About TALK: Text and Learn for Kindergarten

Parents are their child’s first and best teachers. Researchers know that daily interactions with young children can help build literacy skills and prepare the child for success in school and in life, but that message isn’t reaching all of today’s busy parents.

With TALK, text messages will suggest simple activities parents can try at home with their child. Activities don’t require any special materials. Most take less than 20 minutes to complete, but the benefits last a lifetime!

This service is based on the idea that public libraries are for everyone, and are much more than just buildings. We understand that busy parents, especially those who are under-resourced, may not be able to bring their children to the library, or have time to read parenting books. Text messaging provides a fast and easy way to deliver important early learning concepts children need to learn before they reach kindergarten.

TALK Project Team

The Ypsilanti District Library led a team of Washtenaw County libraries including Dexter District Library, Milan Public Library, Northfield Township Area Library, and Saline District Library, to bring this service to families. Using a research-based program called Every Child Ready to Read, library staff worked together to create ideas for activities parents can use to increase a child’s school readiness.

Every Child Ready to Read promotes five practices–reading, singing, talking, writing and playing–to help children be ready to learn to read and write when they start school. These pre-reading skills include hearing letter sounds, building hand muscles and dexterity, and recognizing letters and numbers.

Washtenaw Literacy and the Success by 6 Great Start Collaborative reviewed the texts to make sure they are easy to read, offer activities parents can fit into their already busy daily routines, and use supplies readily available around the house. The Washtenaw Intermediate School District, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, and The Children’s Literacy Network are on board to help promote this valuable learning service.


This project is funded (in part) with a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the Library of Michigan.

Institute of Museum and Library Services

Beyond TALK

TALK is intended for children under 6. Once kids reach kindergarten age, your local public librarians and your child’s teachers can recommend activities to build on the foundation you’ve established with TALK.

To contact your community’s library:
Ann Arbor District Library
Chelsea District Library
Dexter District Library
Manchester District Library
Milan Public Library
Northfield Township Area Library
Salem-South Lyon District Library 
Saline District Library 
Ypsilanti District Library