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Early Literacy

Sachem Library
Early Literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. Early Literacy is a baby chewing on a book, a toddler asking for their favorite story to be read over and over again, and a preschooler who recites a story from memory. We know first experiences with parents and caregivers dramatically impact a child's ability to learn. Parents and caregivers are a child's first teacher.

Early Literacy skills form in the first 5 years of life when children's brains are developing at an incredible rate. We used to think our children's reading success depended on getting the right teacher, but it actually depends on how much they have learned before they even get to school. Early experiences with books and language are the building blocks for learning to read.

Create an atmosphere that is fun, nurturing and stimulating to foster early literacy. You are the key to your child's success and when you read, talk, sing or play with your child you are stimulating the growth of your child's brain and making the connections that will become the foundation for reading.

Brain development research shows that reading aloud to your child every day increases their brain's capacity for language and literacy skills and is the most important thing you can do to prepare them for learning to read.

You can help your child learn the important pre-literacy skills now so that they will be successful in school and later in life. Show your child learning can be FUN by enganging in activities like playing games, singing songs and telling stories. This way your child will grow up to find reading pleasurable.

Researchers agree that children are more likely to become good readers if they start school with three sets of accomplishments:

-Oral language skills (vocabulary) and phonological awareness: Children are able to comprehend and to express themselves with a wide range of words. They are able to distinguish the sounds as well as the meaning of words.

-Print awareness and letter knowledge: Children have learned that the black marks on the page represent spoken words. They are able to name the letters of the alphabet.

-Motivation to learn and appreciation for literary forms: Children have been exposed to a wide variety of literary experiences and have learned to love books and stories.

-Talk, sing and read stories to infants and young children each day.
-Visit the library's free storytimes and other programs for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and families.
-Choose books with colorful pictures and simple words.
-Let your child see the pictures, turn the pages and explore the books.
-Encourage your child's efforts to talk, point out objects and repeat words. Ask them questions about the stories in the books.
-Make books easily accessible to little ones by keeping them on low shelves.
-Reread favorite books over and over and over again.
-Don't simplify your speech for toddlers- the more complex sentences they hear, the more complex sentences they'll begin to speak.
-Be a good role model; let them see you read.

National Center for Family Literacy Website

Reading is Fundamental Website

Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families Website

Six Preliteracy Skills

Easy Readers

Classic Picture Books to Share

This was posted on 11/13/2013 2:04:09 PM