What is Family Literacy?
Family Literacy is about learning together. When considering how you can
best help your child succeed, remember that you, your home and your community are
the true drivers of your child's education. Or, as the National Center for Family
Literacy reminds us,
"Literacy is at the root of a person’s ability to succeed,
and the family is at the heart"
The path to literacy begins long before a child enters school. By engaging your child with story, song, rhyme, imagery and conversation, you help lay the foundation for reading success. Sharing special times with books at home or in the library is a wonderfully rewarding experience that helps to strengthen the bond between you and foster the love of language, literature and the arts.
The Youth Services Team invites you to browse our Family Literacy Guide listed below, and explore the many ways we can support your family on your journey to becoming lifelong readers and learners! Start by clicking on one of the buttons below:
First Steps to Reading: Birth to Age Five - Start Small!
A few ideas for parents and caregivers of babies, toddlers and preschoolers...
Read and sing to your baby! Researchers have found that reading aloud to your child during infancy supports language acquisition, vocabulary development and comprehension. Start with rhymes and songs like "Itsy, Bitsy Spider," or read a birthday card, a cereal box, or even the newspaper! Children learn to identify sounds when you read and sing to them.Teach your child to read pictures. Reading pictures builds visual literacy skills and encourages pre-readers to make connections between images and text. Play "I Spy" and ask question like "Why do you think the dog is hiding?" or "What did the little chick find in the barnyard?"
Change your voice for different characters in a story. Help your child understand the characters through your voice, and learn how to express a story creatively.
Read the same book over and over. Hearing the same story many times makes children feel secure, and repitition builds recognition.
Make a special time for reading aloud -- before bed, in the bath, during a trip to the park, anytime! Savor the moment, and don't be in a hurry. Let your child know that spending time together with books is important to you.Visit the library often and let children help select their own books. Baby Bounce and Preschool Storytime in the Youth Services area are free and available all year round, and family readers are encouraged to participate in the Summer Reading Program. Youth Services also offers Early Literacy computers to children up to age 8 for skillbuilding and fun!Use computers creatively and wisely. The library web site can be your portal to entertaining, educational and safe internet sites and other digital resources, including Tumblebooks, Tutor.com and a Gaming Page.
Supporting Your Child Through the School Years
When children learn how to read with fluency and understanding, they can approach their school experience with an inspired sense of wonder and discovery. All the world's knowledge and fancy is a gift that you can make available to them! Your role as parent or caregiver remains very important to the attainment of this gift as your child continues through the elementary and middle school years.
Children are more likely to succeed academically when their families actively support them. When family members get involved with the school community, communicate regularly with teachers, participate in school functions and help kids with homework, they give children a tremendous advantage.
Here are a few tips on how you can support your student's learning...
Most of all, show your interest in what your child is doing in school, and stimulate curiosity by talking with your child on a wide range of topics.
- Have a peaceful place in your home away from the distractions of media
- Set a regular time for doing homework and check for completion and quality
- Provide necessary supplies and resources
- Monitor homework assignments and be familiar with project due dates, quizzes and tests
- Encourage good study habits by helping your child to be organized and neat
- Print and digital editions of classic and modern titles, for school assignments or recreational reading
- Access to digital resources for homework help, research, skill-building, test preparation and more
Check out our Kids' Page and Homework Help Page for more about Homework Help at the Library.
- Personal Librarian Service to help kids navigate through the many resources available here at the library
Web Resources for Young Readers
Library e-books, Digital Stories and More
For a fabulous 21st century reading experience, use your library card to browse and download e-books for your computer, mp3 player, smartphone or e-reader. Our e-book help page will get you started on your cyber journey. An expanded collection of children's materials is also available to library members from the South Jersey Library Cooperative.
The Youth Services Department also invites you to enter into the world of Tumblebooks - an online collection of animated, talking picture books, read-alongs and nonfiction titles which can introduce children to the joys of reading in a digital format, while strengthening literacy skills. Tumblebooks is available from our library Kidspage.
Kids' Recommended Reading Lists on the Web
You can find recommended reading lists for children's fiction and nonfiction through our library databases, and on the web.
Find books that your child will love reading - includes recommended reading lists, and summaries of books in all genres for kids of all ages. Available to library members through the ACFPL website. Click here to find our kids' databases. "Meet your next favorite book" - Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers who want to explore and share books; includes booklists, reviews, giveaways, author interviews, blogs, trivia, quotes, quizzes and more. A must for the book-lover in your family!
Full Text Reading Sites - Turn your computer into an e-reader!
- International Children's Digital LibraryRead world literature for children and young adults in digital format, available full text in multiple languages. An amazing resource for young readers!
- Project Gutenberg: Children's ShelfThe original e-book reader, Project Gutenberg has been archiving and digitizing books in the public domain for three decades. An amazing, completely free treasure trove of literature in full text.
- Children's Books Online: The Rosetta ProjectA wonderful online library of illustrated, antique children's books, available full text. Many titles are translated into various languages.