Kindergarten readiness begins at birth and Early Childhood programming at the Orange County Library System is designed to support the developmental needs of your child from the day they are born until the day they set foot in their kindergarten classroom. Each library program incorporates the five early literacy practices of Every Child Ready to Read® (reading, writing, singing, talking and playing) and recognizes that you are your child's first and best teacher. Check out each tab above as well as the Public Library Association (PLA) Early Literacy Calendars for activities you and your child can do together each day!
Traditionally, early literacy programs at public libraries have focused on children. In 2004, the Public Library Association (PLA) and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) determined that public libraries could have an even greater impact on strengthening early literacy skills by educating caregivers with children ages 0-5 to help them prepare their child to enter school with the skills needed to learn how to read. We are committed to teaching caregivers how to use the five early literacy practices of reading, writing, singing, talking and playing (Every Child Ready to Read, 2020).
Reading: Shared reading is the most important activity you can engage in with your child to help them develop the skills needed to learn how to read. Make a goal to read for 15-20 minutes every day.
Writing: Reading and writing go hand in hand. When children see print being used in their daily lives, they begin to understand that there is a connection between printed letters and spoken words.
Singing: Singing to or with your child helps them learn new vocabulary and slows down language so that they can hear the individual sounds and syllables in words. Your child loves to hear the sound of your voice, so don't worry if you can't sing!
Talking: Children learn new words and concepts by listening to adults speak and joining in the conversation. Ask your child open ended questions that begin with wh- (who, what, where, when, why) to encourage back and forth discussions.
Playing: Play allows children to explore and learn about the world around them, put their thoughts in words by talking about what they are doing and provides opportunities for positive social interactions with others.