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What is Early Literacy?
Early Literacy is what children know about communication before they can actually read or write. It encompasses all of a child’s experiences with all types of communication and language that begin in the first five years of life, and it starts at home WITH YOU. You make the difference in your child’s early literacy development and school readiness. There are five key activities you can do with your child to foster early literacy. By singing, talking, reading, writing, and playing with your child, you create an interactive and rich environment. Not only do these activities stimulate your child’s growing brain, but they’re fun and perfect to bond over!
Reading aloud to your child every day is the most important thing you can do to prepare your child for learning to read, as it increases his brain’s capacity for language and literacy skills. These skills are phonological awareness, print awareness, letter knowledge, vocabulary, and background knowledge. More information can be found on these tip sheets: literacy practices and literacy skills.
Practicing these activities and developing these skills are a primary focus of ours at The Smithtown Library!
Early Literacy at The Smithtown Library
The library is ideal for fostering positive emotional and social development for babies and toddlers. We provide an optimal learning environment for children in our programming, as we can provide positive reinforcement, learning through play, and positive interaction between adult and child. These programs include a variety of the five key activities: singing, talking, reading, writing, and playing.
Our Facebook Page and Twitter Feed often feature photographs and highlights from our programs, so be sure to subscribe to both. If you couldn’t make it to our storytime or want to revisit your favorite nursery rhyme to sing along at home, look no further than our YouTube channel. Here we demonstrate some of our favorite songs and fingerplays.
Every summer we offer a version of our Summer Reading Program for babies and toddlers from birth through 35 months called First Step to Reading. Stop by the Children’s Department of your local Library Branch beginning on Monday, July 1 to register and pick up a packet. Share 25 books with your little one during the seven week program and receive a certificate and a special prize. These selections can be recommendations from our collection, Tumblebooks, Sesame Street eBooks, or books from your own personal library! We also offer the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, ask any children's librarian for more details.
For more ideas about implementing early literacy in your home, visit these great sites:
All families and caregivers are encouraged to read at least 1000 books with their young children before they enter Kindergarten. Reading to preschool-age children builds vocabulary, language skills, and helps prepare them for Kindergarten. Families can build the skills needed for future success. Ask your children's librarian for more information.
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Children's Database of the Month
Students of all ages use eLibrary Elementary's to find the answers they need from more than 390 magazines, newspapers, books, and transcripts—plus thousands of maps, images, educator-approved websites from Homework Central®, and audio/video titles, all selected as appropriate for elementary school studies. Click here to get started.