Ready to Read Michigan


Ready to Read Michigan Logo

The Library of Michigan’s Ready to Read Michigan program encourages reading aloud regularly to children during the early stages of life (birth up to age 5), as it ensures the development of early literacy skills and instills a love of reading.  The program is designed for public librarians to model early literacy skill development directly to families and engage in outreach to early childhood centers, classrooms and daycares throughout their community.


Ready to Read Michigan's 2020 Book Program

A Parade of Elephants

2020's Ready to Read Michigan book selection is 
A Parade of Elephants by Kevin Henkes
HarperCollins, 2018

Resources for Libraries to use with A Parade of Elephants

RTRM Presents: Kevin Henkes and "A Parade of Elephants!" Count along as author/illustrator Kevin Henkes reads his story aloud just for Ready to Read Michigan. 

The Library of Michigan's A Parade of Elephants Programming Guide highlights themes from the book, activities to model five practices of Every Child Ready to Read, booklists, and activity printables to support storytime.  

About the Program 

Ready to Read Michigan is a program that public librarians can use for storytimes & for outreach to further develop early literacy skills in the young child (ages 0-5), preparing them for their school-aged years, and to model to parents and care givers the five practices of early literacy from Public Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR); Talk, Read, Play, Sing, Write.

 The Library of Michigan’s Ready to Read Michigan is hosted by public libraries during “March is Reading Month” to promote the importance of reading aloud to young children throughout the state.  The program includes a kit based on a picture book that brings public librarians together with parents, caregivers and teachers to highlight early literacy activities for children. The kit is updated annually with a new book and new programming materials. 

For details or questions, please contact Cathy Lancaster, Youth Services Coordinator at the Library of Michigan, at 517-335-8129 or  The RTRM 2019 Program Report is now available.


NEW: Ready to Read Michigan (RTRM) Reproducibles - feel free to download, use and make available in your library. 

*Please note that some pieces above require 11"x17" paper.

Each public library location in Michigan will receive the following in their program kit:

  • 1 book for storytime use both in and outside the library (please add to circulating collection when you retire the storytime program)
  • 4 books for outreach to local school libraries/classrooms/child care facilities that the public librarian can visit and do an outreach storytime in March.
  • 5 posters, 1 for your library and 4 for the outreach storytimes.
  • Bookmarks promoting the book with early literacy tips
  • The Library of Michigan's A Parade of Elephants Programming Guide that highlights themes from the book, activities to model the five practices of ECRR, read-a-likes and activity printables.

Not a public library?
Schools, Great Starts, Head Starts, and early childhood organizations or daycares are invited to contact their local public library to schedule an outreach visit or in-house library visit!


Subscribe to the Ready to Read Michigan Newsletter for periodic updates.

January 2018 - Introducing Ready to Read Michigan! 
February 2018 - RTRM Kits & Programming Guide
March 2018 - RTRM Survey Reminder; Play in Libraries
June 2018 - A Look at Ready to Read Michigan 2018 
July/August 2018 - Book Announcement for 2019's Ready to Read Michigan
Fall 2018 - Touch the Brightest Star is Almost Here...
Winter 2019 - Consumers Energy Foundation Grant!
Spring 2019 - Ready to Read Michigan Reproducible Materials Available!
Summer 2019 - Announcement: 2020's Ready to Read MI book selection! 
December 2019 - A Parade of Elephants at Your Library

2016-2017 Newsletters on Every Child Ready to Read by Sue McCleaf Nespeca

April 2016 Newsletter - Introduction
May 2016 Newsletter - Fun with Letters for Parents and Children
June 2016 Newsletter - Fun with Words for Parents and Children
July 2016 Newsletter - Fun with Science and Math for Parents and Children
August 2016 Newsletter - Focus on Babies and Young Toddlers
September 2016 Newsletter - Focus on Twos and Threes
October 2016 Newsletter - Focus on Preschoolers
November 2016 Newsletter - Partnering with Other Caregivers in the Community
December 2016 Newsletter - Training Staff on ECRR Principles 
January 2017 Newsletter - STEM and Early Literacy 
February 2017 Newsletter - Teen Parents
March 2017 Newsletter - Programming for Preschoolers 
April 2017 Newsletter - Family Engagement and Kindergarten Readiness
May 2017 Newsletter - ECRR Toolkit for Serving Early Childhood Educators 
June 2017 Newsletter - Storytime Basics & More!
July 2017 Newsletter - Wordless Picture Books
August/September 2017 Newsletter - Storytimes at Your Library for Preschool Children with Special Needs 
October 2017 Newsletter - Supercharged Storytimes and the Every Child Ready to Read Project
November 2017 Newsletter - Early Reading and Reading Levels
December 2017 Newsletter plus Sue McCleaf Nespeca's ECRR Book Recommendations

Subscribe to the Ready to Read Michigan Newsletter.


This progject is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services with additional support provided by Consumers Energy Foundation, the Library of Michigan Foundation, and Harper Collins Publishers

IMLS Logo              Consumers Energy Logo                   LM Foundation Logo

WKAR Videos

Thanks to WKAR ( for filming author Lisa Wheeler and LM's Youth Services Coordinator Cathy Lancaster, along with students from a Lansing-area elementary school. The segments featured the Public Library Association's five practices of early literacy: Talk, Read, Write, Play, Sing.  Below are the links to the videos, hosted on WKAR's Family page.

Five Easy Reading Practices for Kids!
Reading with your child motivates children to want to learn how to read.

Reading 'Talk Time' for Kids!
‘Talk Time’ with your child develops strong oral language and reading skills.

Singing Builds Reading Skills! 
Singing along with your child at reading time helps develop their vocabulary development.

Play Time Makes Reading Fun! 
Incorporating play into reading time engages children while developing their storytelling.

Shared Reading Fun with Kids!
Shared reading is the single most important activity to help a child learn to read.


RTRM Past Years

2018: I Got the Rhythm by Connie Scohfield-Morrison

2019: Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson



Cathy Lancaster at or 517-335-8129 if you have any questions about Ready to Read Michigan or other public library youth services programs.

Updated 08/06/2020