Youth Services

What Is Early Literacy?

Throughout our department and in our storytimes, you might notice a phrase often repeated: early literacy. But what is early literacy? From birth, children can learn essential skills that will help them to read and write later on. Early literacy is not learning how to read and write, but giving children a foundation for learning later on. At Fremont, we use a program called Every Child Ready to Read which focuses on five skills: talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing. You may notice that you already do these things at home which is supremely reasurring! So, why are everyday activites so special?

Talking: Children learn language by listening to their parents and others talk. Building vocabulary and learning about the world around them will help your child make connections between stories and real life. Furthermore, when your child talks to you, she is engaging in self-expression and developing her narrative skills by creating her own stories. By imitating the story structure she loves, she is developing an early desire to read and reinforcing her vocabulary.

Singing: Songs are a wonderful way to slow down language and separate syllables. Most songs rhyme which allow a child to distinguish similar sounding words. All this develops phonological awareness, or the ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. Most importantly, singing develops a powerful bond between caregiver and child that creates a loving environment for early literacy.

Reading: Reading together is the single most important way to help children get ready to read. Not only does it increase vocabulary, but children can develop print awareness, or knowing how to handle a book and how we follow the words on a page. Creating a fun environment for reading encourages more reading in the future.

Writing: Writing begins with scribbles, then comes letter knowledge. Children can start by knowing that letters are different from each other, and that they have different names and are related to sounds.

Playing: Children learn a lot about language through play. Play helps children learn symbolically, so they understand that spoken and written words can stand for real objects and experiences. Play also engages children in problem solving, improves social interactions, and builds comprehension for reading.

For more info and tips to promote early literacy, visit your libray today!


Dig Into Reading This November!

Read a book--grab a bone! This November, we are hosting a reading challenge to build up an enormous pile of bones next to our Youth Services desk. Everytime you read a book, write your name and the book title on a bone from the desk and watch the pile grow! 


Non-Fiction Finder: Animals Thrive

Find some great fact-based books at your library! Miss Carol suggests...

Sizing up Winter by Lizann Flatt

E 508.2 FLA


Well-crafted Paper collage illustrations add visual interest to this picture book that deftly combines mathematical terminology with an overview of winter animals.  The reader is encouraged to count, compare and ponder a variety of numerical concepts related to winter.  Concepts and vocabulary are fairly basic, but the author does throw in some high level words such as analog and ptarmigan.  Even and adult could learn a thing or two from this fun book!


Paul Thurlby’s Wildlife

E 590 THU

Creative illustrations add an extra dimension to this creative nonfiction book by award-winning Paul Thurlby.  Young and old are sure to delight at the unusual facts and humorous visual interpretations of curious animal traits.   A word of caution, be very weary of the tiger at the beginning and ending!


Non-Fiction Finder: A Patient Butterfly

Miss Carol recommends...

A Butterfly is Patient

A butterfly is patient book cover

E 595.789 AST

Containing facts worthy of a good encyclopedia entry, beautiful illustrations and a poetic writing style make this fact-loaded book very approachable for young children.   One of the most visually appealing nonfiction books that I have seen in a long time, a true delight to share with a young nature lover.

spectacular butterflies- example from book



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