Back to school can be a challenging time for parents, especially those with a young child starting preschool or kindergarten for the first time.
One of the most important things parents can do to get their little ones ready is to help them develop the skills needed for reading. Why is that so important? Literacy and language development are the foundations for all other learning. Children who enter school with these skills have an advantage that carries with them straight into adulthood.
Yet according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 1 in 3 American children start kindergarten without the skills they need to learn how to read.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to help children with this, and it’s not complicated at all. The five early literacy practices are things that you may already be doing together — reading, writing, talking, singing and playing are all ways that children learn the skills needed get off to a great start.
Capital Area District Libraries offers lots of ways to encourage these practices. And all of them involve an essential ingredient for learning — fun. For example, library members can check out Raising Readers backpacks to use at home. Built around themes like dinosaurs, colors, animals and weather, the packs are filled with books, toys, music CDs and more. You can also pick up a free Early Literacy Calendar at any library branch. Every day features an activity or suggestion for strengthening reading skills.
Of course, nothing beats a great story time when it comes to getting children excited about reading. Hearing stories and participating in group activities can help them develop imagination, comprehension and attention skills.
Learn more about resources like these at a website dedicated to supporting parents and children during the critical learning years. Visit cadl.org/kids-parents/raising-readers/overview.