Your Community: Johnson County Library celebrates ten years of its award-winning early literacy program

Johnson County Library celebrates the tenth anniversary of 6 by 6, Ready to Read, its award-winning early literacy program, with a series of special programs and activities. The festivities kick off on September 16, 2019 with a Birthday Party at Oak Park Library, and activities continue throughout the week, including a concert by José-Luis Orozco on September 20 and workshops for caregivers and educators that include KDHE clock hour credits.

For ten years, 6 by 6 has encouraged parents to talk, read and sing songs with babies and children to help them understand and use language. “6 by 6” refers to the six pre-reading skills which kids should experience by age six. The program provides books, events and activities for parents and children aimed at developing a love of language, books and learning. Spanish reading materials are also available.

The State Library of Kansas adapted the local 6 by 6: Ready to Read program created by Johnson County Library to a statewide early childhood literacy program now available to every public library in Kansas.

The six skills in the program are:

  • Have Fun with Books
  • Notice Print All Around You
  • Talk, Talk, Talk
  • Look for Letters Everywhere
  • Tell Stories About Everything
  • Take Time to Rhyme

Early literacy lays the groundwork for a child’s successful future, with links to a number of outcomes including economic success, health, and lower risk.

“We want families to enjoy the Library. Kids who associate reading with pleasure will naturally want to become readers,” said Bradley Debrick, Johnson County’s Early Literacy Coordinating Librarian. “The Library helps kids get ready to read and Library staff are able to engage children while demonstrating for caregivers the simple ways to help develop a child’s pre-reading skills.”

Johnson County Library provides around 1,500 in-library and outreach storytimes for 40,000 kids and caregivers annually. For the full calendar of activities happening for the 6 by 6 anniversary celebrations, visit or follow along on social media with the hashtag #6by6.

Johnson County Library – Nurturing the Community’s Collective Wisdom