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Resources for Parents

Early Literacy

Did you know that what children learn in the early years has a lasting impact on later school success?  In fact, “reading scores in tenth grade can be predicted with surprising accuracy based on a child’s knowledge of the alphabet in kindergarten” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003). Without a firm knowledge of letters, children will have difficulty with other aspects of literacy.  The problem is that children who start behind typically stay behind.  As parents, you are your child’s first teacher.  The Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County can help you make sure your child is kindergarten ready. We offer quality early literacy programs, parenting books, and play groups that promote socialization. 

Free Books!

We want to encourage you to start bringing your child to the library at an early age. Every time your child attends a Babygarten program, you get to take home a board book to help your child start their own library at home.  Any child under the age of four that gets a library card also gets a free book to keep.

The Big Six!

Early Literacy is what children learn about reading and writing before they can actually read or write. There are six early literacy skills that will help your child be “Ready to Learn” when he or she enters Kindergarten. These skills are developed during the infant and pre-school years when children's brains are developing at a very rapid rate.As a parent, you have the power to ensure your child’s future success in school by promoting these early literacy skills from the day he/she is born.

What are the 6 Early Literacy Skills?

1. Phonological Awareness                

The ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. You can promote phonological awareness by teaching your children rhymes.  Point out the words that rhyme.  Singing songs is also a great way to promote phonological awareness. Emphasize syllables.

2. Letter Knowledge               

Knowing that letters are different from each other and that they have different names and sounds. Make your child’s environment language rich. Point out letters and words on signs. Read alphabet books and sing alphabet songs to introduce children to letters. Talk about the letters that are most interesting to your child — like the first letter of his or her name. If your child’s name begins with “T,” help your child find the letter T on signs, food boxes, mail and on other objects. When you find a word that begins with the letter T, say the word and have your child repeat. Ask what else begins with T. Repeat this activity using the beginning letters of other things your child likes.

3. Narrative Skills                               

The ability to describe things and events, and to tell stories. Ask your child to tell you about something that happened to him today; ask for more details so he can expand on his narrative. Ask questions that cannot be answered with “yes” or “no.” This encourages your child to think and increases comprehension. Choose a book you’ve read a number of times. Read it again and at certain points in the story, let your child tell you what happens next.

 4. Vocabulary                  

Knowing the names of things. Talk and read with your children. Reading to children is especially important in building a larger vocabulary because children hear morenew words when you read books. Explain unfamiliar words rather than replacing them with familiar ones.

5. Print Awareness             

Noticing print everywhere, knowing how to handle a book, knowing how we follow the words on a page. When reading to your child, let her/him turn the pages of the book. Occasionally point to words as you are reading. Make your child’s environment language rich. The more print they see, the more they will notice. Point out letters and words on signs.

6. Print Motivation         

A child’s interest in and enjoyment of books. Read often and make it enjoyable. Make sure you and your child read in good moods, so the experience is a positive one. Stop reading when your child becomes tired or loses interest. Let your child see you reading for pleasure.

Why Should You Read Aloud to Your Children?

  1. When you hold them and give them this attention they know you love them.
  2. Reading to them will encourage them to become readers.
  3. Children's books today are so well written that they are even fun for adults.
  4. Illustrations in children's books rank with the best, giving children a life-long feeling for good art.
  5. Books are a good way of passing on your values.
  6. Books will enable your child's imagination to soar.
  7. Until they read to themselves they will think you create magic.
  8. Listening to stories will help develop your child's attention span
  9. Every teacher and librarian you ever meet will thank you.
  10. When you give them this gift you will create memories that last a lifetime.

Music for the Very Young

  • Baby Face: Activities for Infants and Toddlers-Various Artists
  • Baby Games-Various Artists
  • Babysong-Hap Palmer
  • Circle Time: Songs and Rhymes for the Very Young by Lisa Monet
  • Diaper Gym: Fun Activities for Babies on the Move-Various Artists
  • Rock-A-Tot-Sari DaJani
  • My Teddy Bear and Me:  Musical Play Activities for Infants and Toddlers-Various Artists
  • So Big: Activity Songs for Little Ones by Hap Palmer
  • Songs and Games for Babies –Various Artists
  • Songs and Games for Toddlers-Various Artists
  • Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child by Woodie Guthrie
  • Sweet Dreams: Restful Music for Quiet Times-Various Artists
  • Toddlers on Parade-Various Artists
  • Toddlers Sing-Various Artists
  • Where is Thumbkin?-Various Artists
  • Wee Sing for Baby by Pamela Conn Beall and Susan Hagen Nipp
  • Wee Sing Nursey Rhymes and Lullabies by Pamela Conn Beall and Susan Hagen Nipp

Choosing Baby Books and Toddler Books