Supporting Parents and Caregivers

There are many ways to share early literacy information with parents and caregivers! You can talk about these concepts in storytime, during day-to-day interactions at the children's desk and in the stacks, and anytime you interact with parents and caregivers. You can share early literacy information via signage, displays, social media, and library publications. Some ideas:

  • Schedule an ORTR Early Literacy 101 training for your staff, to equip them to teach early literacy concepts.
  • Learn about new research, articles, parent tips, and more on ORTR's Facebook page.
  • Curious about how to include early literacy messaging in storytime? See our Storytime Ideas page for lots of helpful resources!
  • Use ORTR's Grab & Go Early Literacy Station templates to make quick displays or parent/child activity stations.
  • Use or adapt this presentation script from Elaine Betting at Lorain Public Library System, developed for a library program for parents of incoming kindergarten students. It describes the Five Practices and easy ways to use them to support early literacy skills development.
  • Consider partnering with other organizations that support families and children. Find suggestions in the Partnerships section.
  • Use this Tip Sheet (PDF) as a guide to reach out to families who do not come to the library.


 Resources to Share with Parents and Caregivers
 
Help parents to thrive as their children's first and best teachers. Browse these websites for talking points, downloadables, and good ideas to share with parents, or link to these sites on your parent-oriented handouts, website, or social media:

Day By Day Ohio Family Literacy Calendar
A perpetual calendar for young children and their families, featuring a song, a video, activities, and book recommendations for every day of the year! DayByDayOH, a service of the State Library of Ohio in collaboration with Ohio Ready to Read, also includes literacy and health information and an Ohio public library locator map.
 
Reading Tips for Families
Through a collaboration between the Ohio Department of Education’s Office for Exceptional Children and the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities, this website includes reading definitions, activities, and resources to engage and educate families, while meeting requirements for disability accessibility and accessibility for non-English speakers. The site's glossary of educational terms is especially helpful for parents and guardians, and is a good tool for librarians to know about!
 
Zero to Three
Resources for parents and others to learn about brain development, early language and literacy, and child development. The site includes special sections for many helpful topics including Family, Friend, and Neighbor Care and School Readiness.
 
Embrace Race: Supporting Healthy Racial Learning in Early Childhood
Early childhood is the critical time in the development of children's ideas and attitudes about race. Adults can and must engage children explicitly in thoughtful, informed, and age-appropriate ways to ensure they grow up racially healthy. This resource guide from EmbraceRace will help.
 
Learn the Signs. Act Early.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers many resources about healthy early childhood development for parents and guardians. A wide variety of free materials including checklists, tip sheets, growth charts, books, and more are available for download here. Some of these resources are tailored toward families and some toward professionals.
 
Resources for Parents and Caregivers from the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences
At-home activities, videos, handouts, infographics, and even coloring sheets to educate and encourage caregivers with this message: "The simple everyday interactions you have with children are opportunities for learning. See the science behind these moments and learn how to make the most of each one."
 
Babies Need Words Every Day: Talk, Read, Sing, Play
This campaign of the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) campaign is designed to help parents and caregivers understand the importance of enriching communication with their babies. ALSC offers free downloads of posters and brochures for your library and community partners.
 
Reading Rockets: For Parents
Tools, tips, booklists, and other free resources for parents from Reading Rockets, a national multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.
 
Reading Rockets: Dialogic Reading
This powerful, fun method of reading interactively with children turns books into opportunities for conversation and learning. In dialogic reading, the adult helps the child become the teller of the story.  Dialogic reading significantly enhances early literacy skill-building. It also encourages social skills such as taking turns and listening; gives children practice in sorting and communicating their thoughts; and helps children understand that their input is important and meaningful.
 
Parent Partner videos from Hancock Literacy
These short videos geared towards parents and caregivers provide tips and suggestions on how to get the most out of their reading time with their young children. A service of Hancock Literacy in Findlay, Ohio.
 
Books Build Connections Toolkit
The American Academy of Pediatrics has collected numerous resources for caregivers and children to form positive attitudes about, and develop good practices for, sharing books and developing receptive and expressive language skills. Downloadable tipsheets help caregivers share books with their children at every stage from infancy to preschool.
 
PBS Parents: Reading and Language
Learn how children become readers and writers and how parents can help them develop by talking, reading, and writing together every day.
 
Get Ready to Read screening tool
This online, 20-question tool for 4-year-olds was designed to show where a child is on the path to developing pre-reading skills. It is free for parents and caregivers to use with children, and is available in English and Spanish.
 

 

 

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