Traditionally, early literacy programs at libraries have focused on children. Storytimes and other programs might model strategies that parents can use to develop early literacy skills, but parent education is not typically the primary intent.
The Public Library Association (PLA) and Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) concluded that public libraries could have an even greater impact on early literacy through an approach that focused on educating parents and caregivers. If the primary adults in a child’s life can learn more about the importance of early literacy and how to nurture pre-reading skills at home, the effect of library efforts can be multiplied many times. Visit everychildreadytoread.org to learn more.
The most recent update of Every Child Ready to Read @ the Glen Ellyn Public Library lists five skill areas to increase reading success. In our programs for ages birth to age 3, we offer activities that support these areas. But it is only a start.
Here’s how to build on these skills at home!
Use the transitions that are difficult for little ones as a teaching moment. Share a rhyme or action poem as you buckle the car seat belt or work at the changing table.
Music is different from speaking because of rhythm, rhyme and repetition! Check out CDs to play on the numerous short trips in the car every day.
Read a variety of books from our board book, picture book, and J Easy collections (Don’t know what these are? Ask a librarian! Call 630-468-0879, visit GEPL or comment on this article). Each one provides a different experience and new vocabulary to increase imagination.
Large pieces of paper, a chalk board or a white board in the kitchen will make meal prep time into a family scribbling, drawing and writing opportunity. Tablet computers and iPads also have letter tracing games.
Unstructured events and time alone allow creative and imaginative play. Just listen to the conversation from the next room when the technology is off!
Summer programs at the library include pre-literacy sessions: Level 2 for birth to 24 months, Level 3 for 18-36 months. Call the library at 630-469-0879 or register online at gepl.org/calendar.
-Robin C., Early Literacy Librarian