Learning to read begins before children start school. Young children need to develop important language and literacy skills before they can actually learn to read.
Parents and other caregivers can start now to help their children develop these skills. A parent and child workshop series from the Keene Public Library demonstrates how parents can use five familiar and easy-to-use practices to develop language and other early literacy skills in children from birth to age five. The first workshop called “Fun for Parents and Children” will be held Friday, May 11 at 10:00 a.m. at the Keene Public Library, 60 Winter St. Pick up a schedule of additional Every Child Ready to Read® workshops at the library or check our online calendar for more details.
Each of the Every Child Ready to Read® programs explains why the skills are so important, demonstrates how to help children learn the skills, provides titles of high-interest books that are age appropriate, and sends parents and caregivers home with early literacy activities they can incorporate into their family’s daily routine.
The programs are based on research about language, early literacy skills, and how children learn. “We know that children from birth to age five learn primarily through interactions with their parents and other important adults in their lives as well as from their environment,” said Gail Zachariah, Head of Youth and Community Services at “Every Child Ready to Read® gives parents and other caregivers simple but powerful ways to help children develop the language and other skills they need to learn to read.”
Public libraries are centers for early childhood literacy. In addition to the Every Child Ready to Read® workshops, the Keene Public Library has books, programs, and other resources to help parents understand how to prepare children to become fluent readers and eager learners.
According to the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Public Library Association (PLA), the divisions of the American Library Association that developed Every Child Ready to Read® @ your library®, parents and other caregivers are in the best position to help young children learn these skills because:
• Parents know their children best and can help them learn in ways and at times that are easiest for them.
• Young children have short attention spans. Parents and caregivers can engage children in language and literacy activities for short bits of time throughout the day.
• Parents are tremendous role models–children are more likely to want to read if they see that their parents value and enjoy reading.
• Children learn best by doing—and they love doing things with their parents.
Parents can give children a tremendous advantage in school and in life by helping prepare them for reading success. For more information about upcoming Every Child Ready to Read® workshops being offered by the Keene Public Library, as well as other materials and resources for parents and caregivers, contact Gail Zachariah at 603-352-0157.