What Is Early Literacy And What Helps It Develop?
Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they actually learn the process of how to read or write. Young children need a variety of skills to become successful readers. Reading experts have determined that six specific literacy skills become the building blocks for later reading and writing. Research indicates that children who enter school with more of these skills are better able to benefit from reading instruction they receive.
- Print Motivation - Developing a child's interest and enjoyment of books.
- Print Awareness - Encouraging a child's awareness in noticing print, knowing how to handle a book, and understanding how to follow the words on a page.
- Letter Knowledge - Helping a child learn to name letters, understand that they have sounds, and recognize that they are everywhere.
- Phonological Awareness - Increasing a child's ability to hear and play with smaller sounds in words.
- Narrative Skills - Encouraging a child's ability to describe things and events, plus how to tell stories.
- Vocabulary - Helping a child know the names of things.
Programs for the Youngest at ICPL
Book Babies Program
Book Babies is now offered every Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. and Friday afternoon at 1:30 for babies 6-18 months. This program is a participatory program designed to foster early language development. Parents and caregivers can enjoy this time to play with baby and meet new friends. In keeping with its commitment to fostering early literacy, ICPL also provides "Begin With Books" kits to newborns in the hospital, a package that includes a board book, as well as information on the library and children's literacy. For more information, call the Library at 319.356.5200, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Children's Room offers a set schedule of weekly storytimes throughout the year. Except on major holidays you can attend storytimes on:
- Mondays & Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. (Toddler Storytime)
- Wednesdays & Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. (Preschool Storytime)
- Saturdays at 10:30 (Family Storytime)
- Sundays at 2 p.m. (Family Storytime)
There is no registration for library storytimes--everyone is welcome. These programs last approximately 30 minutes.
Early Literacy Resources
Begin With Books to Create Life-Long Readers: A guide to early literacy produced by staff at the Iowa City Public Library
Book Babies Handouts with fingerplays and book suggestions from ICPL Book Babies programs
- All About Me
- Animals around the World
- Animal Babies
- Dream (Updated!)
- Winter Baby (Updated!)
Reading Rockets: Lots of handouts and tips about early literacy including handouts in Spanish and 9 other languages
Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families: Resources such as the Baby Brain map to promote the health and development of infants and toddlers.
Finger Play Videos by the Johnson County (KS) Library
- Best Books for Babies
- Books for the YoungestShort and snappy picture books
- Favorite Picture Books to Read Aloud
- How to Get Your Child to Love ReadingFor Ravenous and Reluctant Readers Alike by Esmé Raji Codell
- Raising a ReaderMake Your Child a Reader for Life by Paul Kropp
- The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
- Reading MagicWhy Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox