What is Early Literacy?
Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they actually learn to read and write. It is not teaching reading, drilling or using flashcards. Instead, it is laying the foundation, so that your child has necessary skills when he or she is developmentally ready to read.
Why is Early Literacy Important?
Babies are born ready to learn. Recent research shows that babies are born with billions of brain cells called neurons. The more stimulation a baby receives through its senses, the more pathways develop between brain cells. Young children must develop early literacy skills in order to be successful with formal reading and writing in school. 46% of children in the United States enters kindergarten unprepared. Research shows that children who start behind typically stay behind. Providing young children with opportunities to develop early literacy skills is important to their success in school, their success learning to read, and their success in life.
Five Early Literacy Practices
Enjoy these simple activities with your child anytime and any place throughout the day. Besides being fun, they will help your child get ready to read!
Most of our children's services librarians have received Early Literacy Training and incorporate exercising these skills with your children during our library programs. These early literacy practices come from Every Child Ready to Read, a project of the American Library Association.
We've created fun printable activity sheets you can download for free that will help you and your child get to know the five Early Literacy Practices.
See the Five Early Literacy Practices in action with our new Early Literacy Videos.
Our Children's Librarians have developed several lists of books to help get your son or daughter ready to read.
Every month we share a calendar full of fun daily activities to help your child learn the Early Literacy practices. The calendar also includes a complete list of storytimes and other activities for young children at JCPL branches.