KWCH 12 is partnering with the Wichita Public Library for the Creating Young Readers initiative. With services, programs, materials and expert help, the Wichita Public Library is focused on improving early literacy in our community – utilizing the 5 skills that help babies, infants & toddlers develop early literacy skills. For more information on Creating Young Readers, go to wichitalibrary.org/kids/cyr.
The 5 Skills
1. TALKING – Children learn language by listening to their parents and others talk and joining in the conversation. As children listen, they learn new words and what they mean. The first step in being able to read the word “dog” is hearing it as a baby... again and again and again. Very young children can understand spoken words before they can speak them.
2. SINGING - Songs are fantastic ways to learn about language. They develop listening skills and slow down language so children can hear the different sounds that make up words. Songs also teach new words and introduce new ideas and concepts. Sing with your children any chance you have: at home, in the car, or during a walk. It also develops listening and memory skills.
3. READING - Reading books together is the single best way to help children develop early literacy skills. Read together every day and talk about the books you read. Children who are read to are more likely to want to learn to read themselves.. Keep books in the car, the kitchen and even the bathroom. Show your child that reading is important by letting him or her see you enjoying reading.
4. WRITING - Writing activities help children learn letter names and sound out new words. Writing also helps children understand that written words represent ideas, places, things and events. Provide pencils, crayons and paper on a table so your child can write whenever they want. Have them make a shopping list or write a story.
5. PLAYING – Play helps children to think symbolically. One item represents another—a block might represent a telephone. This kind of symbolic thinking is the same kind of thinking that is used for reading. Pictures and letters represent real things. As you play with children, you have the opportunity to support their pre-reading skills in little ways that add up to make a difference by the time children enter school.
Wichita Public Library Offerings
1. STORYTIMES – Wichita Public Library has weekly programs for babies, toddlers and preschoolers that utilize the 5 skills and provide age-appropriate activities that are geared toward specific developmental stages
2. 1000 BOOKS BEFORE KINDERGARTEN –The program is based upon research that shows the more children ages 0-5 hear books read to them, the more prepared they will be to learn to read upon reaching kindergarten. Parents track the books they read, winning prizes along the way.
3. MATERIALS – Every day, hundreds of children’s books are checked out from the Wichita Public Library. We also work to provide technology learning to children regardless of income to check out touch-screen educational gaming tablets.