What is Early Literacy?

Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before learning to read and write. Encouraging early literacy before kindergarten does not mean children are required to know how to read before kindergarten.

Think of early literacy as laying a foundation, giving your child the necessary skills when they are developmentally ready to read.

Why is Early Literacy Important?

Babies are born ready to learn. Research shows that we are born with billions of brain cells called neurons. The more stimulation a baby receives through its senses, the more pathways develop between brain cells. Young children must develop early literacy skills in order to be successful with formal reading and writing in school. Research shows that children who start behind typically stay behind. Providing your young child with opportunities to develop early literacy skills is important to their success in school, their success learning to read, and their success in life.

A recent study found that 6 out of 10 children were unprepared for kindergarten.

We are Here to Support Your Child

Access to Resources

CMCSS is committed to supporting early literacy in the Clarksville-Montgomery County community. The links found on the left side of this page include topics such as developmental milestones, community resources and early intervention, and online resources. These materials are intended to empower parents and guardians as they encourage their children at the beginning of their learning journey. It’s never too early to start reading!

Five Things You Can Practice Today

Simple activities with your child can prepare them for a lifetime of success. Enjoy spending time with your child, watching them learn and grow. 

  • Talk: Babies and young children learn language by listening to others talk. Hearing words leads to understanding their meaning as you hear them in context. Look at family photos. Ask children what they see. 
  • Sing: Songs slow down language and break down the sounds and syllables in words. Make up rhymes, sing nursery songs, and find rhythm in patterns and movement.
  • Read: The single most important way to help children get ready to read is to read together! Consider adding 15 minutes of reading to naptime or bedtime. It creates a lifetime of difference!
  • Write: What starts as scribbles turns into skilled writing. Help young children put pencil to paper. 
  • Play: Playtime exercises the imagination and encourages the expression of thoughts. Allow your child to use their creativity and explore the world around them!