Community Early Learning & Literacy Initiatives

The Carter County Commuity Education Director oversees the administration of these community programs to address literacy. 

For more information, contact:

Pam Kouns

606-474-6696 Ext. 20107

Building blocks.png

Building Blocks

The "Building Blocks" program is designed for parents and caregivers of children from birth to age 4. 

Learning to read and write doesn't start in preschool. Developing language and literacy skills begins at birth through everyday loving interactions, such as sharing books, telling stories, singing songs, and talking to one another. These interactions help develop language and literacy skills. 


Unlike when a child is learning to talk, they do not come ready to read. They need help learning about letters, words, and books. There are six basic skills that comprise early literacy and help determine whether a child is ready to learn to read and write. These skills include Print Motivation, Print Awareness, Vocabulary, Phonological Awareness, Letter Knowledge, and Narrative Skills. 


These topics, along with some great ideas and free resources, will be discussed throughout the Building Blocks program.

If you would like to host a workshop, contact Pam Kouns at 474-6696 Ext. 20107.


The StoryWalk® is a wonderful way for adults and young children to combine literacy skills and healthy exercise as they walk to each of the 15 reading stations while enjoying the beauty of the City of Grayson Walking Track. Doing things together as a family helps build values, traditions, and rituals that keep children connected with their family. The StoryWalk® is a free activity for everyone and is accessible during normal park hours.

The StoryWalk® combines three critical elements for overall family health: early literacy, outdoor family engagement and physical activity. 


Collaboration of several groups made this community project possible. Those involved in planning the project include Carter County Schools (Community Education & Title I Program), The Carter County Drug-Free Coalition, The Carter County Recreation Alliance, and the Cooperative Extension Office (Family & Consumer Sciences). Students at the Carter County Career & Technical Center built the podiums and the City of Grayson installed them at the park. 

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

Read to Me -
         It Matters!
Read to Me -
         It Matters!

The "Read to Me - It Matters" community project promotes the importance of reading to infants and toddlers.


Research shows that reading to infants right from birth stimulates their mind, helps to develop language skills, and lays a foundation for later reading success. Infants grow into children who love to read when they experience the warmth and pleasure of cuddling and listening to nursery rhymes and stories. Reading to babies early and often helps develop skills that lead to a lifetime of reading enjoyment.


The goal of the project is to distribute "Read to Me, It Matters!" literacy bags to the families of newborns in Carter County.  The bag contains literacy information and resources, new books, and information from community organizations.


Community partners for this project are the Carter County Extension Office for Family & Consumer Sciences, Pathways, Carter County Community Education, and the Carter County Schools Title I program. 



Ten Tips for Reading Aloud to Infants and Toddlers

Since our first affiliation with First Book in 2008, the Community Education Director has distributed over 36,000 books to children in Carter County! 

First Book is a national nonprofit organization with a single mission: “to provide new books to children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books."  For more information on this national organization, go to


The Community Education Director utilizes the First Book Marketplace to provide new books to children participating in local literacy programs.  


“It has been rewarding to see the excitement on the children’s faces when they receive books that they can take home and keep,” said Pam Kouns, Community Education Director. “Thanks to donations from community members and grant funding, hundreds of children in Carter County now have several books to call their own."

Donations (100%) are used to purchase books. To stretch these donations, books are purchased from the First Book Marketplace, where prices are deeply discounted. Tax deductible donations made out to Carter County Community Education may be mailed to Carter County Schools, Attn:  Pam Kouns, 228 S. Carol Malone Blvd., Grayson, KY  41143