Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Meet the Early Literacy Coordinator!

Early Literacy Coordinator

peik_kuan_lim_compressedMeet Peik-Kuan Lim, the Early Literacy Coordinator for the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. She brings Storytime to them! The Corvallis-Benton County Library offers Storytime at the library for infants, toddlers, wobblers and preschool children. As the Early Literacy Coordinator for the Library, Peik-Kuan brings Storytime to preschools and to day care facilties and providers. She provides these outreach activities to children who cannot get to the library for Storytime. If you are picturing Peik-Kuan standing in front of a group of children sitting quietly in neat rows, you do not have a clear picture of what she does. When Peik-Kuan brings Storytime to preschool children, she brings props, crafts and an ability to lead a group of children based on their age, mood and developmental needs. She uses her knowledge of early brain development to structure her programs and sometimes even re-structure them on the fly to meet the needs of the day. Oftentimes they spend more time singing and dancing about letters and concepts than sitting down in one spot and listening to her read a book. She says that working with special needs children requires many of the same tools. It can require some additional flexibility, but she goes through the same process to create those programs as well.

Early literacy is much more than introducing letters and words on the page. Peik-Kuan's early literacy programs create context and exposure that will help turn children into active readers. She coordinates programs that include music, art and dance, and she looks for ways to engage all of their senses. She says early literacy is about getting children comfortable with and interested in written language in any number of ways. Peik-Kuan also says children exposed reading from a young age will learn very early on how to sit and hold a book, and that is the beginning of a reader!

Peik-Kuan enjoys collaborating with her colleagues in selecting materials and assisting them in program creation. She says her colleagues are as much a resource to her as she is to them. They bounce ideas off one another and work well as a team. She also provides guidance to volunteers, parents and teachers. She has spent time developing and maintaining relationships with many agencies in the area. In this way, she can help them serve the community, and they can provide resources for our library programs. For example, she has worked with the Oregon State University Head Start program and given them advice on what age-appropriate items will encourage reading.

Peik-Kuan says she finds the most important part of her job is the ability connect with children. It is this ability that allows her to get their attention and open them up to learning. She also says she feels lucky to have one of those few jobs where she gets hugs wherever she goes.
--Interview from "Read and Recycle: City of Corvallis Employee Newsletter," Volume 21, No. 10, September 30, 2011

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