- Reading is an essential life skill
- Learning to read begins at birth
- Parents are a child’s first and best teachers
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.
Fremont Public Library strategically uses the Every Child Ready to Read initiative (developed by the Association for Library Service to Children) in our story times.