Vermont Humanities

Vermont Early Literacy Initiative

Group of children sitting on the floor listening to story hour
Early Literacy

The Vermont Early Literacy Initiative (VELI) provides Vermont public libraries with books, hands-on materials, and training in early and preschool literacy, preschool mathematics, social-emotional development, and visual literacy.

VELI was started in 2010 by the Vermont Department of Libraries and the Vermont Center for the Book. The program is now hosted by Vermont Humanities, which will work with 11 libraries in 2022, representing a diversity in geography, size, audience, and experience. These libraries are located in Barre, Bellows Falls, Bennington, Bradford, Colchester, Enosburgh Falls, Hyde Park, Lyndonville, Orwell, Randolph, and Springfield.

Each library will be provided a materials budget for them to use in the development of community programs that they feel will best meet the needs of their local area, specifically with an eye toward populations that do not typically use the library. They will also have opportunities to co-develop booklists on topics important to them, such as everyday diversity, climate change, own voices, difficult topics, or whatever else they feel is most relevant and pressing to them, and we will provide books from those lists to add to their collections.

The Vermont Department of Libraries will continue to offer support and materials for this new collaboration to ensure diversity, access, inclusion, equity, and justice in all in-house programs and practices.

For more information

Contact Wendy Martin, Literacy Programs Officer, at

Vermont Humanities*** December 8, 2021