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.
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.