Crow Tribe of Montana

Increasing Access to literacy and libraries for native american children and families

Reading Nation Waterfall is a three year federally funded project working with five Native American tribes across the country. The Crow Tribe of Montana is one of those partners and we are working with the Crow Agency Elementary School Library, Kindergarten Readiness Center, and Big Horn Public Library with three primary goals to: 1) Increase access to books and libraries to children and families, 2) Increase the number of books and reading with parents/adults at home, and 3) Increase relevance and use of libraries for Native American communities. Two primary outcomes are to increase kindergarten entrance and 4th grade reading scores for each partnering tribe. One of our main activities is to provide an unlimited number of free books to children from 0-10 at preschool, elementary school, and their public libraries through strategically placed little free libraries that will be restocked with brand new/gently used librarian curated books every week.

total books disseminated

OrganizationBOOKS DISSEMINATED
Crow Agency Elementary School25
Kindergarten Readiness Center24
Big Horn Public Library
TOTAL TO DATE (as of 1.10.21)49

Parent/Child Literacy program

At home is where readers are made. Reading Nation Waterfall will provide the books for free but it is essential adults read with their children at home EVERYDAY.

Ways to encourage children to develop a life-long love of reading inside and outside of home

  1. Talk through processes you do: doing laundry, fixing a car, cooking, pulling weeds, driving a car, paying a bill, giving a bath, getting a child dressed
  2. Tell stories
  3. Spend 15 minutes every day reading – anything!
  4. Read aloud: a recipe, a grocery bill, a food label, signs, mail, magazines, newspapers, posters, phone messages
  5. Read together and talk with your child: guess what will happen on the next page, have the child talk about the pictures
  6. Read a wordless book together and make up a story that fits the picture sequence
  7. Reread favorite stories and books
  8. Sing songs and rhymes (e.g., Peek-a-Boo, This Little Piggy), clap to the rhythm
  9. Use the close-captioned feature of videos, TV, YouTube
  10. Introduce new words and explain what they mean.
  11. Expand on a child’s language: “Milk.” “You would like a glass of milk?” Child nods. “Yes, you can have some milk. Milk is healthy. It is good for your teeth.”
  12. Label things in the house (e.g., stove, desk, chair, window, door, clock, floor, rug, bed, toilet, mirror)
  13. Cut out or draw pictures and caption them
  14. Provide writing material: crayons, pencils, paper (even backs of mailed paper); have children do “pretend” writing
  15. Make an ABC book from cut out pictures – or draw the pictures; that becomes the child’s book
  16. Create a child’s home library (it can be a cardboard box)
  17. Buy a book or give a magazine subscription to a child
  18. Make every trip a reading trip: read signs, read maps, read labels in stores, read menus, introduce vocabulary words (e.g., groceries, aisle, shelf, freezer, scale, produce, dairy, check-out stand, cashier)

Crow Tribe of montana partners

Crow Agency Elementary School Library
Dr. Jason Cummins, Principal
Karla Clark, School Librarian
Regina Yarlott, Teacher
Kindergarten Readiness Center
Tiffany Schroeder, Teacher
Big Horn County Public Library
Raymond Dale, Director
Angie LittleLight, Children’s Librarian

Visit your local library

Little Big Horn Tribal Library
19 N Custer Ave, Hardin, MT 59034
406-638-3123
Big Horn County Public Library
19 N Custer Ave, Hardin, MT 59034
406.665.1808