What is early literacy?
Early literacy (sometimes referred to as emergent literacy) is what children know about communication, language (verbal and non-verbal), reading, and writing before they can actually read and write. It encompasses all of a child's experiences with conversation, stories (oral and written), books, and print.
From: 2011 policy Brief from Zero to Three. A Window to the World: Early Language and Literacy Development.
Why is early literacy important?
Many of Alaska's young children enter kindergarten without adequate early literacy skills. These foundational literacy skills allow children to become better readers. Better readers lead to greater school and work success, higher self-esteem, and wider choices and options in life. There is a strong need to promote early literacy throughout Alaska, especially during the first three years of life, when the brain is developing at its fastest rate and is most receptive to acquiring language and literacy skills.
The aspects of early literacy can be described in different ways, using different terms. The basic information is the same. Here we have divided early literacy into components:
Children need ALL the early literacy components starting from birth to be good readers.
We offer free presentations on "Nurturing Early Literacy in Infants and Toddlers" to early care and learning professionals.
Discover what young children need to know before they learn to read. Learn simple, practical ways you can encourage the development of these pre-reading skills in infants and toddlers. Find out what tools are readily available to assist you in strengthening literacy skills and developing readers.
For more information, contact Project Manager, ph# 907.343.2970 or e-mail Ready@muni.org.
Easy Ways You Can Encourage Early Literacy Every Day!
Talking with children is one of the best ways to help them learn new words and information.
Singing slows down language so children can hear the different sounds and syllables in words.
Reading together is the single most important way to help children get ready to read.
Writing helps children learn that written words stand for spoken language.
Playing helps children put thoughts into words and think symbolically so they understand that spoken and written words can stand for real objects and experiences.