Reimagining School Readiness

Many schools focus on children’s ability to name letters, hold a pencil, and count to 10 as the only indicators of “school readiness”, but research shows that children through age eight need to develop other crucial skills to achieve continued success in school and in life. It is never too early or late to develop these skills!

School Readiness Skills

These crucial skills are divided into three main categories:

Body and Brain Logo     Science and Math Logo     Talk & Play Logo

Watch for these symbols around the Youth and Family Learning Department to find useful tips on how to prepare your child for school.

Email the Children’s Department

If you wish to contact any of the children’s or teen librarians, simply send us an email! We will respond as quickly as we can.


Our StoryWalk® at Crystal Lake has ended for the season. Check back in the Spring.

Black History Month StoryWalk®

Discover the StoryWalk® in the Children’s room!

The title is Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold and can be found in the picture book area on the big blue wall.
Download and complete your own quilt coloring page and bring it in to show us or come in and we will give you one!


Please note: The companies that provide our databases often set residency restrictions. Russell Library cannot do anything to provide access to non-residents.

Book Bag Kits

These themed-backpacks are in the Children’s Department. Choose from over two dozen: Animals, Love, Spanish, People, Silly, Things that Go & more!

Book Match

Need help finding your children something great to read? Fill out one of our online forms and our librarians will curate book recommendations just for your family!

Downloadable eBooks, Audiobooks, Movies, Magazines

Downloads are available 24/7. (Russell Library card required.)


Work with live tutors using an interactive whiteboard to chat, write, draw, copy/paste text or images and graph homework problems. (Russell Library card required.)

Mango Languages

Learn a language online! Over 70 languages available. (Russell Library card required.)

Middletown Early Childhood

Health & Child Development, Preparing For School, and Community Resources.

researchIT CT

Online reference databases: history, science, biography & more. Also, newspapers, magazines, genealogy, ebooks, audiobooks. (No library card required.)

Universal Class

Over 500 courses including parenting, homeschooling, special education, teacher resources, how-to & much more! (Russell Library card required.)

Rockfall Eco StoryWalk Project

book cover From Pumpkin to Pie

The StoryWalk® has ended for the season. Please check back in Spring 2023.

A StoryWalk® is a fun, educational activity that places a children’s story (literally a book taken apart) along a popular walking route in your community. Ours is at Crystal Lake in McCutcheon Park here in Middletown!

Directions to our storywalk: From Randolph Road (Route 155), turn south onto Millbrook Road. Follow Millbrook Road for 1.5 miles and take a right onto Livingston Road. After 0.2 miles, take the first right off Livingston Road into McCutcheon Park!

Click the icon for a link to the location of Crystal Lake Park in Google maps.