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Importance of Early Literacy and Reading to Young Children
Nation of Readers: the Report of the Commission on Reading. National Institute of
An often-cited work that promotes emergent literacy and explains the need for children to lay a foundation for reading before coming to school.
Bush, Laura. "Ready
to Read, Ready to Learn." Parents Magazine. v77 i6
(June 2002) p118.
First Lady Laura Bush explains why early literacy should be a top priority for families and our nation.
Babies Need Books: Sharing the Joy of Books with Children from
Birth to Six. Heinemann, 1998.
A work that discusses the importance of reading to young children, provides important guidelines for choosing appropriate books and recommends hundreds of books by age level. (j010 Parent-Teacher)
Committee on the
Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children. Preventing
Reading Difficulties in Young Children. National Academy Press,
A frequently-cited work that examines the factors that put children at risk of poor reading, and explores ways to encourage literacy from birth through the primary grades. (j372.4 Parent-Teacher)
Fox, Mem. Reading
Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives
Forever. Harcourt, 2001.
An inspiring book that reaffirms the educational benefits of reading aloud while reminding us that it can also bring intense happiness to both children and adults. Includes tips on reading aloud. (j649.58 Parent-Teacher)
Early Development and Learning
Beck, Joan Wagner.
How to Raise a Brighter Child: the Case for Early Learning.
Pocket Books, 1999.
A revised and updated classic that provides information and simple activities for parents interested in giving their children a head start at home and in increasing their child's joy in learning. (j649.1 Parent-Teacher)
Berry, et.al. The Irreducible Needs of Children: What Every
Child Must Have to Grow, Learn, and Flourish. Perseus Publishing,
Beginning with mutually strong convictions that society is not currently meeting the basic needs of children, the authors lay out seven requirements for a healthy childhood and recommends ways to meet them. (j305.231 Parent-Teacher)
Center for Early Education and Development
This University of Minnesota interdepartmental center "provides information regarding young children (birth to age eight), including children with special needs, in the areas of education, child care, child development, and family education." CEED offers training services, conducts research projects, and publishes information on a variety of early education and development topics.
"Eager to Learn: Educating Our Preschoolers." Center for the Improvement
of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA)
A summary report focusing on education outside of the home, including features of a quality program.
Start Task Force. Teaching
Our Youngest: A Guide for Preschool Teachers and Child-Care and
U.S. Department of Education & U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, 2002.
A booklet that includes strategies for teaching children to develop their language abilities, increase their knowledge, become familiar with books, learn letters and sounds, recognize numbers and learn to count.
Improve Student Performance
A list of early childhood resources on effective ways to teach reading and language skills to children. From the U.S. Department of Education.
Eliot, Lise. What's
Going On In There? How the Brain & Mind Develop in the First
5 Years of Life. Bantam, 1999.
Written by a neuroscientist who is also the mother of three, this book explores how a baby's brain develops and how the role of nurturer may affect this process. (j155.413 Parent-Teacher)
to Neighborhoods: the Science of Early Childhood Development.
Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development ; Jack P. Shonkoff and
Deborah A. Phillips, editors. National Academy Press, 2000.
Experts from a number of disciplines review the research that looks at child development from birth through the first day of kindergarten. (j305.231 Parent-Teacher)
Hart, Betty. Meaningful
Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children.
An important study of 1 and 2-year-old children that "reveals the profound effects of environment on development." (j401.93 Parent-Teacher)
Norbert. A Good Start in Life: Understanding Your Child's Brain
and Behavior. Dana Press/Joseph Henry Press, 2002.
A guide to interpreting the latest information on brain development, focusing on "how the maturing brain contributes to learning and socialization." (j155.413 Parent-Teacher)
Einstein Never Used Flash Cards: How Our Children Really Learn
- And Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less. Rodale,
Explains how a child's mind develops and includes exercises for helping children develop emerging skills through smart, simple and loving play. (j305.231 Parent-Teacher)
ed. Major Trends and Issues in Early Childhood Education: Challenges,
Controversies, and Insights. Teachers College Press, 2003.
An examination of a variety of important contemporary issues on subjects including child development research, play, program models, emergent literacy, and reading readiness.
J. Winning Ways to Learn, Ages 3, 4 & 5: 600 Great Ideas
for Children. Goddard Press, 2000.
Tips for parents and other caregivers to support the development of the skills children will need for kindergarten. (649.68 Parent-Teacher)
Minnesota School Readiness Initiative:
Developmental Assessment at Kindergarten Entrance. Minnesota Department
of Education, 2002.
The summary of a study with the following objectives: "(1) to pilot a system for assessing the school readiness of a sample of Minnesota kindergarten children and (2) to obtain a picture of the readiness of a sample of Minnesota kindergartners entering Minnesota elementary schools in the fall of 2002 " Note: This web site may be slow to load.
Minnesota School Readiness Year Two Study:
Developmental Assessment at Kindergarten Entrance. Minnesota Department of
"The purposes of year 2 of the study were (1) to provide a 2nd year of a statewide profile of children's school readiness with a larger sample of kindergarten children and (2) to pilot a parent survey requesting early childhood care and education and family background information based on recommendations in the first year study." Note: This web site may be slow to load.
of Children, Families & Learning. Minnesota
Early Childhood Indicators of Progress: A Resource Guide. Minnesota Department
of Children, Families & Learning, 2000.
Provides suggested strategies family members can use to facilitate children's development in all of the areas of learning studied. Note: This web site may be slow to load.
Council, Institute of Medicine. The Science of Early Childhood
Development: A Summary Report of From Neurons to Neighborhoods.
National Academy Press, 2000.
A research summary intended as a resource for policy makers, educators, child advocates, early childhood specialists, and the public.
Parent's Action for Children - A national non-profit organization dedicated
to developing parent education materials, connecting parents with
one another, and fighting for issues such as early education,
health care, and high quality, affordable child care. Formerly
known as I Am Your Child.
Before the ABCs: Promoting School Readiness in Infants and
Toddlers. ZERO TO THREE, 2003.
Discusses early literacy, numeracy and social-emotional skills in infants and toddlers. Also looks at the link between relationships and school readiness and the effect of culture on development.
R. The First Years: a Parent & Caregiver's Guide to Helping
Children Learn. DK, 2001.
An attractive book full of colored photographs and special boxes with useful tips. Offers both information and practical advice on social and emotional development. (j649.122 Parent-Teacher)
Right from Birth: Building Your Child's Foundation for Life,
Birth to 18 Months. Goddard, 1999.
A book that combines a well-documented review of the latest scientific research on early development with practical suggestions for parents and practitioners. (j649.122 Parent-Teacher)
Rolnick, Art and
Rob Grunewald. "Early
Childhood Development: Economic Development with a High Public
fedgazette, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (March 2003).
Discusses the economic case for public funding of early childhood development and proposes the creation of the Minnesota Foundation for Early Childhood Development.
Shore, Penny A.,
et.al. How Your Baby & Child Learns: From Newborn to Age
3. Parent Kit Corp., 2002.
A work, written by parenting experts, that explores a baby's learning stages and provides parents with easy-to-read tips and techniques for guiding their child's early intellectual and emotional development. (649.1 Sh78h)
Shore, Rima. Rethinking
the Brain: New Insights Into Early Development. Families and
Work Institute, 1997.
A report based on a 1996 conference on early brain development that brought together brain scientists, experts in child development and early education, business leaders, policy makers and members of the news media. . (j612.82 Parent-Teacher)
A resource with excellent information for parents and professionals from a national center dedicated to the healthy development of infants and toddlers.
How Children Become Readers: Birth to Kindergarten
Child Becomes a Reader: Birth Through Preschool. National Institute for
A good resource for parents that includes important information on how children learn to read and write, tips on what you can do with babies and young children to help them become readers, ideas for books to read, and organizations to contact for more help or information. Also available online. (j649.58 Parent-Teacher)
"Articles for Educators." Reading is Fundamental,
A collection of articles to help professionals and families stay informed about the latest in reading research.
Play: the Roots of Reading. Edward F. Zigler, Dorothy Singer, and Sandra J.
Bishop-Josef, eds. ZERO TO THREE, 2004.
Leading experts examine the importance of play in helping children to develop literacy skills, social awareness, creativity and organizational skills. An important book for parents, educators, and policymakers. (j305.231 Parent-Teacher)
Steps Toward Early Literacy: When Talk Isn't Idle." Reading is Fundamental,
An overview of the relationship between oral language development and literacy with examples of the types of conversation that contribute most to emergent literacy skills.
Catherine "Do Early Talkers Become Early Readers? Linguistic
Precocity, Preschool Language, and Emergent Literacy." Developmental
Psychology. v28 n3 (1992) p 421-429.
An academic summary of a study that underscores the importance of children sharing story reading with parents.
ed. Beginning Literacy with Language: Young Children Learning
at Home and at School. P.H. Brookes Publishing, 2001.
A summary of the observations of a longitudinal study of young children from diverse backgrounds in their homes, preschools, and kindergarten classes. Considered a "crucial contribution to our understanding of young children and the importance of language in building literacy capabilities."
Most Children Learn to Read." Reading Rockets.org.
An explanation of emergent literacy and the effect of different early childhood activities on development of reading and writing skills. A good resource for parents.
and Rabe, H.L.S. "Home and community factors that promote
early literacy development for preschool-aged children."
Just in Time Research: Children, Youth, and Families. University
of Minnesota, 1999 (p39-46).
Discusses family and community factors that influence the early literacy development of young children, focusing on those that can be altered or influenced by public policy initiatives or formal and informal programs of intervention. (306.85 J982 Minnesota Collection)
Council. Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's
Reading Success. National Academy Press, 1999.
"Recommendations from America's leading researchers on how to help children become successful readers." Early chapters provide insight on circumstances that promote reading and discuss what children need to arrive at school prepared to learn to read. Also includes activities and book lists. A useful resource for parents. (j372.4 Parent-Teacher)
B., ed. Handbook of Early Literacy Research. Guilford Press,
Chapters "authored by some of the most prestigious researchers of written language development for young children" focus on early literacy topics including emergent literacy, developmentally appropriate practices, and "alphabetic anxiety". An academic treatment, but an important summary of the research.
A., ed. Play and Early Literacy In Early Childhood: Research
From Multiple Perspectives. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.,
A work that brings together studies, research, and commentaries that examine play-literacy relationships. An academic but interesting summary of research.
"Parental Involvement in the Development of Children's Reading
Skill: a Five-year Longitudinal Study." Child Development
v73 i2 (March-April 2002): 445+.
An overview of a study that looks at the effects of parent storybook reading and parents' teaching language and literacy skills to young children. An academic treatment of an important topic.
"A Review of the Research and Literature on Emergent Literacy."
ERIC: ED397959. 1996.
An interesting overview of emergent literacy and an attempt to answer the question "What is the best way to teach literacy to young children?"
Family Literacy: Young Children Learning to Read and Write.
A new edition of a work documenting research into the literacy activities of families with young children.
Claire. Teaching and Learning in Preschool: Using Individually
Appropriate Practices in Early Childhood Literacy Instruction.
International Reading Association, 2004.
A resource for those involved with early childhood education seeking to provide preschoolers with a challenging and literacy-rich curriculum tailored to each child's individual needs.
and Lonigan, C.J. "Child development and emergent literacy."
Child Development. v69 n3 (1998) p848-872.
Proposes two domains of emergent literacy skills: inside-out skills (letter knowledge, phonemic awareness) and outside-in skills (language, conceptual knowledge). Also discusses preschool interventions, future research needs, and policy implications for reading education.
Tips and Techniques for Raising a Reader
American Academy of Pediatrics: Read Me
Information on the importance of early reading, along with tips for parents and reading "check-ups" for infants and toddlers.
Children's Book Corner: A Read-Aloud Resource with Tips, Techniques,
and Plans for Teachers, Librarians, and Parents, Level PreK-K.
Libraries Unlimited, 2003.
More than 50 read-aloud plans for outstanding picture books. Includes an appendix highlighting 200 additional resources and a subject, title, author, and illustrator index.
E. Read to Me: Raising Kids Who Love to Read. Scholastic,
A great book for parents and caregivers that provides information on the importance of raising kids who love to read, tips for busy parents, "surefire hits" booklists for infants to teens, and more. (j649.58 Parent-Teacher)
Your Child Become a Reader: With Activities for Children from
Infancy Through Age 6. U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Intergovernmental
and Interagency Affairs, 2002.
Written for parents, this booklet promotes activities that are designed to be fun and turn everyday routines into learning experiences. A "No Child Left Behind" publication that is also available online. (j649.58 Parent-Teacher)
Haas, Monty and
Laurie Joy. Read It Aloud: A Parent's Guide to Sharing Books
With Young Children. The Reading Railroad, 2000.
A book that includes techniques for improving reading-aloud performance, ideas for playful language and word games, and suggestions for interactive reading. Great for motivated adults. (j649.58 Parent-Teacher)
Hauser, Jill Frankel.
Wow! I'm Reading!: Fun Activities to Make Reading Happen.
Williamson Publishing, 2000.
A resource full of ideas for making reading, writing and oral language part of play activities loved by children. For 3-7 year olds and the adults who play with them. (j372.4 Parent-Teacher)
The Big Book of Stories, Songs, and Sing-alongs: Programs for
Babies, Toddlers, and Families. Libraries Unlimited, 2003.
A collection of stories, songs, and sing-alongs designed to promote lifelong reading and library use in babies and toddlers. (j027.625 Parent-Teacher
Rockets: Launching Young Readers
The web site for a national initiative that disseminates research-based information on helping children become readers. Includes valuable information for parents, caregivers, and professionals, and excellent lists of resources.
"Raise a Reader: 25 Fun Ways to Nurture a Love of Books and
Language." Parents Magazine. v77 i6 (June 2002 ) p119+.
Tips for developing reading and language skills in children from birth to age 8. A good article for parents and caregivers.
Scholastic.com Family Matters: All About
A web site featuring booklists, articles written by experts, and suggestions for helping children learn to love reading at every age and stage.
Creating Readers: Over 1000 Games, Activities, Tongue Twisters,
Fingerplays, Songs, and Stories to Get Children Excited About
Reading. Williamson Publishing, 2000.
A collection of activities that follow a developmental sequence and encourage children to develop both the desire and skills needed to read. (j372.4 Parent-Teacher)
"Raise a Reader: How to Make Books a Part of Your Child's
Life. (Lifestyle Parenting)." Essence. v33 i12 (April
2003). p202. +.
Discusses the importance of early literacy experiences with an additional focus on how African Americans can tie their cultural traditions into early literacy experiences for their children.
A. 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Raise A Child Who Loves to
A selection of fun parent-child activities that will help children develop a love of reading. (j028.55 Parent-Teacher)
Choosing Baby and Toddler Books - information from Duluth Public Library staff.
Choosing Books for Children: A Commonsense Guide. University
of Illinois Press, 1999.
A classic guide to children's literature and its uses that includes annotated lists of recommended titles. . (j028.55 Parent-Teacher)
Great Books for Babies and Toddlers: More Than 500 Recommended
Books for Your Child's First Three Years. Ballantine Books,
An annotated guide to picture-story books, fairy tales, rhyme, fingerplay and song books that includes classics of children's literature and new books. (j028.162 Parent-Teacher)
Under the Chinaberry Tree: Books and Inspirations for Mindful
Parenting. Broadway Books, 2003.
An engaging book useful for parents making reading decisions or gathering tips on sharing communication with their children. (j028.162 Parent-Teacher)
Early Literacy Programs: Libraries and Other Organizations
Beginning With Books Center for Early Literacy.
A program offering low-income families gift books, information, and encouragement to read aloud to their young children.
Designed especially for parents and caregivers of children age 6 and younger. Includes early literacy tips, booklists, and links to a wealth of early literacy resources. From Hennepin County Library.
Book Time With Your Baby, Duluth Public Library,
Duluth, Minnesota, 2004.
Book Time With Your Baby is a cooperative effort of the Duluth Public Library, Duluth hospitals, and other agencies that encourages parents and other caregivers to share reading with children beginning at birth.
for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA)
Administered by the U.S. Dept. of Education, this national center involves a consortium of educators including the University of Minnesota. Its mission is to improve the reading achievement of children by "generating and disseminating theoretical, empirical and practical solutions to the learning and teaching of beginning reading."
Welcoming Library Environments for Infants, Toddlers and Their
Families." ZERO TO THREE Professional Journal. v21
no3 (December 2000/January 2001 ).
An issue of the ZERO TO THREE professional journal covering topics such as designing library space for infants and children, libraries as community partners, and parent-child home programs. An excellent article from this issue, "The Role of Public Libraries in Emergent and Family Literacy" by Jennifer Birckmayer, is available as a sample online.
Part of the University of Minnesota's outreach efforts focusing on literacy, this web site includes research briefs, booklists, and links to web resources.
Every Child Ready to Read @ your Library
Workshops and parent and caregiver resources for use with early literacy services. A joint project of the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children.
Learning Environments for Young Children: Rethinking Library
Spaces and Services. American Library Association, 1998.
A useful resource for exploring developmentally-appropriate and family-centered principles that can be used to expand ideas for library service to infants, young children and their families.
to Literacy: Library Programs for Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers. American Library Association,
Association for Library Service to Children. Preschool Services
and Parent Education Committee, 1990.
A work designed to assist children's librarians in planning, advertising, and conducting programs on children's literature for adults who live or work with young children. (j027.6 Reference)
Ready to Read.
A program of the National Center for Learning Disabilities that provides parents, educators, health-care professionals, and advocates with tools to help build early literacy skills.
Early Literacy Initiative: 2003 Evaluation. Sara Laughlin
and Associates, August 2003.
A summary of an interesting study on the impact of using research-based early literacy practices in public library programs for parents and caregivers.
"It's never too early: Maryland's library systems (all 27
of them) are helping parents prepare their preschoolers to become
successful readers." School Library Journal v48 i7
(July 2002): 38+.
A description of Maryland's efforts at improving early literacy through library programs to parents. Also includes examples of programs from other libraries around the country, and lists web resources related to early literacy issues.
Lights Library Network: Libraries, Literacy and Kids
A blog sponsored by NLLN to share information, resources, and web sites about emergent literacy issues with libraries, early education specialists, and the general public.
Out and Read, Making Books Part of a Healthy Childhood. Reach Out and Read National
Building on the relationship between doctors and the parents of young children, ROR promotes children's language and literacy development. The web site includes reading tips, booklists, literacy links, and more.
TO ME: An Intergenerational Reading Program.
The web site for parent-baby reading program that focuses on teen parents and moms. Includes information how to start a local READ TO ME program and lists of resources.
The web site of the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit children's literacy organization. Includes information for parents, educators and RIF community coordinators.
Founding and Funding Family Literacy Programs. Neal-Schuman,
A work that shows libraries & their staff how to position themselves as the community's primary literacy provider. Covers steps in the development and funding of library-based family literacy programs.
Community Support and Collaboration
of New York. Starting Points: Meeting the Needs of Our Youngest
Children: The Report of the Carnegie Task Force on Meeting the
Needs of Young Children. Carnegie, 1994.
A landmark report intended to provide a "framework of scientific knowledge and offer an action agenda to ensure the healthy development of children from before birth to age three." (j362.7 Parent-Teacher)
F. Infants, Toddlers, and Families: A Framework for Support
and Intervention. Guilford Press, 1999.
An informative guide for those working with families and children, birth to age three. Includes a review of the history of early intervention and current trends, and introduces key findings from attachment, development and family literature. Filled with practical suggestions, this book also includes an extensive, annotated bibliography. (j362.7 Parent-Teacher)
Serving Families and Children Through Partnerships: A How-to-do-it
Manual for Librarians. Neal-Schuman, 1996.
A work that provides a vision on how libraries can focus services on the needs of families with young children and collaborate effectively with other community partners. Builds on the philosophy that the best way to provide support is to empower parents, to prevent problems rather than correct them and to integrate services.
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