By Erika Qualls Barnett

Every Child Ready to Read is a parent education initiative from the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children.

In an effort to further develop early literacy skills, PLA and ALSC concluded that public libraries could have a greater impact by educating parents and caregivers. By giving parents and caregivers lessons about the importance of early literacy and hot to develop pre-reading skills at home, the efforts of public libraries is multiplied.

Five Skills

The first skill we are focusing on is Talking. Babies learn language from the very beginning. Even as infants, they are listening, and their brain is learning language. Talk to your child throughout the day by describing actions, items in the home, and telling stories. As they grow older, they start to respond with their own sounds. Listening and responding back encourages talking and language development. When your child grows even older, talk, listen, and answer all of their questions. The more words they learn, the larger their vocabulary becomes, and it will make reading easier and help them give meaning to what they are reading! 

Tips for Incorporating Talking into Daily Life

  • Name everything your baby can see. Flowers and animals, toys and clothes, items around the house. The more words your baby hears the better! 
  • Talk about what you are doing all through the day. While getting the baby ready for the day, talk about the steps you are taking. Describe what you are doing while in the grocery store or library. 
  • Make eye contact and use soothing tones when talking with your child. 
  • If English is not your first language, speak in the language you know best. You will be able to communicate more fluently so your child can learn more.

Additional Resources

  • Talking is Teaching: “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” is a public awareness and action campaign that helps parents recognize their power to boost their children’s early brain and vocabulary development through simple, everyday actions.
  • Ready at Five: Maryland-based program geared toward getting children ready for kindergarten.
  • Every Child Ready to Read: Official website of Every Child Ready to Read initiative provides information and resources for parents and caregivers.

Books to Encourage Talking

Erika Qualls Barnett

Erika Qualls Barnett

Erika is a cardigan-loving Hufflepuff that enjoys the Cubs, reading, and walks with her husband.

Be Creative
Every Child Ready to Read II
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