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Get in the Back to School Groove with NPL: Elementary Students Edition

August 7, 2023

Help Your Lil’ One Start School Right with These Free Resources

The alarm is going off way too soon. The kiddos don’t want to get out of bed. There’s no time for a big breakfast, so it’s cereal and bagels … yet again. Traffic’s a nightmare, and you’re running late. You screech into the school drop off line, on two wheels and with three minutes to spare.

Happy first day of school, everyone!

We get it. Heading back to the classroom can be an exciting time for you and your family, but it can also be incredibly stressful.

And we’ve got your back.

We’ve put together some resources to help make your back-to-school season a little bit easier and help you get the most out of these early days in the school year.

Today, we’re sharing some resources that are perfect for our youngest readers and students.

Talking Books

Which would you prefer: struggling with exhaustion while you read to your child, your speech gravelly like something from a horror film, or having a warm voice read for you while they follow along and explore new words at their leisure?

Unless your kids just love scary sounds, you probably chose option two. In that case, we’ve got something you’re going to love.

NPL’s collection of talking books come with audio players attached to the physical book. These simple-to-use devices feature recordings of books that your little ones can pause, fast-forward, and rewind as they follow along. 

They get the joy of having a story read to them while they learn at their own pace; you don’t have to sound like a Walking Dead cast member. What’s not to love?

Find our full selection of talking books in our online catalog.


“Who has time for reading?”

Now, you might think that librarians would consider that a borderline blasphemy, but trust us — we feel you.

Between work, school, household chores, parenting, shopping, and all the other everyday things you have to do, finding even just a few minutes to read with your child can be a challenge.

That’s why ReadyRosie is so awesome. 

This collection of one-to-five-minute videos shows you how to teach your kids to read, sing, and play their way to a love of reading. There are also videos that discuss math and reasoning, social-emotional learning, research and answers, and more.

Best of all? They’re delivered straight to your inbox, so you don’t have to hunt for them.

To get started, sign up for ReadyRosie using our library zip code (37219) today.


What would you turn to if your kid said they needed to write an essay on the Tennessee Legislature for social studies class, a brief overview of Beethoven for music class, and a timeline of the American Revolution for history class?

Oh, and what if it was all due tomorrow?

If your answer is “dive under the couch,” we wouldn’t blame you. Fortunately, we have a better solution.

TEL4U is a free online resource compiled by the Tennessee Electronic Library. It features a wide range of digital databases that cover Tennessee state history; movies, music, and the arts; a full range of encyclopedias; and much more.

What’s more, TEL4U has a great collection of browser-based games and quizzes to make learning fun for your students.

Bringing Books to Life and the Iconic Puppet Truck

True statement: loving parents and caregivers know that reading is important for their children.

Also true statement: not all parents and caregivers know how to teach them how.

That’s where Bringing Books to Life (BBTL) comes in. 

BBTL is NPL’s early literacy outreach program which curates free trainings and workshops for parents, caregivers, and educators. These sessions teach audiences how to instill a love of reading in young children using the five key practices of early literacy: reading, singing, talking, playing, and writing.

BBTL staff bring their programming into Nashville’s communities to serve our residents where they live. They go to schools, daycare centers, and more, bringing books and literacy toolkits that participants can take home.

And if that wasn’t cool enough, BBTL is supported by NPL’s iconic Puppet Truck, our puppet-show-on-wheels initiative that delivers Wishing Chair Productions’s acclaimed shows directly to our community.

Learn more about BBTL and the Puppet Truck — and schedule a workshop for your classroom or family — on our website.


“Too much screen time is bad for kids.”

We’ve all heard that one before. 

But when you’re talking about a tablet preloaded with fun apps, videos, and animated stories that teach kids reading skills, geography, science, culture, and more? Well, we might just have to make an exception.

That’s what our collection of Launchpads are all about. They work just like any book or movie at NPL: you can put them on hold, pick them up at any of our 21 locations, and keep them for up to three weeks. 

There’s no need for Wi-Fi, nothing you need to download, and they don’t require any sort of login, so your privacy is protected.

Book Clubs for Kids

Good books, good friends, good times. Who doesn’t love a good book club? 

But book clubs aren’t just for teens and adults. We host clubs catered specially for our youngest readers so they can meet kids their age, discover new books geared for their reading level, and have a blast doing it.

Head on over to our events calendar to find a book club for kids meeting at a branch location near you.

Read More in Our Back to School Series

Like what you just read? We’ve also got resources geared for: 

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Ed's a proud member of NPL's Marketing and Communications team. Some of his favorite books include Dracula, Once an EagleNeuromancerStarship TroopersThe Black CompanyBerserkBlade of the ImmortalBlame! and Vampire Hunter D. When not at the Library, you'll find him spending time with his wife and son, doing interval training, reading, or waiting for the next FromSoftware game.


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