For Parents & Caregivers

Early Literacy - Raising Readers with New Orleans Public Library

Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they learn to read and write. It’s the foundation that newborns to 5-year-olds need to become readers.

The New Orleans Public Library believes in helping parents and caregivers raise readers together. We are committed to providing support from the very beginning of children’s early learning to years beyond. Our resources can help them become ready to read and prepare them to be lifelong learners.

Click on one of the categories below to explore ways to raise a reader.

Early Literacy Practices

Five of the best ways to help your child be prepared to read are talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing. By practicing these early literacy activities together, you are helping your child develop essential pre-reading skills needed to be ready to learn to read.

Talking – Children are listening. They are learning about language through every conversation. When you talk with them, describe things that you see and explain what you are doing. The more words they hear, the more words they will learn and understand. This helps them learn to read and tell their own stories.

Singing – Singing is a fun way for children to learn about language. The rhythms and rhymes of songs help them hear new words and the smaller sounds that make up those words, because singing naturally slows down language. This helps children sound out words when they are learning to read.

Reading – Reading together is the single, most important way to help children become readers. When you share a love of reading with children and create an enjoyable experience, it makes an impact that will last a lifetime.

Writing – Scribble, color, draw, write, trace, paint, cut, and glue with your child. The possibilities are endless when it comes to building the hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills needed to be ready to write letters, words and sentences.

Playing – Have fun together. Playing is a natural way for children to learn about the world around them. Through each playful interaction with you, they are learning and using language. This helps them to be able to express themselves and become ready to learn to read.

Below are early literacy activity calendars that provide ways you can practice building literacy skills with your child daily.

October 2020 – Click the image to download a PDF of the calendar.
October 2020 Calendar

November 2020 – Click the image to download a PDF of the calendar.
November 2020 Calendar

December 2020 – Click the image to download a PDF of the calendar.
December 2020 Calendar