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Early Literacy

Early literacy is what children know about communication, language—verbal and non-verbal—reading and writing before they can actually read and write.

Imagine Your Story: Summer Reading Adventure 2020

Kids Read for Fun During the Library’s Summer Reading Adventure
Sign up begins June 12!

The Summer Reading Adventure runs June 12 through August 14 and invites all children and teens—birth through high school—to read for fun over the summer. The theme in 2020 is “Imagine Your Story!” This summer the program will be virtual.

The Basics of the Library’s Summer Reading Adventure

On June 12, sign up online and download a preschool (Birth-5), school-aged (Grades K-5) or teen (Grades 6-12) summer reading gameboard. You may also find these challenges on our summer reading website

The gameboard is divided into three prize milestones. Play the game by completing the challenges and when you reach each prize milestone, you will submit a form to be entered into a random drawing for one of two Amazon e-gift cards. (You may only submit one form for each prize milestone.)

Don’t want to complete some (or any) of the gameboard challenges? In lieu of completing a challenge, read or listen to a book of your choice.

Kids and teens can read any books they choose. They can even read free eBooks or listen to eAudio books or books on CD, which are all available through the library or they can complete a challenge.
Find your next book to read using the suggested author tab! These links take you directly to the catalog.

The amounts of the Amazon e-gift cards for each prize milestone:

Prize Milestone 1: $50 
Prize Milestone 2: $100
Prize Milestone 3: $150 

Two winners will be chosen for each gameboard and will be notified by August 31. The drawings close on August 14.

Early Literacy Daily Activities

Early literacy is what children know about communication, language—verbal and non-verbal—reading and writing before they can actually read and write. Research shows that children get ready to read years before they start school. Help children learn important skills now so they can become good readers later.

Take every opportunity to read, play, sing, talk and write with your children. These daily activities will help get children ready to learn.

Thursday, July 9 

Babies and Toddlers: Use the words you want babies to use when you talk with them (bottle instead of ba-ba).

Preschoolers: Sing - Sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” during bath time.

Singing during bath time is a fun way for children to hear the smaller sounds in words which will help with sounding out words when they learn to read.

Wednesday, July 8 

Babies and Toddlers: Put small bins of board books around your house—in your child’s favorite play areas, in their bedroom and even in the kitchen and by your desk—so that as your toddler discovers toys to play with, they’ll come upon books to read as well.

Preschoolers: Talk - Talk about feelings. What made you laugh today?

Talking about feelings will enhance a child’s vocabulary which will help with comprehension when they begin to read.

Tuesday, July 7

Babies and Toddlers: Toddlers just want to be included. Make everyday moments into brain building activities by explaining what you’re doing and encouraging your toddler.

Preschoolers: Write - Playing with play dough strengthens muscles needed for writing. Roll dough into balls, press fingers into the dough and make shapes.

Letters are made up of shapes and using play dough is a fun way to learn to make shapes.

Monday, July 6

Babies and Toddlers: Stock your child’s play spaces with take out menus, empty cracker boxes and other leftover household items. You’ll encourage pretend play and familiarize them with places and things they’ll find in print.

Preschoolers: Read - Take a picture walk through the pages of a book and have your child retell the story.

Retelling the story helps children organize and describe events which enhances reading comprehension.

Week of June 29

Babies and Toddlers: Read expressively, using different voices for different characters, and raising or lowering your voice as appropriate. Your toddler will be more engaged in the story.

Preschoolers: Play – Play the letter of the day game. Pick a letter in your child’s name because those letters have the most meaning to children and find things all day that start with that letter. Keep a list of all the things you found.

Finding items whose beginning letter matches a letter in your child’s name is a great way to teach them the letter and it’s associated sound.

Babies and Toddlers: You may find that your child sits still while coloring or playing with a favorite toy while you read. Some kids might not look at you or the book, but that doesn't mean they're not interested or listening.

Preschoolers: Sing - Play a recording of lively music and invite youngsters to dance. Randomly stop the music and direct little ones to freeze. Say a word and point to a child. Prompt them to say a real or nonsense rhyming word. Then restart the music and play another round.

Playing around with rhyming words really highlights a word’s beginning and ending sounds which will help children sound out words when they learn to read.

Babies and Toddlers: Choose sturdy board books with pictures (especially photos) of kids doing the things they do every day. Children love to see real pictures in books.

Preschoolers: Talk - Use new describing words today. Say “enormous” instead of big or large and “scrumptious” instead of delicious.

Finding other words for familiar words will increase a child’s vocabulary which is an important early literacy skill.

Babies and Toddlers: Ask open-ended questions like: "Why do you think the lion is going into the woods? What do you think will happen next?" This helps your child develop critical thinking skills.

Preschoolers: Write - Make a dot painting with cotton swabs.

Working with cotton swabs helps strengthen hands for fine motor skills such as writing as children get older.

Babies and Toddlers: Talk about the pictures. Point to items and name them. Then ask your child to name them with you and praise your child for their response. Talking about and naming pictures develops vocabulary.

Preschoolers: Read - Put some picture books that you want to read on hold to be delivered to your local branch. Pick them up curbside when they are ready. For more information about curbside pickup click here.

Reading a variety of stories keeps reading interesting and enjoyable for children.


Early Literacy Library Scavenger Hunt

Reviews of E-Books for Preschoolers

A Girl Like Me by Angela Johnson

A Girl Like Me

Dynamic, colorful collage art brings to life this story of being true to yourself.  A young girl dreams big dreams, only to be told she shouldn’t try to accomplish those things.  But she knows not to pay attention to the voices telling her to be like everyone else.  She invites her friends to join her as she adventures, because she knows she should always be “thinking up high and making everything better than the dream.”


Early Literacy Tip: Ask children whether they ever have dreams like the little girl in the story.  Would they like to fly over buildings or swim deep in the ocean?  What would that feel like?  What would they see?  Who would adventure with them?  Help children notice the details in each illustration and talk about the photographs, colors, and patterns.  Using magazines, photographs, and favorite art materials, invite children to create a collage to illustrate one of their dreams.

Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel, illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Hands Up!

The reader follows a young black girl as she grows from a baby putting her hands up to greet the sun or get dressed, to stretching hands up to reach the sink, to putting her hands up to dance (like Ms. Misty) and play basketball.  The story, published in 2019, recasts the often-negative phrase “hands up” to celebrate life, love and relationships. Beautifully illustrated, the pictures remind us not to look down, but to look up and lift our hands to change not only ourselves, but also the world.


Early Literacy Tip: Point out that the words “hands up” appear many times in the story. Invite children to read them with you each time. Run your finger under the words, to help develop print awareness, an important early literacy skill.  By pointing out the words, chldren will recognize that you are reading the text, not just looking at the pictures on each page.  After children is familiar with the story, ask them to find “their” words throughout the story.

E-Books for Preschoolers

Checkout e-books using Overdrive or RBdigital

10 Hungry Rabbits by Anita Lobel
One by one, 10 very hungry rabbits find 10 very yummy vegetables for Mama Rabbit's soup pot. One big purple cabbage, two white onions, three yellow peppers and so on through 10.

Ada Twist Scientist

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
A story about the power of curiosity in the hands of a child who is on a mission to use science to understand her world.

Dog Loves Counting by Louise Yates
Meet Dog and let him show you why he loves to count.

Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates
Dog loves books so much he opens his very own bookstore. At first he's short of customers. But that's all right, because when Dog is surrounded by books, he is never short of friends or fun. And when customers begin arriving, he knows just which books to recommend.

Duck and Goose by Tad Hill
Meet Duck and Goose, two young birds who mistake a polka-dot ball for an egg and have to master the art of cooperation, and sharing, to take care of it. But friendship is not always easy, as proved in this funny, accessible story.

Everything I Need to Know Before I’m Five by Valorie Fisher
Do you know your letters? Can you count to twenty? Learn all that and more in this all-in-one concept picture book.

Giddy-Up Daddy! by Troy Cummings
When rootin'-tootin' Daddy the "horse" is eyeballed by some rotten rustlers, it's all the kids can do to keep him out of the big lugs' lasso.

Hush, Little Horsie by Jane Yolen
Mama horses around the world promise to watch over their little ones as the foals frolic and play and eventually fall asleep in this soothing bedtime story.

My Dog is As Smelly As Dirty Socks by Hanoch Piven
After the girl has described everyone in her family (including herself, in great detail), she asks, "What does your special family look like?" encouraging readers to create their own portraits.

Ollie the Purple Elephant by Jarrett Krosoczka
Ollie is a purple elephant who is lost and has no place to call home. Until Shelby and Peter find him in the park and invite him to live with them.

Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folgueira
When a pig visits a frog pond, sits on a rock and says only "Ribbit!," news spreads fast, but only the wise old beetle has an explanation.

Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman
Grandpa once danced on the vaudeville stage, and as he glides across the floor, the children can see what it was like to be a song and dance man.

What Can You do With a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla
As she strolls through her barrio, a young girl introduces readers to the frozen, fruit-flavored treat that thrills Mexican and Mexican-American children.

Who Do I See? by Salina Yoon
A lively guess-the-animal book that features different colors and animal patterns in a fun and instructional way. Each animal sports a pattern with a different set of colors, and young readers are invited to guess what the animal is on the next page.

ZooZical by Judy Sierra
The animals are out of sorts: listless, grumpy and no longer fun. All except two little friends, a very small hippo and a baby kangaroo. Their hip-hopping, toe-tapping and rap-rocking soon has the other animals joining in the hip-aroo beat.

March 2020

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