Early Literacy Programs

Research demonstrates that the first five years of a child’s life form the foundation for a lifetime of learning.

Positive exposure to books and reading is essential to providing a child with the ability to learn when they enter school.

In every library branch, and throughout the community on the bookmobile, the library provides programs and materials that promote early literacy.

Read Early Read Often

Libraries are committed to providing early literacy skills to children. Early literacy means providing a foundation to learn to read, not learning to read early.

Early literacy programs are provided in every branch every week for ages birth through five. They are both fun for children and instructional for parents and caregivers.

Tips on promoting early literacy are based on five simple activities, from the American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read program:

  • Talk – when children listen to their parents and others talk they are learning language and other early literacy skills.
  • Sing – singing songs teaches new words and slows down language so children can hear the different sounds that make up words.
  • Read – read together out loud. This is the single most important way to help children get ready to read – even if you, as parent, do not do it well. Shared reading increases vocabulary and general knowledge and helps children develop an interest in reading.
  • Write – both reading and writing represent spoken language and communicate information. Children can learn pre-reading skills with scribbles and other marks.
  • Play – playing helps children express themselves and put thoughts into words and understand that spoken and written words can stand for real objects and experiences.