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Early Literacy

Early literacy means helping your child develop the skills necessary to becoming successful readers.

You are Your Child's First Teacher!

Roughly 35% of children in the United States enter school without the basic skills that are needed to learn to read.  You can help your child get ready to learn to read by having fun with these activities based on the Every Child Ready to Read® project of the American Library Association.

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Playing is beneficial because children begin to understand that the words they hear and see stand for real objects and experiences. Encourage your child to use their imaginations with toys, stuffed animals and/or puppets to tell and re-tell their stories.


Reading with your child is the best way to help them get ready to read! By spending time reading with your child, they learn how to turn pages, how to follow the text, and what letters look like.

Choose books that you will both enjoy! If you are enthusiastic about reading time, your child will be too. Be sure to talk about the book and the pictures, and always respond to your child’s questions or comments. Always keep the interaction positive and enjoyable, and if you really liked a story you shared together, tell your child how much you enjoyed it!

Read the same story over and over….then see if your child can “read” you the story!


Songs are a fun and easy way for children to learn about language because it helps the child hear and identify the different sounds that make up words. Clapping along to the music also helps the child to separate the sounds of the words they are hearing, and that there are different sounds that make up words.


Give your child lots of opportunities to speak, and encourage them to express themselves verbally.

When sharing books, ask your child to describe what they see in the pictures. Share meanings of words that may be unfamiliar rather than replacing them with words they are used to. Try playing a game where you repeat the new word, or make up a melody to help them learn the new word.


Encourage your child to scribble away by giving them lots of opportunity to draw and write. Ask them to describe what they are drawing and help them to put their name on their pictures. This will help them make the connection between words they hear and words they say.

Every Child Ready to Read® @ your library®, PLA and ALSC logos are registered trademarks of the American Library Association and are used with permission.

Early Literacy Calendar

Fun activities to do each day of the month to help prepare your child to read!

Dolly Parton's and Ohio Governor's Imagination Library

Your child can get FREE books to enhance their love of reading and early literacy skills.