Early Literacy Programs

Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can read and write.The Utica Public Library is all too keenly aware of the dire illiteracy crisis affecting people worldwide. The Library plays a key role in supporting the literacy needs of our community. The Utica Public Library is especially committed to increasing the literacy levels of the area’s youth.

Early literacy programs and services at the Utica Public Library focus on introducing children (newborn to 5 year olds) to reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. In addition, the Library provides their caregivers, who ultimately spend the most time with and have the greatest impact upon their children, with skills and tools to work with their children at home.

Children in this age range absorb and remember more because their minds are starting to develop and learn basic skills they will use all their life. Studies have shown that by age 6 the synaptic links in our brains reach their peak, and that by age 14 we are already beginning to lose them. This means that by age 6 we are actually the most wired to be able to learn, so what better time is there to be given the skills and tools to enjoy and learn reading?

The Library offers numerous programs and services to develop early literacy skills. There are various story times that teach children listening and reading skills. Any time an adult reads to a child, the adult is demonstrating how to read. Crafts are also offered at the library. The crafts teach listening skills focused on how to follow directions. The Children’s Room also offers toys such as a kitchen play set and Lego table. These toys allow children to work on speaking and listening skills as their imaginations take over. Parents and caretakers are encouraged to curl up with children on our couches and read one of our many books together. The best action a parent or caregiver can take to help their children learn to read, is to read with them.