This blog is for INFO 269 – Early Childhood Literacy. I wanted to begin my personal blog by thinking about my experiences with early literacy activities and beginning to consider questions to explore throughout the semester.
I was an early reader and my now-8-year-old was also an early reader. There is an extent to which I suspect this is an inherent characteristic and not an environmental one – that is to say, I don’t fancy my parents or I to have done something magical that produced the readiness and desire to read early on. When I look at our young friends with whom my child has grown up, I see that many children compartmentalize their development to some extent – many children develop fine and gross motor skills before they develop the cognitive skills of reading and writing, and many demonstrate musical or spatial aptitude earlier than other children, and some communicate through reading and writing early and develop the other skills later. As a parent and friend, I want to honor those developmental pathways and not overemphasize one or the other; but as a librarian I want to contribute to the development of young readers in every way possible. I think those things are compatible.
So in this blog, I want to explore the ways that we can do exactly that in our libraries. How can we use technology to help (and, at the same time, can technology hinder) literacy development in children? What are the best practices in children’s programming today that can contribute to the development of enthusiastic and successful lifelong readers? What is the connection between play and early literacy development? And since parents are the child’s first and most important teacher (and I really do believe this throughout childhood), how do we support parents in their pursuit of their children’s development? What about children with physical disabilities or cognitive/developmental needs – how do we support their literacy development too?