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Early Literacy

Every Child Ready to Read @ MCPL

Learning to read begins before your children start school. Help your children develop early literacy skills now and they will have an easier time learning to read when they begin school.  Children learn best by doing and they love doing things with you! You know your child best and can tell when they are calm and relaxed. This is when they will be most receptive to learning. Five of the best ways to help your child get ready to read are: talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing. 

Children learn language by listening to their parents, and others, talk. As children hear spoken language, they learn new words and what they mean.

Singing slows down language so children can hear the different sounds that make up words. This helps when children begin to read printed language.

Reading helps children learn how print looks and how books work. Reading together—shared reading—is the single most important way to help children get ready to read.

Both reading and writing represent spoken language and communication information. Children can learn pre-reading skills through writing activities.

Play helps children think symbolically, so they understand that spoken and written words can stand for real objects and experiences. Play also helps children express themselves and put thoughts into words.

Tips for Shared Reading

  • Show your child that reading is important by letting him or her see you reading on your own!
  • Read together every day and talk about the books you read.
  • Create a special space for your children to look at books. Have a comfortable chair or pillows and make sure there’s room for you and your child to sit together.
  • Provide a small shelf or basket from which your child can reach the books without assistance.
  • Designate a special spot for library books. Keep a list of favorite titles and authors and questions your child asks. Use this list to guide what you checkout at your next library visit.



  • 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten—This initiative is aimed at helping preschoolers get ready for Kindergaten through being read to. 
  • Storytimes at MCPL— Storytimes at Mid-Continent Libraries offer a variety of book related experiences for young children. They strive to be developmentally appropriate and can include picture book reading, storytelling, music, flannel board presentations, fingerplays, short videos and/or simple crafts.
  • Bookflix—BookFlix is an online literacy resource that pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks to build a love of reading and learning. BookFlix reinforces early reading skills and introduces children to a world of knowledge and exploration.
  • Early Literacy and Language Tools from the Zero to Three Website—Find helpful resources for the youngest readers at this website.
  • Mem Fox’s Ten Read Aloud Commandments—Helpful tips to keep in mind when reading aloud to children.
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