Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write.

Parents and caregivers are their children’s first and best teachers; your Library supports early literacy instruction for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers through Every Child Ready to Read, a joint project of the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children.

Key pre-reading skills

Pre-readers are more likely to enjoy long-term success as readers if they:

  • Know lots of words
  • Notice the small sounds in words
  • Expect books to be fun or useful
  • Know how to use books
  • Retell stories, or make up new ones
  • Understand that each letter has its own shape, name, and sound

Key practices

Research shows that children acquire the key pre-reading skills by engaging in these five activities every day with loving adults:

  • Talking
  • Singing
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Play

Learn more

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