It’s never too early to cuddle up with a book and share your love of reading with your baby. Book-sharing and reading engages children of all ages.
Recent research has demonstrated that literacy development begins well before children start formal reading instruction. Children are doing critical cognitive work in language and literacy development from birth. Quality interaction in the first 5 years can make a vital contribution to a child’s lifelong achievement as a reader and a writer. The exposure parents and caregivers provide during the first years of life contribute to healthy child development and concurrent brain development and are essential for school readiness and future success.
A parent, as the child’s first and most constant teacher, is the most important influence on a child’s engagement with reading. Children from families who are challenged by poverty and extenuating circumstances are at higher risk of being unprepared for kindergarten and being behind their peers throughout their educational career. Without the necessary support from parents and caregivers in their early years, these children may not succeed. With support, these children can – and do – succeed.
Early Literacy Services is committed to preparing and supporting all families who do not have access to educational opportunities to support their child’s intellectual as well as emotional and social development through programs designed to fit the learning style and individual needs of the parent and the family.
Community Connections helps to empower families by providing access to quality educational experiences for all young children. Our programs build literacy rich homes, support parents’/guardians’ understanding of child development and the importance of their role as their child’s first teacher. Additionally, our programs offer families opportunities to connect with each other and to resources in their community.
ParentChild+ utilizes a non-directive approach by modeling behaviors for parents that enhance children’s development. Over two years of weekly home visits, ParentChild+ helps parents realize their role as their children’s first and most important teacher, generating enthusiasm for learning and verbal interaction through the use of engaging books and stimulating toys. Parents are encouraged to continue quality play and reading between visits with the books and toys they are given each week. The “light touch” employed by ParentChild+ Specialists is non-intimidating and empowers parents — supporting them and building pride in their commitment to, and impact on, their child’s education.
Raising A Reader programs help families develop, practice and maintain routines of reading together at home. Research-based instruction for parents and caregivers builds their skills to engage their children in language and literacy experiences that prepare them for school success. With a rotating library of high quality children’s literature to bring home each week, Raising A Reader encourages children and parents to develop the habit of shared reading. Families also build the connections to libraries that result in lasting family literacy habits and improved outcomes for children.
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