Start Literacy Skills Early!

Literacy Starts Early

When it comes to your child, the sooner you can set them on a path to literacy the better! Teaching children to read may be the school’s job, but it’s up to the parents and caregivers to get them ready.

Research shows that there are five practices that children need to experience that will help them learn to read – talking, singing, reading, writing and playing.


Talking is a child’s earliest introduction to language. When you talk to your baby, you’ll see them respond to the sounds and attention. When they hear the rhythm and patterns of words, they will begin to recognize them.


Singing is a fun way to emphasize rhythm and the pieces that make up words. Don’t think you can sing? Your child doesn’t care and won’t judge – go ahead and belt it out.


Reading doesn’t have to be teaching your child to read, but simply reading to them. They’ll enjoy the contact and sound of your voice as they observe how print and books work. They’ll also hear words that don’t occur in conversation.


Writing is a small motor skill so let your child scribble and draw. Take the opportunity to talk to them about what they’re drawing.


Playing is how young children learn. Play with your child and encourage them to play with other kids. Again, talk to them about what they’re doing.

It’s one of our goals at Capital Area District Libraries to help give the young children in your life the best start possible with storytimes that emphasize early literacy. At CADL Foster, our 8-week fall sessions begin the week of Sept. 23 with Preschoolers (ages 3-6) and Toddlers (ages 18-36 months) on Wednesday mornings and Babies (ages 6-18 months) on Thursdays. Call 517-485-5185 for more information and to register for these free programs.


Jean B., Head Librarian at CADL Foster