What Is Early Literacy?

Early Literacy can be thought of as “pre-reading skills.” These skills make it easier for kids to learn to read when the time comes, and help them to succeed as they learn and grow. How can you help your child to develop these skills? Talk, sing, read, write, and play! These are the simple early literacy practices recommended by experts, based upon up-to-the-minute brain research.

There are many other ways to support children as they learn to read (and beyond). One of the easiest is to visit your Library! Find fun events that foster a love of reading and learning at our children’s events page. Traditionally we offer interactive areas around the department that are specially designed to foster literacy through play.


Learn More About Child Development and Early Literacy

ZERO to THREE is a national non-profit research and policy center that provides education about the unique developmental needs of babies and toddlers.

Learning to read and write doesn’t start in kindergarten or first grade. Developing language and literacy skills begins at birth through everyday loving interactions, such as sharing books, telling stories, singing songs and talking to one another. Learn how adults—parents, grandparents, and teachers—play a very important role in preparing young children for future school success and helping them become self-confident and motivated learners.

The article Read Early and Often from the ZERO to THREE newsletter Baby Steps answers the question “Why Read to Babies?”


Reading Rockets is a national public media literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.

See its Reading Tips for Parents page for downloadable information by age group (babies, toddlers and preschoolers through third graders) as well as multiple languages and disabilities.


Learn More About Libraries and the Role They Play in Early Literacy

Talk, Sing, Read, Write, Play: How Libraries Reach Kids Before They Can Read

The Storytime Experience

Thank you to our colleagues at the Johnson County Public Library system in Johnson County, Indiana, who have summarized the storytime experience perfectly, and also created a free downloadable 11-page booklet entitled First Teacher: a Mom’s Guide to Helping Your Little One Learn.