During April, Willard Library, in partnership with Ypsilanti District Library, launched the TALK Program (Talk and Learn for Kindergarten).

The TALK program is a text messaging service that helps parents and caregivers with children 5 years old and younger get their little ones ready for school success.

TALK is derived from the research-based program Every Child Ready to Read, which promotes five practices to build essential prereading skills: reading, singing, talking, writing, and playing. Each message begins with one of the five practices and details an activity parents can use to help their child develop early literacy skills.

The content goes beyond literacy and helps parents build other important skills such as premath and social emotional skills. While the service is available and valuable to every family, the goal is to reach parents who may not otherwise have the time or the ability to attend library programs.

It is available in English and Spanish.

Parents and caregivers who sign up for TALK receive two text messages (message and data rates may apply) a week with ideas that increase back-and-forth parent/child interactions and provide activities for little ones to learn through exploration and discovery. The service also notifies parents of free activities and services at the library.

It's easy to sign up! Caregivers can text TALK to 75547 or visit www.texttolearn.com. Only a birth date and ZIP Code are required. This information allows us to send developmentally appropriate activities aligned with a child's age, and notices of free local family events.

Please take a minute to watch our video promoting the TALK program. The Youth Services staff had a great time creating this, and we hope you enjoy watching it!

Tynisha Dungey is reading "Libertie: A Novel" by Kaitlyn Greenridge.