Early Literacy Evening


My library recently hosted a workshop for parents based on Every Child Ready to Read.  This was funded by our town’s School Readiness Grant.

Early Literacy Workshop

This was an hour long evening event for parents. My description for the event was:

An information session for parents or caregivers of children ages 0-5.  We will be exploring ways to promote literacy at home through reading, writing, talking, singing, and playing.  Childcare will be provided in the children’s room and every parent or caregiver in attendance will take home an early literacy gift bag

These were my goals for program:

  • Parents and caregivers will understand that children need help getting ready to read. They will understand the importance of developing early literacy skills in children, beginning at birth.
  • Parents and caregivers will learn about the five early literacy practices- talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing- that they can use to help children develop early literacy skills and get ready to read
  • To give parents and caregivers suggestions for creating an effective and affordable early literacy environment at home
  • To help parents and caregivers understand that developing early literacy skills should be an enjoyable experience for children and adults
  • To promote the library as a place that supports early literacy through our parenting and teaching resources, programs, and the collection as a whole

The program was broken into two parts: a short powerpoint presentation and then a hands on activity.  At the end of the program each parent went home with an early literacy gift bag.

I began the program with some basic info: what early literacy is, when learning to read begins (at birth!), and by letting the parents and caregivers in attendance know that they are the child’s first and most important teacher. Also, since I had parents of children who were a range of ages from birth to 5 I made sure to let them know that it isn’t too late to help their young one develop important literacy and pre-reading skills.  My goal was to not make the parents of older kids feel bad for not doing anything at home.

Also, since we live in Connecticut I made sure to have some information about the kindergarten standards for Connecticut. Giving them these facts hopefully helped them to see exactly why it is necessary to foster early literacy and pre-literacy at home.

I then focused on each of the skills of Every Child Ready to Read: Talking, Singing, Playing, Writing, and  of course Reading.  I didn’t want to bore them with information so I gave a brief overview of how to promote that skill at home.  I also gave them specific ideas of what they can do (make up songs about what you are going to do that day) and why that helps (singing helps break a word down as well as creates opportunities to learn new words).

After  the 25 minute powerpoint presentation we did the hands on project: creating an early literacy ‘toy’ to take home!  I decided that the simplest (and cheapest) craft would be to make an I spy bottle.  For this I needed sand or rice, small toys/craft objects, and some sort of bottle.  I got a small jug type of thing from the dollar tree. You can find out more on how to make this from Because I Said So.  I also made sure to superglue the lids on when we were done because there are small parts in the jugs.

Lastly– everyone got to take home an early literacy gift bag! This included a few toys, a board book, information from the session, a booklist and a take home activity page.

I purchased all of the toys from Amazon and here is a fancy little widget thing with links to each one:

The board books included in the bags were

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell • Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton • Peek a Who by Nina Laden • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle • Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney • Big Little by Leslie Patricelli

The booklist included these titles:

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
Machines at Work by Byron Barton
A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker
Little Gorilla by Ruth Bornstein
Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Birds by Kevin Henkes
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Elmer and the Rainbow by David McKee
Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin
Curious George by H.A. Rey
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight by Jane Yolen
The Mitten by Jane Brett

And lastly, the take home activity!  This was my favorite part because it connects what they learned to actually doing something– and getting rewarded for it!

ECRR Activity Board | Miss Meg's Storytime


This is a jpg of the image and feel free to download it and use it yourself!  If you would like and editable publisher doc then feel free to comment or email me at missmeg@missmegsstorytime.com!


these are the resources I used when planning my early literacy evening:

Obviously the Every Child Ready to Read handbook… We have edition 2 which is the most recent edition.

Edmonton Public Library: Early Literacy
Austin Public Library: Shared Resources for their Play Read Grow program
Dallas Public Library: Every Child Ready to Read
Zero to Three

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