What We Know About Early LiteracyEarly literacy (reading and writing) does not mean early reading instruction or teaching babies to read; it is the natural development of skills through the enjoyment of books, the importance of positive interactions between babies and parents, and the critical role of literacy-rich experiences.
Literacy development begins at birth and is closely linked to a baby’s earliest experiences with books and stories. Babies learn language through social literacy experiences - parents interacting with them using books. These experiences also serve to associate books with parental affection, attention, and approval.
Read to Succeed!A study of 3- to 5-year-olds who had been read to at least three times per week found the children:
- Two times more likely to recognize all letters.
- Two times more likely to have word-sight recognition.
- Two times more likely to understand words in context.
The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study found that 62% of parents with a high socioeconomic status read to their children every day compared to only 36% of parents with a low socioeconomic status.
Source: National Institute for Family Literacy, 1999.
Following are links to a variety of studies and resources that show how early childhood literacy positively impacts success in school.
- Parent Involvement and Early Literacy
- Differential Effects of Home Literacy Experiences on the Development of Oral and Written Language
- Telecollaborative Project (A compilation of research, strategies, and resources for teachers and parents.)
- Dr. Eugene W. Hickok, Under Secretary of Education Testimony Before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Education Reform Hearing on The Dawn of Learning: What's Working in Early Childhood Education
Teaching Our Youngest: A Guide for Preschool Teachers and Child Care and Family Providers
- National Institute for Literacy:
Parental Involvement in Early Literacy
- Schools, Skills, and Synapses by James J. Heckman
- National Evaluation & Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk: NDTAC Issue Brief: Reading Literacy
- National Center for Education Statistics: Literacy Behind Prison Walls