Mother and child holding the letter b

What is early literacy?

Although it might sound like it, early literacy is not teaching your young child how to read. It’s about helping your children become aware of and comfortable with books and language. You are getting them ready to learn to read.

Why is early literacy important?

Current research on early literacy and brain development indicates that it is never too early to prepare children for success as readers. Parents and caregivers of newborns, toddlers and preschoolers must be aware of the critical role they play as the child’s first teacher.

Help your children learn important pre-reading skills now that will make it easier for them to learn to read when they start school. Research shows that children who are read to from an early age have a larger vocabulary, have better language skills when they start school, have a greater interest in books, and enjoy reading activities to a greater extent.

Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library®

Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) is a research-based, early literacy initiative developed by the American Library Association and the Public Library Association to promote the five practices that children must know before they can learn to read. Its goal is to provide public libraries with the tools needed to educate parents and caregivers on the importance of early literacy and to facilitate the sharing of books and activities that will help develop the skills necessary for reading success.

The five practices

Talking: Children learn about language by listening to other people talk and joining in the conversation.

Singing: Because of their rhyme and rhythm, songs are a natural way to learn about language.

Reading: Reading and sharing books with your child is the single most important way to get them ready to read.

Writing: Reading and writing naturally go together. Writing is anything from making marks to drawing pictures and finally writing letters.

Playing: Pretend and dramatic play are fun ways to develop language skills.


School Readiness @ Your Library

Check out one of our kits designed to encourage your child’s developing literacy skills. Each kit contains 5 books and an educational toy, all centered around a theme like colors or shapes. See the full list of kits.

Storytime children


The Clermont County Public Library is committed to promoting the five practices and incorporating them into storytimes. Attend a storytime and discover how to work with your children to encourage their developing literacy skills.

Visit our Event Calendar to find a storytime near you or pick up an issue of the Library Insider during your next visit to a branch.


Our Parent’s Guide offers you tips about developing your child’s skills.


School readiness

What is school readiness?

School readiness includes all the skills a child needs to be prepared for school: academic, physical, social, and emotional development. This means knowing not only the ABCs and 123s but also how to hold a pencil, how to interact with a teacher and classmates, how to sit and listen, and much more. Library storytimes help children develop in all of these areas.

How do early literacy and school readiness work together?

Though working on the many skills involved in school readiness may sound daunting, there are certain areas in which new kindergarteners often need the most help.

In Clermont County, local teachers identified five of these skill areas: Letter Knowledge, Letter and Word Sounds, Fine Motor Skills, Managing Emotions and Self-Control, and Knowing Books and Stories.

Each of these skill areas also relates to one or more of the five early literacy practices; again, these are easy to work on at home once you know what to do. Library staff members share information and activities that relate to these skills in our storytimes.