Ready to Read!

Organization Name:
Minnesota Children's Museum
City & State:
Organization Website:
Describe your creative piece – what is it and what has it been used for, and why is it innovative?
The piece is an "Early Literacy Ladder". They hang in three local libraries we have done literacy installations for. Each rung of the "ladder" represents an adult message that accompanies an interactive in the installation. For example, the icon "Know Letters" hangs above the vegetable bin on the vending cart and encourages adult caretakers to sort letters with their children. The innovation lies in the fact that we re-interpreted the American Library Association's early literacy terms to make them easier to understand for our target audiences, which are adult caretakers with low literacy levels, or are English language learners.
What issue or problem were you working to address with this piece?
The importance of early literacy learning, and being able to communicate that visually to an audience that may have a low literacy level, or are English language learners. Minnesota Children’s Museum and the St. Paul community are committed to all children being ready to read when they enter school. To achieve this goal the Museum works with community organizations such as libraries to support adults in developing children’s early literacy skills.
How has your submission successfully impacted your organization’s ability to solve this issue/problem?
The American Library Association has an early literacy program entitled "Every Child Ready to Read" with messages for adults about 6 pre-reading skills children need. Some of these skills are worded in terminology that is unfamiliar to many adults. Our Museum decided to rephrase these terms into simpler language, and create a simple icon for each skill. This helps adults who have a low literacy level and/or are English language learners by giving them a representational symbol that has meaning to them, as well as being more memorable for all adults. Our Museum has begun to use these messages in exhibits, programs and communication at the Museum, in partner libraries, and in parent education programs in the community. By making early literacy parent education more accessible and understandable to all adults, the Museum is helping children in the community be more prepared to succeed in school, and become lifelong learners.
Creative Submission - Files