Building blocks for literacy can start right from birth

News Sep 04, 2009 Ancaster News

While it may seem babies don’t do much more than sleep and eat and toddlers just climb and play, the Early Years Study showed the first six years are the most important years in a child’s life.

In the early years, the brain forms connections that set the stage for lifelong learning, behaviour and health. By six, children have a solid foundation for reaching their potential in the years ahead.

Hamilton offers families many opportunities to develop early literacy. Early Literacy Hamilton is a group aimed at ensuring that, from birth, children have access to resources to help develop reading and writing skills. Partners include the Affiliated Services for Children and Youth, Hamilton Public Library, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, Ontario Early Years Centres and Public Health Services, City of Hamilton.

Laura Lukasik of the Hamilton Public Library points out the library includes information about reading to children inside a bag that all new moms receive from Public Health Hamilton.

“We promote it right from birth,” she said. “Children have brains like sponges. If you read to them and model that behaviour by reading yourself, they will see it as a part of daily life.

“Reading together is also a great way to bond with your baby.”

Ms. Lukasik said literacy starts when a baby learns to open a book and turn pages. Pointing out colours and labelling items as you shop or cook dinner is all part of developing literacy.

The library also offers many resources and programs, including its HPL Kids page on the library Web site ( www.hpl.ca ). The page provides fun for kids and information for parents. The library stocks board books, picture books and dual language books, which allow parents with English as a Second Language to read with their child.

According to the Hamilton Literacy Council, nearly half of adults in Hamilton have difficulty reading and writing. Because this makes it more difficult to raise young readers, the council will start a program in January to help its clients nurture their children’s reading skills.

The program will teach parents how to read with their children and how to discuss the book afterward and even do a craft related to the story.

“The kids are learning, but also having fun,” said Rose Johnson the council’s executive director. “If they have fun and reading and learning are a positive experience, it will be something they want to continue”

Ms. Johnson said many parents are uncomfortable reading with their child if they are just learning to read themselves.

“We will help them feel more at ease,” she said, adding that wanting to read with their child is the reason many parents seek help for their own literacy skills.

Six pre-reading skills children need to learn to read

Narrative skills include being able to describe things and events, as well as tell stories. Develop your child’s narrative skills by:

• Naming things

• Having your child draw a picture and tell you about it

• Reading stories with predictable patterns Print motivation is a child’s enjoyment of books. Children who enjoy reading will read more.

Develop your child’s print motivation by:

• Reading together often and making it fun

• Stopping the story when your child becomes tired or loses interest

• Modelling reading for pleasure by reading yourself Vocabulary is knowing the names of things. The more words children hear, the more ready they will be to read on their own. Develop your child’s vocabulary by:

• Speaking clearly. Use short sentences

• Reading together every day

• Explaining unfamiliar words

Letter knowledge includes learning that each letter has its own name and unique sound. Hamilton Public Library storytimes are available from birth to five years. In-person registration begins Sept. 15. Visit the Kids section at www.hpl.ca for schedules. Visit www.ontarioearlyyears.ca for information on Rhyme Time, Early Bird Literacy and more.

Develop letter knowledge by:

• Reading alphabet books

• Singing the alphabet song

• Playing with magnetic letters

• Forming clay letters

Print awareness

includes learning that writing in English follows basic rules. Print flows from top to bottom and from left to right across the page. A book is read from front to back and has covers, pages and a spine.

Develop your child’s print awareness by:

• Using your finger to sweep under words you read.

• Pointing out signs, lists, labels and billboards.

• Having your child turn the pages in a book.

• Printing your child’s first name.

Phonological Awareness

Words are made up of smaller sounds. Rhyming words emphasize the same sound and encourage children to recognize language patterns. Develop your child’s phonological awareness by:

• Singing songs with repeated phrases.

• Sharing rhymes and fingerplays.

• Reading books with rhyming text

Building blocks for literacy can start right from birth

News Sep 04, 2009 Ancaster News

While it may seem babies don’t do much more than sleep and eat and toddlers just climb and play, the Early Years Study showed the first six years are the most important years in a child’s life.

In the early years, the brain forms connections that set the stage for lifelong learning, behaviour and health. By six, children have a solid foundation for reaching their potential in the years ahead.

Hamilton offers families many opportunities to develop early literacy. Early Literacy Hamilton is a group aimed at ensuring that, from birth, children have access to resources to help develop reading and writing skills. Partners include the Affiliated Services for Children and Youth, Hamilton Public Library, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, Ontario Early Years Centres and Public Health Services, City of Hamilton.

Laura Lukasik of the Hamilton Public Library points out the library includes information about reading to children inside a bag that all new moms receive from Public Health Hamilton.

“We promote it right from birth,” she said. “Children have brains like sponges. If you read to them and model that behaviour by reading yourself, they will see it as a part of daily life.

“Reading together is also a great way to bond with your baby.”

Ms. Lukasik said literacy starts when a baby learns to open a book and turn pages. Pointing out colours and labelling items as you shop or cook dinner is all part of developing literacy.

The library also offers many resources and programs, including its HPL Kids page on the library Web site ( www.hpl.ca ). The page provides fun for kids and information for parents. The library stocks board books, picture books and dual language books, which allow parents with English as a Second Language to read with their child.

According to the Hamilton Literacy Council, nearly half of adults in Hamilton have difficulty reading and writing. Because this makes it more difficult to raise young readers, the council will start a program in January to help its clients nurture their children’s reading skills.

The program will teach parents how to read with their children and how to discuss the book afterward and even do a craft related to the story.

“The kids are learning, but also having fun,” said Rose Johnson the council’s executive director. “If they have fun and reading and learning are a positive experience, it will be something they want to continue”

Ms. Johnson said many parents are uncomfortable reading with their child if they are just learning to read themselves.

“We will help them feel more at ease,” she said, adding that wanting to read with their child is the reason many parents seek help for their own literacy skills.

Six pre-reading skills children need to learn to read

Narrative skills include being able to describe things and events, as well as tell stories. Develop your child’s narrative skills by:

• Naming things

• Having your child draw a picture and tell you about it

• Reading stories with predictable patterns Print motivation is a child’s enjoyment of books. Children who enjoy reading will read more.

Develop your child’s print motivation by:

• Reading together often and making it fun

• Stopping the story when your child becomes tired or loses interest

• Modelling reading for pleasure by reading yourself Vocabulary is knowing the names of things. The more words children hear, the more ready they will be to read on their own. Develop your child’s vocabulary by:

• Speaking clearly. Use short sentences

• Reading together every day

• Explaining unfamiliar words

Letter knowledge includes learning that each letter has its own name and unique sound. Hamilton Public Library storytimes are available from birth to five years. In-person registration begins Sept. 15. Visit the Kids section at www.hpl.ca for schedules. Visit www.ontarioearlyyears.ca for information on Rhyme Time, Early Bird Literacy and more.

Develop letter knowledge by:

• Reading alphabet books

• Singing the alphabet song

• Playing with magnetic letters

• Forming clay letters

Print awareness

includes learning that writing in English follows basic rules. Print flows from top to bottom and from left to right across the page. A book is read from front to back and has covers, pages and a spine.

Develop your child’s print awareness by:

• Using your finger to sweep under words you read.

• Pointing out signs, lists, labels and billboards.

• Having your child turn the pages in a book.

• Printing your child’s first name.

Phonological Awareness

Words are made up of smaller sounds. Rhyming words emphasize the same sound and encourage children to recognize language patterns. Develop your child’s phonological awareness by:

• Singing songs with repeated phrases.

• Sharing rhymes and fingerplays.

• Reading books with rhyming text

Building blocks for literacy can start right from birth

News Sep 04, 2009 Ancaster News

While it may seem babies don’t do much more than sleep and eat and toddlers just climb and play, the Early Years Study showed the first six years are the most important years in a child’s life.

In the early years, the brain forms connections that set the stage for lifelong learning, behaviour and health. By six, children have a solid foundation for reaching their potential in the years ahead.

Hamilton offers families many opportunities to develop early literacy. Early Literacy Hamilton is a group aimed at ensuring that, from birth, children have access to resources to help develop reading and writing skills. Partners include the Affiliated Services for Children and Youth, Hamilton Public Library, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, Ontario Early Years Centres and Public Health Services, City of Hamilton.

Laura Lukasik of the Hamilton Public Library points out the library includes information about reading to children inside a bag that all new moms receive from Public Health Hamilton.

“We promote it right from birth,” she said. “Children have brains like sponges. If you read to them and model that behaviour by reading yourself, they will see it as a part of daily life.

“Reading together is also a great way to bond with your baby.”

Ms. Lukasik said literacy starts when a baby learns to open a book and turn pages. Pointing out colours and labelling items as you shop or cook dinner is all part of developing literacy.

The library also offers many resources and programs, including its HPL Kids page on the library Web site ( www.hpl.ca ). The page provides fun for kids and information for parents. The library stocks board books, picture books and dual language books, which allow parents with English as a Second Language to read with their child.

According to the Hamilton Literacy Council, nearly half of adults in Hamilton have difficulty reading and writing. Because this makes it more difficult to raise young readers, the council will start a program in January to help its clients nurture their children’s reading skills.

The program will teach parents how to read with their children and how to discuss the book afterward and even do a craft related to the story.

“The kids are learning, but also having fun,” said Rose Johnson the council’s executive director. “If they have fun and reading and learning are a positive experience, it will be something they want to continue”

Ms. Johnson said many parents are uncomfortable reading with their child if they are just learning to read themselves.

“We will help them feel more at ease,” she said, adding that wanting to read with their child is the reason many parents seek help for their own literacy skills.

Six pre-reading skills children need to learn to read

Narrative skills include being able to describe things and events, as well as tell stories. Develop your child’s narrative skills by:

• Naming things

• Having your child draw a picture and tell you about it

• Reading stories with predictable patterns Print motivation is a child’s enjoyment of books. Children who enjoy reading will read more.

Develop your child’s print motivation by:

• Reading together often and making it fun

• Stopping the story when your child becomes tired or loses interest

• Modelling reading for pleasure by reading yourself Vocabulary is knowing the names of things. The more words children hear, the more ready they will be to read on their own. Develop your child’s vocabulary by:

• Speaking clearly. Use short sentences

• Reading together every day

• Explaining unfamiliar words

Letter knowledge includes learning that each letter has its own name and unique sound. Hamilton Public Library storytimes are available from birth to five years. In-person registration begins Sept. 15. Visit the Kids section at www.hpl.ca for schedules. Visit www.ontarioearlyyears.ca for information on Rhyme Time, Early Bird Literacy and more.

Develop letter knowledge by:

• Reading alphabet books

• Singing the alphabet song

• Playing with magnetic letters

• Forming clay letters

Print awareness

includes learning that writing in English follows basic rules. Print flows from top to bottom and from left to right across the page. A book is read from front to back and has covers, pages and a spine.

Develop your child’s print awareness by:

• Using your finger to sweep under words you read.

• Pointing out signs, lists, labels and billboards.

• Having your child turn the pages in a book.

• Printing your child’s first name.

Phonological Awareness

Words are made up of smaller sounds. Rhyming words emphasize the same sound and encourage children to recognize language patterns. Develop your child’s phonological awareness by:

• Singing songs with repeated phrases.

• Sharing rhymes and fingerplays.

• Reading books with rhyming text