MeL now offers literacy resources for younger ages

The Michigan eLibrary logo

The Michigan eLibrary logo

The Michigan eLibrary, or MeL, has added new and fun resources to enhance the reading skills of young readers.

MeL is an online database that is free to residents of Michigan.
It offers textbooks, articles and images.

The new resources are designed to help build reading skills for young children. The goal is: reading proficiency by the time the kids are in third grade.

Randy Riley, Outreach Coordinator at the Library of Michigan, said the new resources help address parents’ desire for more material for young readers.

“The reading level for some of these things that were geared toward kids were more elementary or middle school level,” he said. “So that’s what they [parents] are saying, ‘I have a four-year-old who I’m trying to teach to read, but the resources available are geared toward fifth graders.’ It doesn’t apply.

Riley said the new resources mimic games, and that keeps the children engaged with the program.

“Kids go into them thinking they’re fun and trying all of these different places they can click on and go to, but what it’s really doing is beefing up their reading skills,” he said. “The other cool thing is that some of these sites will do ‘read alouds’ or have short videos that will go through the story of these books so kids can sit there, read along and learn the words as the site tells them the story.”

According to state officials, a child’s reading ability in the third grade is a critical predictor of his or her future readiness for school and career.

Riley said he is receiving positive feedback and appreciation from parents toward the new resources.

Unfortunately, many people still don’t know that the MeL database exists.

Riley said the next step is to work to improve awareness of the MeL program.

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