Early Literacy

Registration Begins September 8

Registration for 1000 Books Before Kindergarten begins September 8.  Please return to sign up later.

What is Early Literacy?

reading with childResearch shows that children get ready to read years before they start school. Beginning at birth, you can help your child learn important skills so that he can become a good reader later. You are your child's first, and most important, teacher. 

Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. There are six early literacy skills that help children be ready to read. The activities you do to support each skill will change as your child grows. 


1000 Books Before Kindergarten

What’s the best way to help your child be ready to read?

Shared reading is the best way to help babies, toddlers and preschoolers develop the important early literacy skills they need to learn how to read independently later on. The more books children ages 0-5 hear, the more prepared they will be to learn how to read.

For pre-k kids, babies and anyone in-between

1000 Books Before Kindergarten is for children who have not yet started kindergarten. From birth on, it’s never too early to start.


Here's how it works

  • Register here or in Kids’ World.
    You will receive your first log card either by email or at the Kids' World Desk.
  • Read with your child for the length of time that is enjoyable. Reading should be a positive experience. Move on to a new activity when your child loses interest and try again later. We encourage you to read to your child every day, but you can decide how often and how long you want to read. Although 1000 books sounds like a lot, it's only three shared readings a day for a year.
  • Mark your log card to record each shared reading session. Books heard in storytime, repeated readings and partial readings count.
  • When you have completed 100 books, stop into Kids’ World for your next log card, or print the next log card using the link emailed to you at registration.
  • There are prizes! Be sure to stop into Kids' World at the midway point (500 books completed) and the finishing point (1000 books completed) to receive a free book.
  • The program ends when our child enters kindergarten or when you have completed 1000 books. Participate again, as long as your child is not yet in kindergarten.

How to Grow a Reader

Reading aloud to your child is the single most important thing you can do to help your child be ready to read.
We can help you find age-appropriate titles and topics for your child. Ask a librarian for help in choosing books for your baby, toddler or preschooler.
You are your child’s first and best teacher. Children learn best through playful interaction with a caring adult.
Talk, sing, read, write and play! Engaging in these five practices with your child will help him or her develop early literacy skills.
To learn more, sign up for our quarterly Ready to Read eNewsletter.

The Importance of Parents & Caregivers

Parents and caregivers are a child’s best teachers because:

  • You know your child best and can read to him in short spurts of time when he is in a good mood.
  • Children learn best by doing things, and they love doing things with you.
  • Children who see adults reading will want to learn how to read, too!

Early Literacy Tips

Get More Early Literacy Information

Receive more tips in your email by subscribing to our Ready to Read eNewsletter.

Visit these web sites to learn how to help your child develop important pre-reading skills. 

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Pre-Reading Skills

Letter Knowledge
Knowing letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds, and understanding that each letter has its own name and sound
Narrative Skills
Being able to describe things and events
Phonological Awareness
Being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in a word
Print Awareness
Noticing print, knowing how to handle a book, and knowing how to follow words on a page
Print Motivation
Being interested in and enjoying books Vocabulary Knowing the names of things

Preschools and Day Care

See a list of nearby preschools and day care.

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Arlington Heights Memorial Library / 500 N. Dunton Avenue, Arlington Heights, IL 60004-5910  Tel: 847-392-0100 / Fax: 847-506-2650

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