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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. Last Updated: Apr 11, 2024 7:33 AM

Print Motivation: The Ready to Read Foundation

adult reading to children

When we read, write, play, talk and sing with young children, it gets them excited about books and reading. This positive attitude — called print motivation — lays the foundation needed to support and encourage learning. Once children enjoy hearing books read aloud, it becomes easier to help them learn early literacy skills, and they enter school ready to read and write.

Get children excited about books and learning to read:

  1. Keep early literacy activities enjoyable. No worksheets!
  2. Act silly — read with expression and enthusiastically chant rhymes, sing songs and play games.
  3. Read books children want to hear. Don’t forget to include non-fiction.
  4. Engage children in conversations about what they are reading and learning.
  5. Remember that Fairfax County Public Library wants to help. Visit your neighborhood branch for book recommendations and other library resources designed to support your efforts in getting children ready to read.
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