Focus on Early Learning

Children's Services Outreach Librarian, Pat Toney shares FREE community resources for early learning.

When I went to library school in 2008, I knew I wanted to be a Children’s Librarian because I wanted to share the joy of reading. As my career develops my focus on early learning and parent engagement is clear, thus I was super excited to hear Pamela Paul’s recent interview on KQED Forum discussing her new book, co-written with her colleague Maria Russo, "How to Raise a Reader." Pamela shares family literacy tips on creating read-aloud routines, "championing genre fiction" and nurturing a love of books in kids of all age.

My favorite five family literacy tips for raising a reader:

  • You are your child's first teacher- model behavior you want them to develop (as indicated in the image above)
  • Never treat reading like a chore
  • Read to your baby, your toddler, your tween, your teen
  • All reading matters...including comic books
  • Always carry a book when you know you'll be waiting e.g. supermarket, doctor's appointment, restaurants

 FREE community resources you can access that promote early learning include:

In my role as an outreach librarian, I present storytime once a month at the rec centers noted above.

  • The OUSD Play Group near Grand Lake Theater is a great option Friday mornings (before Oakland libraries open).
    Fridays, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm -  September 27 - December 13, 2019
    Lakeview Campus Portable A, 746 Grand Avenue Oakland, CA 94610
  • VROOM provides learning tips via text you can share with your young child (ren). Available in English or Español
  • Kidappolis by LitLab is a mobile app that encourages parents to use screen time as an interactive early learning opportunity. Try “Kidappolis: School Edition for FREE using the code “demo
  • Help Me Grow is a resource network which collaborates with agencies, families, and providers across Alameda County to help ensure children ages birth – 5 years reach their optimal development. If you have concerns about your child’s developmental milestones, give them a call 888 - 510 - 1211. Their staff is multilingual. 

What are your favorite family literacy activities? Please share your positive experiences in the comments section.

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