MSU Extension enhances reading for young learners

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Contact(s): Agriculture and Natural Resources

As a way to improve the school readiness of the state’s youngest learners, MSU Extension’s MI Stronger Families program is now offering family book sheets to libraries, schools, day care centers and families throughout the state. Available on more than 60 of the most popular books for children, the book sheets provide tips and ideas for families and caregivers to optimize reading time and enhance the literacy of their young children.

The MI Stronger Families book sheets make this easier for parents and caregivers by matching books with activities that extend hands-on learning and advance specific learning skills.

Developed from highly recommended early childhood books, each MI Stronger Families book sheet includes a short summary and tips for reading aloud with children. They also identify key questions to ask children before, during and after reading the book and offer activities that can enhance the book reading in seven main areas of school readiness: math and science, reading readiness, music and movement, motor skills, thinking skills, art and pretend play.

In addition to promoting early literacy skills, MSU Extension also uses family book sheets to support military children through various stages of their family members’ service. Using the same format, military family book sheets are available on several early childhood books that address the distinctive situations military families face, such as deployment.

To help busy teachers, parents and caregivers quickly find and utilize family and military book sheets, a corresponding quick-response code is available for each sheet. Any smartphone or tablet can be used to scan the QR codes and open a virtual copy of the book sheet.

Michigan libraries, child care centers and pre-schools, as well as teachers, early childhood professionals and others working with young children may implement the QR code and family book sheet program at no cost. For more information, contact Carrie Shrier at

For more information about MSU Extension early childhood education resources and programs near you, or to learn about other ways MSU Extension supports military families, visit

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