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  What is Early Literacy?

Early literacy is what children know about reading before they can actually read and write. From birth, your child is getting ready to learn to read, and early literacy skills are developed by singing songs with your baby, coloring pictures with your toddler, engaging in imaginative play with your preschooler, and many more of the daily activities you and your child do together.

The best way to build early literacy skills is to engage—every day—in the five early literacy activities: talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing. By creating a warm, nurturing home environment and making experiences with language and books positive ones, you are ensuring that your child will enter kindergarten ready to read.

These resources will help you to help your child enter kindergarten ready to read. The Library also offers many story times each week to help you enrich your child's learning and love of reading.


The Five Early Literacy Activities

Talking
Children learn language and other early literacy skills by listening to their parents and others talk. As children hear spoken language, they learn new words and what they mean. They learn about the world around them and important general knowledge. This will help children understand the meaning of what they read.

Singing
 
MomBabySinging

Singing is a wonderful way to learn about language because it's fun and slows down language so children can hear different sounds that make up words. This helps when children begin to read printed language.

Reading
 
DadReading

Reading together is the single most important way to help children get ready to read. Reading together increases vocabulary and general knowledge. It helps children learn how print looks and how books work. Children who enjoy being read to are more likely to want to learn to read themselves.

Writing
Reading and writing together represent spoken language and communicate information. Children can learn pre-reading skills through writing activities.

Playing
 
MomChildrenPlaying

Children learn a lot about language through play. Play helps children think symbolically—spoken and written words stand for real objects and experiences. Play also helps children put thoughts into words.

 

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