through July 31. Reading logs are time-based with opportunities to log “bonus reading” time as well.  Studies show that children who read just fifteen minutes each day during the summer retain skills needed for school in the fall.  And all reading counts!  Children may read books, magazines (yes, you can check these out, too!), cookbooks, game books, comic books, hobby books, newspapers, menus, signs, even web sites!  A child may be read to, may read on his or her own, or may read to another person in order to earn their time.  The Summer Reading program hopes to encourage children and their families to be creative and enjoy the downtime of summer with books and with each other!

Come have fun!


OK now folks, I’m thrilled you’re so excited about summer reading coming up–but isn’t it a little early to be asking for details? It’s still only April! 😉 (Actually, I got my first call in March!) I promise I won’t let you miss anything!catrow-spot-1

But here’s the basic gory details for those who just can’t wait to hear:

  • Program dates are June 1 through July 31.
  • Flyers with program info will be available no later than May 15th. They will also be provided to Alamosa schools for teachers to send home.
  • Registration is encouraged but optional and will be available online. There is no registration deadline. (You’ve got enough going on; I don’t need to put a deadline on you too).
  • All programs will be on Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.; most (but not all) will be held by the train. More info later.
  • Toddler Time (ages birth to 3-ish) will continue, date and times to be announced. Other storytimes will be on hold until September.
  • Reading goals will encourage reading a minimum of 15 minutes a day. Why? Because 15 minutes a day maintains kids’ reading levels until they are back in school.

And THAT is the most important thing about summer reading! 😉

Much, much more here later. Keep checking back.


calendar1Remember–no Toddler Time this Friday, April 17. Babette will be at the state library conference in Pueblo.

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Contact Info for Babette

email babette(dot)reeves(at)gmail(dot)com
snail mail
73 State Avenue
Alamosa, CO 81101

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