Experts recognize five elements crucial to developing early literacy skills. You, as a parent, are your child’s first teachers. Incorporate these practices into your everyday routines to help your child learn and grow.
Children learn by listening to parents, other adults, and older children talk. Hearing words helps children decode sounds, and they learn the meaning of words, thereby increasing their vocabulary. Engage in conversation with your child and narrate your daily activities. For example, while you’re folding laundry, say to your child, “I’m folding laundry so it will not get wrinkled. Then I will put it away in the dresser.” Reading aloud to your child is also great for practicing this element.
Reading and writing go together. Though your child may not yet know his or her entire alphabet, he or she can practice this skill. Once your child can hold a crayon or maker, give him or her paper and lots of opportunities to practice writing. As your child draws and writes, ask questions about what he or she is writing or drawing and
Reading with your child is the most important way to help him or her develop literacy skills. Sharing reading helps your child develop a love of reading and appreciation for books. Helping your child enjoy being read to will make him or her more likely to want to learn to read. Reading with your child will also help him or her discover new words that may not be used
Play helps children learn about the world around them and also about language. When children play, they can practice putting thoughts into words. Imaginative play helps children think symbolically: a chair may become a horse and their house becomes an enchanted woods. This understanding of symbolism helps children realize that words are symbols for objects, actions, or ideas.
Songs slow down language and emphasize sounds, helping children hear syllables and better understand words. Songs also help children practice their listening and memory skills, especially if songs are repeated regularly.
Children living in the library district may acquire a library card at any age with their parents’ consent. Inquire at the desk. You will be asked to fill out an application form and present identification before your child can be issued a library card.
Computers are available during Library hours on a first-come/first served basis. Computers in the adult area are limited to use by 7th grade through adult. Computers in the children’s area are limited to use by children through 6th grade and parents or guardians accompanying children. A signed parent/guardian permission form is required for any computer user under 18 before using computers. Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian when using the computer.
Parents and caregivers (must be 16 or older) are responsible for the behavior and safety of their children while in the Library. The Library staff is committed to help children with activities related to the Library. However, Library staff cannot, nor is it their responsibility to, serve as babysitters, teachers or disciplinarians. Violation of this policy is grounds for suspension of library privileges. Whenever advisable, the Library will notify the parent of incidents involving an unattended child.
Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied and directly supervised at all times by a parent or other responsible caregiver. When the safety of an unattended child is in doubt, or the parent or responsible caregiver cannot be located, or if the Library is closing, Library staff is authorized to call the police and must stay with the child until the police arrive.
Children 10 years and older may use the Library unattended by an adult, subject to all Library rules and policies concerning behavior, conduct and demeanor.