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Children's Literacy Resources and Libraries

Children are a priority for libraries and always have been. Free books, summer reading programs, story times, activities, and welcoming staff are the qualities of children’s library areas.

Yet some children struggle with reading readiness and literacy skills. For example,

  • Nationally, 46% of kindergarten teachers report that at least half of their pupils have specific problems with entry into kindergarten, including lack of academic skills, difficulty following directions, disorganized home environments and problems working independently.*
  • In Colorado, in a 2001 Educare survey of kindergarten and first grade teachers, it was found that teachers believed four out of ten children (40%) entering the classroom were not academically prepared to learn.

Children, who start school behind, typically stay behind. Their lives are at risk. But the story begins well before school entry. There are large differences in children's early exposure to experiences that support skills. Preschoolers need food, shelter, love; they also need the nourishment of books.

Little children DON'T need to learn to read or be forced to practice with pencils or memorize the alphabet. But from birth through kindergarten, they MUST take part in many activities--play to them--to prevent later difficulties in reading, writing, and other tasks of formal schooling.

The public and officials are demanding more accountability, more support, more activity from the entire community to help these children.

Libraries can help! Public libraries are FREE to all! You can borrow many free books to use at your house, childcare center, or preschool for several weeks at a time! School libraries teach children to use different kinds of information.

Want more information?

* (Rimm-Kauffman, S.E., Pianta, R.C. and Cox, M.J. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 2 cited in Early Education Clearinghouse "Kindergarten Teachers Perceive Difficulty in Transitions to School," Facts in Action, Associated Day Care Services (2000, November). Available on the web.

For additional information, contact Sharon Morris, 303-866-6730 or Beth Crist.

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Colorado Dept. of Education
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