Children need to develop certain skills before they can learn to read.
Parents and other significant caregivers are a child's first and best teachers. They can help children develop early literacy skills beginning at birth so that children are ready to learn to read once they begin school.
Talking: Talking with children helps develop all six skills, print awareness, letter knowledge, phonological awareness. vocabulary, narrative skill, and print motivation.
Singing: Singing and rhyming are especially effective at developing letter knowledge phonological awareness, and vocabulary.
Reading: Reading also helps children learn all six skills
Writing: Writing helps children learn about print, letters. phonological awareness, vocabulary, and narrative skills.
Playing: Play is a way children can learn all six skills.
March 2013 **The Great Falls Public Library is pleased to announce the addition of 318 hardwood unit blocks to their PlaySpace, an area of the library that uses high-quality toys and other interactive materials to support child development. The unit blocks were purchased through generous donations from library patrons and a matching gift from Marshall Orthodontics PC as part of Ready 2 Read.
Launched in 2009, the Ready 2 Read program is an effort to help parents and caregivers understand the value of sharing language and literacy with their children. The Great Falls Public Library has benefited from the Ready 2 Read program through the provision of collections of high-quality children’s books, early childhood training, and materials geared to parents and caregivers on the importance of sharing language with children from birth forward.
“Research suggests there is no greater investment than in early childhood education,” said Jennie Stapp, Montana State Librarian. “Montana libraries have evolved to meet the challenge of providing programs, services, and materials for our youngest library patrons – children from birth to three years old. By adding high-quality play areas to libraries, we are continuing to provide support at the community level that will enhance the development of our state’s greatest resource – our children.”
The Great Falls Public Library's Ready 2 Read PlaySpace offers high-quality toys and hands-on interactive tools with the goal of expanding the traditional role of children’s library services. The PlaySpace increases the Great Falls Public Library's capacity to recognize and realize our full potential as an environment for healthy child and family development, parent and community involvement and lifelong learning beginning at birth.
“By investing in our children’s learning and development, we are investing in the future of our community," stated Nola Huey, Youth Services Librarian. "We greatly appreciate these financial donations and we continue seeking funds to purchase the storage case for these wonderful learning tools."
The Ready 2 Read early learning initiative builds on the knowledge that good health, early learning, parental involvement, and supportive communities play a critical role in young children’s growth and development. For more information on the Ready 2 Read early literacy initiative, visit http://ready2readmontana.org