Read early, read often to develop children’s literacy |

Read early, read often to develop children’s literacy

Tegan Davis
Grand County Libraries
Grand County, Colorado

The Grand County Library District has great news regarding literacy development for toddlers and preschoolers.

The district has been awarded a grant opportunity that incorporates the latest early childhood development research. This means our Grand County public libraries can provide vital tools to help parents teach their children to read.

The grant is for a program called “Every Child Ready to Read,” which is a national program of the American Library Association. The program provides training to librarians with an emphasis on early literacy enhanced story-times. Librarians Sue Luton and I have completed the grant requirements and are now training other librarians in Grand County to help parents, caregivers, and child care providers teach their child pre-reading skills.

Research indicates that children who are likely to have difficulty learning to read are those who begin school without early literacy skills.

By the age of 2, children who are read to regularly have larger vocabularies, higher cognitive skills and display greater language comprehension than their peers. Every shared parent-child book reading experience during a child’s preschool years leads to higher reading achievement in elementary school as well as greater enthusiasm for reading and learning.

“What’s great about ‘Every Child Ready to Read’ is that it complements what we already do in our story times,” said Luton, branch librarian at the Juniper Library. “Story time at your library helps develop a child’s imagination, nurtures their listening skills, exposes children to a larger vocabulary, encourages a love of reading and creates a social opportunity for the child and parents. We encourage families to come to the library and check out materials.”

If children are to become competent readers, they must have stimulating literacy experiences beginning at birth. Parents and caregivers are in the best position to help children acquire the prerequisite skills they will need to learn to read in school.

Our well- trained youth service librarians enthusiastically provide free and fun early literacy story hours district wide. Parents, caregivers, and childcare providers are encouraged to attend early literacy story hours throughout the week for an enjoyable learning experience.

For more information about early literacy story hours and other library programs go to the Grand County Library District Web site at or contact your local branch: Fraser Valley Library (970) 726-5689; Granby Library (970) 887-2149; Hot Sulphur Springs (970) 725-3942; Juniper Library @ Grand Lake (970) 627-8353; or Kremmling Library (970) 724-9228.

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