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Early Literacy: Early Literacy in the News

Helping children get ready to learn to read!

In the News

Spreading Literacy to East County, one child at a time - January 26, 2016

Read about the partnership between Contra Costa County Library and REadingADvantage printed in the Contra Costa County Times.

Long Line at the Library? It’s Story Time Again - November 1st, 2015

Officially, Ms. Asbury is a library clerk, checking books in and out. But every Wednesday she doubles as a parking attendant during one of the New York Public Library’s most popular programs: story time.

Bedtime Stories for Young Brains - August 17th, 2015

A little more than a year ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement saying that all pediatric primary care should include literacy promotion, starting at birth.

This Is Your Child's Brain On Reading - August 5th, 2015

When parents read to their children the difference shows in children's behavior and academic performance. And according to a new study, the difference also shows in their brain activity.

Bridging the Word Gap - October 21st, 2014

Last week, the Obama Administration, in partnership with Too Small to Fail and the Urban Institute, hosted a group of federal, state and local policy makers, philanthropists, researchers and advocates at the White House for a day of shared learning on “Bridging the Word Gap.” The convening is a follow-up to the President’s call to action on early education and the word gap earlier this year...

Ted Talks

What do babies think? - Alison Gopnik

"Babies and young children are like the R&D division of the human species," says psychologist Alison Gopnik. Her research explores the sophisticated intelligence-gathering and decision-making that babies are really doing when they play.

The Linguistic Genius of Babies - Patricia Kuhl

Patricia Kuhl shares astonishing findings about how babies learn one language over another — by listening to the humans around them and "taking statistics" on the sounds they need to know. Clever lab experiments (and brain scans) show how 6-month-old babies use sophisticated reasoning to understand their world.

For Parents, Happiness Is a Very High Bar - Jennifer Senior

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

Love, No Matter What - Andrew Solomon

What is it like to raise a child who's different from you in some fundamental way (like a prodigy, or a differently abled kid, or a criminal)? In this quietly moving talk, writer Andrew Solomon shares what he learned from talking to dozens of parents — asking them: What's the line between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance?

National Public Radio

What's Going On In Your Child's Brain When You Read Them A Story? - NPR ED, 5/24/18

These days parents, caregivers and teachers have lots of options when it comes to fulfilling that request. You can read a picture book, put on a cartoon, play an audiobook, or even ask Alexa. A newly published study gives some insight into what may be happening inside young children's brains in each of those situations. And, says lead author Dr. John Hutton, there is an apparent "Goldilocks effect" — some kinds of storytelling may be "too cold" for children, while others are "too hot." And, of course, some are "just right."

Baby's Got Mail: Free Books Boost Early Literacy - NPR ED, 11/6/2017

A pivotal study from the early 1990s identified what's become known as "the 30 million word gap" — that is, by age 3, children from families on welfare are exposed to 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers — and the words they experience are more discouraging and negative compared to their peers' vocabulary. And the disadvantage can last beyond PreK: Testing in the third grade showed "a sustained and measurable difference among the two peer groups."

How Investing in Preschool Beats the Stock Market, Hands Down - NPR ED, 12/12/16

If you got 13 percent back on your investments every year, you'd be pretty happy, right? Remember, the S&P 500, historically, has averaged about 7 percent when adjusted for inflation.

What if the investment is in children, and the return on investment not only makes economic sense but results in richer, fuller, healthier lives for the entire family?

Brains At Play: What Do We Know? - NPR ED, 10/1/2015

Why do we humans like to play so much? Play sports, play tag, play the stock market, play duck, duck, goose? We love it all. And we're not the only ones. Dogs, cats, bears, even birds seem to like to play. What are we all doing? Is there a point to it all?

Talk, Sing, Read, Write, Play: How Libraries Reach Kids Before They Can Read - Morning Edition, 12/30/14

Literacy begins at home — there are a number of simple things parents can do with their young children to help them get ready to read. But parents can't do it all alone, and that's where community services, especially libraries, come in.

To 'Immunize' Kids Against Illiteracy, Break Out A Book In Infancy - All Things Considered, 6/24/14

The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that parents begin reading to their children early, even to newborns. Professor Susan Neuman, an expert on early literacy development, explains.