Skip to page contents
You are here: Home ) Children ) Raise a Reader

Raise a Reader

boy reading a book

Why is early literacy important?

Research now shows us that children are born learning. Creating rich experiences in the earliest years of a child's life will have an impact on them later on. Early literacy is a part of this development. Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing from their earliest experiences with books. Through these experiences, children develop six essential skills that form the foundation for learning to read. The earlier you expose children to reading, the stronger the foundation you build.

In fact, "The single most significant factor influencing a child's early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school." National Commission on Reading, 1985

This is not the only reason to read to a child! Reading aloud also strengthens family bonds. It is a special activity shared between parents and children, ideally every day.

How does the library support early literacy?

For several years the Bellingham Public Library and the Whatcom County Library System have been working together to give each baby born at St. Joseph Hospital a new book of their very own, the beloved Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. Families also receive a packet of information about the services the library systems offer to support early literacy. These packets are available in English, Spanish and Russian.

Raise a Reader has also partnered up with several pediatric clinics in the county. These clinics, which were already sending free books home at well-child exams, are now also including library information in the material that goes home with parents.

Using tools such as Every Child Ready to Read, Raise a Reader provides parents with simple measures they can take to increase pre-reading skills.

We invite you to come to one of our storytimes or programs and share the joy of reading with your child.

The Six Skills

Reading lists, brochures and helpful links

Top of Page ^ Top of page