Dolly Parton's Imagination Library - Early Childhood Literacy

Building Literacy

What is Literacy?
Literacy is a process involving many skills that develop over time.  The following are pre-reading skills which can help your child succeed in school.  Children coming from a literacy-rich home enter school with a vocabulary ten times larger than those who do not.

Print Motivation (Love books):  Simply a child's interest in and enjoyment of books. Children who are enthusiastic about books will want to learn to read and are more likely to become lifelong readers. 

Vocabulary (New words):  Knowing the names of things. A big vocabulary is important to beginning readers because it's much easier to sound out and understand words that you already know. 

Phonological Awareness (Play with sounds):  Sounds complicated, but it's just being able to play with the sounds in words--being able to tell if two words rhyme, or being able to say the syllables of a word separately, or what sound a word starts with. Phonological Awareness is important because it helps children "take words apart" to sound them out when they're reading. 

Print Awareness (Use books):  Being able to notice print everywhere, on signs, in books, around town; knowing how to handle a book, turn pages, and follow the words on a page. Knowing "how books work" is

an important discovery!

Narrative Skills (Tell stories):  Being able to describe things or events, and being able to tell stories. Narrative Skills are important because they help children with comprehension and understanding what they read. Comprehension is important because if kids don't understand what they're reading, they lose interest and motivation. 

Letter Knowledge (See letters):  Knowing that letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds, and recognizing letters everywhere. Knowing all about letters of the alphabet lays the groundwork for successful reading later on. 

Visit our "Parent Talk" section for details.

We are in the fourth year of a longitudinal study comparing the reading proficiency scores of children who received our books prior to entering Kindergarten to the scores of children who did not.  The study, funded by the Frederick H. Leonhardt Foundation and conducted by Dr. Ann Harvey, WNMU Education Professor, has shown  consistent results at the end of Kindergarten, First and Second Grades.  80% of those children who received our books are at reading proficiency or above, while only 55% of those who did not receive our books scored similarly.  We are starting to see that we are making a difference!