Spotlight on Family Literacy at the Putnam County Library

Posted by Kate Spears on

This week on the Get Ready To Learn radio program, join Putnam County School System and WCTE’s Cindy Putman (Ready To Learn Project Manager) as she speaks to Chelsea Gifford from the Putnam County Library.

Gifford and Putman discuss the Ready To Learn partnership and the work they are doing to increase math and literacy skills with families of children ages 2 through 8.

One way that they have worked together to increase these literacy skills is to place a mobile learning Lab at the main branch of the Cookeville library and at the Baxter, Monterey, and Algood branches.

These mobile learning labs are made up of PBS KIDS Playtime Pads, PBS branded mobile tablets that are pre-loaded with the PBS Kids apps and hours of video content. This carefully selected content has been developed to help young learners increase their language, science, and math skills.

Last year the Putnam County Library hosted two rounds of the PBS Kids ScratchJr. Family Creative Learning Workshops. These workshops focused around the free PBS KIDS ScratchJr. app that introduces children to the concept of computer coding.

Gifford, as the Director of the Children's Library, shares how successful this partnership has been and the enjoyment that the children and families have had by utilizing these PBS playtime pads.

Children as young as five years old can come into the library and have their own library card. This opens up a world of reading an adventure for them. WCTE Ready To Learn Ready Jet Go character made a visit at the library during this summer’s solar eclipse.

Gifford says that since that appearance by the popular PBS KIDS character Jet Propulsion, more children and their parents have requested books about the solar system and astronauts.

The library also has a wonderful selection of DVDs and musical CDs that families can check out. Putman recently donated two new DVDs to the children's section of the library. One is a Sesame Street DVD and one is a Arthur DVD.

The library is great resource for families to make the most of, and an online calendar can be found at The library also has a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a blog.

The main branch of the Putnam County Library is located at 50 East Broad Street in Cookeville and if you have questions you may call 931-526-2416.

On the first and third Friday of each month at 10 a.m. Gifford conducts a Read! Play! and Grow! session for moms and their children. On the first and third Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. the library hosts a homeschool hangout for homeschool families.

Check out all of the great activities at the library from the Lego Club, Minecraft, sensory story time, read with a therapy dog, kids draw, Teen gaming Club, and Story Time with Sassafras the hedgehog.

For more information about PBS KIDS ScratchJr., click here.


Tune in each Saturday morning at 9:30 for the WCTE Get Ready To Learn Radio Show, with host Cindy Putman on Zimmer Broadcasting's The HUB 107.7 FM and 1400 AM. 

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WCTE’s Educational Team can customize workshops or professional development trainings for your group or organization. For workshop information, or to inquire about scheduling a workshop, call 921-528-2222 x. 227 or email us.

Topics are listed below:

  • Using Media as a learning tool
  • Using PBS kids apps to extend learning
  • How to be your child’s first teacher
  • Sesame Street Workshops
  • How does poverty effect a child’s brain
  • Literacy and Math
  • Brain Development

Workshops can be conducted in English and Spanish.