By: Kara Pauley, Early Literacy Librarian
Children ages 0 to 5 are invited to vote for the Indiana Firefly Award until July 31. Voting forms are available at every library location and online.
Every year, the Indiana Center for the Book organizes an initiative called the Firefly Award, in which early childhood professionals nominate five picture books with high artistic quality and compelling narratives that support early literacy. This is no ordinary book award. Once the book nominees are announced, children ages 0-5 actually get to vote and select the winner.
Often librarians say at Storytime that reading is the best thing you can do to help children gain the skills to get ready to read. But it is even better to give children the opportunity to choose books on their own, which gives them agency and transforms reading into an activity that they want to do.
The Indiana Firefly Award takes this one step further. Children are not only choosing their own books, but they are choosing the best picture book for all children in the state of Indiana. What could be a more positive reading experience?
This year’s selections are all about play, which is another experience that helps develop early literacy skills. Through play, children are exploring the world around them, learning to communicate, and building vocabulary. Play also promotes physical development, teaches children how to share, and forms critical thinking skills. There are so many great benefits to play, which is why I am so excited about this year’s Firefly Award nominees.
How to Vote
Participating in the voting process is easy.
- To vote on paper, go to any St. Joe County Public Library location and ask for a voting form. You can also download the form here.
- Make sure you and your child have read all the books available, then help your child circle their favorite book on the voting form.
- Return the voting form to your branch. Some branches have voting boxes, to make the experience even more special. If you prefer to vote online, the voting form has a QR code or you can go directly to the online voting form. Ballots will be accepted until July 31.
We’re excited for your children to read these great books, which touch on subjects we all love such as animals, dinosaurs, and imagination. We can’t wait to see which book your children will choose!
Kara Pauley is the Early Literacy Librarian at Main Library. Even more than reading, she loves to sing and play the ukulele at Storytime and Babytime. Her favorite books usually have off-beat humor and a lot of drama.