By Brian Freitag
TASPL Director

I am always looking for a new library service to support our community. One service, called TALK, came to my offers learning activities for parents to use with children.

The more parents and caregivers talk and listen to young children, the easier it is for them to learn to read and write when they start kindergarten. This is because simple activities like singing and playing every day help kids develop the cognitive and language skills they need to do well in school and beyond.

Unfortunately, not all parents have time to develop learning activities for their little. The TALK text messaging service provided to our patrons free of charge by TASPL starting in January 2024 aims to change this, helping children learn through simple, everyday interactions. TALK is available to parents and caregivers in Michigan with children ages 5 and under.

TALK (Text and Learn for Kindergarten), sends two text messages each week suggesting activities that parents and caregivers can easily incorporate into daily routines with their children. Parents can sign up in January 2024 by texting TALK to 75547 or visiting

Tahquamenon Area School Public Library is excited to provide parents ideas for quick and easy things they can do to help their children be ready for school. The TALK service is funded by a National Leadership grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The grant allows TALK, originally created by libraries in Washtenaw County, Michigan to be used by all public libraries in Michigan and Indiana to support early learning in their communities.

TALK is derived from the research-based program Every Child Ready to Read, which promotes five practices to build essential pre-reading skills: reading, singing, talking, writing, and playing. Each message begins with one of the five practices and details an activity parents can use to help their child develop early literacy skills.

The content goes beyond literacy and helps parents build other important skills such as pre-math and social emotional skills. The TALK service is available to every family in English and Spanish. TASPL is a partner library that wants to get the word out to families in our area. The technology platform to distribute the messages was developed by the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services. HighScope Center for Early Education Research and Evaluation ensures messages are aligned to a child’s development.

I encourage our local parents of children 5 years and under to take advantage of this great service to better prepare your littles for school in a powerful and creative way.

Best wishes from all of us at the library to you and yours for a fantastic and productive New Year!

For more about the TALK service, visit one of the following links, or email