Introducing Early Bird Learning videos

By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian

Let’s take a walk through memory lane!

In January 2016, Jenny (pictured above with Ruthie the camel) and I launched the Early Bird Reader program, with weekly literacy tips texted out and monthly videos for caregivers that dug a little deeper into a specific literacy topic.

In March 2020, we had to pivot. We kept doing our weekly literacy tips, but instead of monthly videos, we filmed five videos a week to replace storytimes during those early pandemic days. As storytimes came back, we posted two videos a week. The videos have included storytime elements, as well as big topics like health, mental well-being, and social-emotional learning.

Introducing…Early Bird Learning videos

Now in June 2022, we are delighted to announce the start of Early Bird Learning, which combines all of the above!

We know families and teachers love sharing our videos with kids. But we also know caregivers are struggling with a “new normal.” Expectations are not always being reached in reality. Kids and adults are struggling with big feelings, transitions, and other social-emotional challenges. 

A key feature of Early Bird Learning will be short videos specifically for caregivers, which will join the videos for early learners that you already love.

Watch our first two Early Bird Learning videos

Ruthie and Miss Jenny have noticed some changes when they visit classes now: Kids need different things from their visits than they did pre-pandemic. Ruthie’s curious about that, and Miss Jenny has some ideas why.

Caregivers, this one is for you! You’ve already seen how Jenny uses Ruthie to talk with young kids. How can you introduce puppets into your home or classes? What are the benefits? Jenny has some ideas!

We’ll post all of our new videos (plus you can rewatch all of your old favorites) on our Early Bird Learning video page!

Check out these Early Bird Reader videos for an idea of what to expect for future videos

There are a number of ways to extend learning from a shared book—try sharing sounds while talking about transitions and friendships.

Share stories to connect with family and friends. Miss Jenny loves telling high and low stories, which you can even start practicing with babies and toddlers.

What topics do you want to see Jenny & me (& Ruthie!) tackle?

Email me ( with your requests and suggestions. We’re already hearing some important ideas from the Collaboration for Early Childhood and daycare providers, and want to listen to your needs, too!

Because you made it this far, you get a sneak peek. Our first videos will be a new conversation with Ruthie about changes she sees with kids in classroom visits, plus some ideas from Jenny on how to use puppets to create an emotionally safe space for kids. Thanks for learning and growing with us!

Shelley Harris

About Shelley

Shelley is a children’s librarian with a passion for early literacy, serving and celebrating the disability community, and exploring technology. She can often be found practicing storytime songs with her black lab, Bingo.