Early Literacy Resources
Encourage the parents and caring adults in your community to read early and often with their children, and to use early literacy practices to help their children get ready to learn to read. Early literacy research says:
- Children's reading success in school starts with positive language and literacy experiences beginning at birth.
- Children who start kindergarten ready to learn to read have greater success throughout their school years.
- Learning to read involves two key skills: decoding (learning the letter code) and comprehension (understanding what printed text says).
Use and share these resources to promote the success of children in your community:
PLA/ALSC Every Child Ready to Read® @ Your Library®
This national initiative seeks to empower the key adults in children's lives to develop strong early literacy skills. The toolkit, now in its 2nd edition, focuses on five simple practices--talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing--that develop language and pre-reading skills in children beginning at birth. The ECRR2 toolkit is available from the ALA Store. PLA/ALSC created an introductory webinar about ECRR2 which is available for viewing. You may also download notes from this webinar (PDF), taken by State Library youth services consultant Janet Ingraham Dwyer.
Wondering how to start integrating ECRR2 into your early literacy work? Use the Ohio Early Literacy Crosswalk to work with the Six Skills and Five Practices together, and discover how they fit with the Ohio Pre-Kindergarten Content Standards and with Head Start Outcomes. Take a look at the aids Saroj Ghoting has created and compiled for librarians to use. And explore your colleagues' creative work in integrating the Five Practices, such as these blog posts by Elaine Betting at Lorain Public Library System on early literacy skills and kindergarten readiness and choosing games and toys that promote early literacy skills.
Parent workshops are designed for parents and caregivers, especially those of low income, and frequently work best when library staff go out into the community, targeting non-library users. Forming partnerships with local partners such as Head Starts and child care centers enhances the effectiveness of workshops and other community efforts.
The Resources for Early Childhood project from the Ohio Resource Center brings together a wealth of lessons and activities, inquiry projects, annotated booklists with extension projects, and research articles and briefs, all intended to promote best practices and to connect early childhood educators with resources. Librarians will also find many great resources and opportunities here, as will parents and caregivers.
Ohio Department of Education Learning Supports: Early Learning
and School Readiness
ODE resources supporting children's experiences prior to kindergarten, including cognitive and linguistic development, which help prepare them to succeed in school. Learn about Ohio's Early Learning and Development Standards and other supports for young children.
Raising a Reader rotates bags of award-winning books into children's homes on a weekly basis, and provides parent training and information on how to effectively share books to promote family literacy habits, language and literacy skills, and a love of learning. Families are also connected with their local public library to continue the practice of borrowing books and build a lifelong habit of reading. Raising A Reader is an evidence-based program that can be adapted to meet the diverse needs of communities and families.
Born to Read is aimed at providing early literacy resources to library staff as they help expectant and new parents to become aware that reading to a baby from birth is critical to every baby's growth and well-being.
The Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) has published an Early Literacy Program Resources manual incorporating the 2012 "Dream Big - Read" theme and early literacy skills. This manual is included with the manual package delivered to every public library in Ohio by the State Library. For more information and many additional resources, create an account on the CSLP website at http://www.cslpreads.org/.
Dialogic Reading (from Multnomah County Library)
In addition to the six early literacy skills, encourage parents and caregivers to engage in the dialogic reading method, which promotes conversation between the reader and the young child and helps the young child become involved in and invested in the story. Children learn more from books when they are actively involved.
Saroj Ghoting, Early Childhood Literacy Consultant
Saroj presents early literacy training and information sessions at national, regional, and state conferences, and training for library staff and their community partners, including STAR POWER, Early Literacy Enhanced Storytimes, and others. She is a co-author of Early Literacy Storytimes @ your library: Partnering with Caregivers for Success, published by ALA Editions, and The Early Literacy Kit: A Handbook and Tip Cards, also from ALA Editons.
Kid Lit Plus Consulting
Trainer and consultant Sue McCleaf Nespeca heads Kid Lit Plus Consulting, which is devoted to the promotion of children's literature, with a specialty in books for children from birth through grade three, and also with an emphasis on the importance of early literacy. Sue offers a wide variety of workshops and other services to support your library's development of early literacy programming and activities, including a new workshop, "Early Literacy Training to Assist Librarians with ECRR2". Sue is also a co-author of Picture Books Plus: 100 Extension Activities in Art, Drama, Music, Math and Science.
Doing What Works: Preschool Language and Literacy
This very well-organized, thorough, and easy to use research-based site from the U.S. Department of Education provides practice summaries, key concepts, research evidence, lesson plans, recommended practices with templates, and site profiles of exemplary programs in the areas of phonological awareness and dialogic reading. Focused toward preschool educators.
Center for Early Literacy Learning
This site has resources for early childhood intervention practitioners, parents, and other caregivers of children, birth to five years of age, with identified disabilities, developmental delays, and those at-risk for poor outcomes. Printable activity guides for parents and practitioners offer tips and encouragement on engaging young children with disabilities in early literacy activities.
Get Ready to Read
For early education and child care professionals to help preschoolers get ready to read. Sponsored by the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
Reading is Fundamental
RIF supports educators in assuring that all children become lifelong readers.
Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy
This statewide initiative of the Colorado State Library and public libraries exists to strengthen children's literacy through library services and community advocacy. Along with other educational resources and services, CLEL offers StoryBlocks, an LSTA grant-funded website to share rhymes, songs, and early literacy tips with parents, caregivers and librarians. CLEL's online resources are available for peers in other states.
Read to Me - from the Idaho Commission for Libraries
Another statewide effort to share resources and support early literacy activities at the local library and community level as well as across the state. Many of the opportunities posted on this site are specific to Idaho libraries, but there are also numerous resources that peers in any state may use or adapt.
6 by 6 - from Johnson County (KS) Library
One public library's initiative to teach the six skills and to support parents and caregivers in its community. The website offers lots of tips, activities, and book reviews to encourage parents to help their children gain the 6 skills by age 6.
Day by Day Family Literacy Calendar
A project of the South Carolina State Library, this Day by Day Family Literacy Calendar provides a fun tool for families, caregivers, educators and librarians to further develop early literacy skills that help young children become prepared for school or do better in school. This perpetual calendar is available for free download or may be ordered for a small fee from the South Carolina Library Foundation.