The Scoville Library provides many ways for parents to teach invaluable reading skills to their children. Early Literacy is a hot topic these days. Recent articles in the New York Times and pieces aired on National Public Radio speak to the importance of early reading and to ways libraries are at the forefront of providing families with skills necessary to ensure that children enter school ready to learn to read. Early Literacy is NOT not being able to read at an early age, rather it is “everything a child knows about reading and writing before he or she can read or write.” The six basic skills which comprise early literacy (listed below) help determine whether a child will be ready to learn to read and write. Sharing books with your child is one very important way to ensure they enter school ready to learn to read. Our “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” program, sponsored by Ilene Tentenbaum’s Birthday Fund and Housatonic Youth Services Bureau; encourages parents to read 1000 books to their child before they enter Kindergarten. Parents who register are given a reading log to record the titles of the books they read, and incentives such as book bags, gas cards and paperback books after every 100 titles.

Our weekly storytimes are another very important way to improve Early Literacy. Each storytime is filled with rhymes, songs, fingerplays, books and crafts incorporating the six Early Literacy Skills. Scoville offers two different storytimes. Our “Wee Readers” program is held Wednesday mornings from 10:30-11:00 and is geared for children ages 0-2, and our “Preschool” storytime is held Friday afternoons from 2:00-2:45 and is geared for children ages 3-5. Registration is not required for either of our storytimes and we welcome older or younger siblings.

The Six Signs of Early Literacy:

1. Print Motivation:
Being interested in and enjoying books

2. Letter Knowledge:
Knowing that letters are different from each other, knowing letter names and sounds, and recognizing letters everywhere

3. Phonological Awareness:
Hearing and playing with the smaller sounds of words

4. Print Awareness:
Noticing print everywhere, knowing how to handle a book, and knowing how to follow the written word on the page

5. Vocabulary:
Knowing all kinds of words

6. Narrative Skills:
Describing things and events, telling stories, knowing the order of events, and making predictions