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Every Child Ready to Read


Children begin learning literacy skills right from birth. Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. The five practices of talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing with your child every day help develop the foundational skills that children need to enter kindergarten ready to learn. Researchers have identified six skill areas that parents and caregivers can help develop.


Our Early Literacy programs are a wonderful way to see these practices and skills in action.


Five Early Literacy Practices

  • TALK

    • 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.

  • SING

    • Songs and rhymes are a wonderful way to learn about language. Singing also slows down language so children can hear the different sounds that make up words.

  • READ

    • Shared reading 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.


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

  • PLAY

    • Play helps children express themselves and put thoughts into words. Play helps children think symbolically, so they understand that spoken and written words can stand for real objects and experiences.


Six Early Literacy Skills

  • Love Books

    • Be an early example by sharing your enjoyment of books.   Begin reading books early- even when your child is a baby- make it a fun, cozy time.

  • New Words

    • Babies are constantly learning the names of things. When you come upon a new word, don't change it, read it and then use a familiar word to help define the new vocabulary for your child. Example: Humongous, read it and then say "very big".

  • Use Books

    • The understanding that print has meaning, noticing print everywhere, and how to handle a book.  Look for examples of print to show your child: signs, menus, labels, and of course books!

  • Tell Stories

    • Being able to describe things and events and tell stories.  Talk to your child about daily routines: describe what and how and why and when.

  •  See Letters

    • Knowing letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds. Name different shapes; the ball is round, the stick is straight. This will help your child recognize letters later.

  • Make Sounds

    • Being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. Make up silly rhymes and songs for any occasion, personalize them with your child's name.


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