Early Literacy

Early Literacy Tips with Some Pizzazz

When researching early literacy skills, I found many websites with information for teachers, librarians, and parents to know when helping children.  Most of the pertinent information I found was buried in long paragraphs, citing this doctor and that study, aimed for an audience of educators.  So, as a preschool teacher that served children from all backgrounds, I know that some parents research and apply early literacy techniques to prepare their children, while other parents have never heard of the benefits.

I found this information extremely important for parents to know, but found it was not as accessible for some. I searched around for handouts for parents to take home, and while some were adequate, most were under designed, wordy, or tiresome.

So, what is a person like me with an art degree to do? I decided to gather the best techniques and tips to create colorful, easy to read handouts specifically made for new, young parents.  The information was collected from various websites, pamphlets, and personal experiences. My favorite tip comes from when I was a child: My father would tell me to close my eyes while he played classical music, think of whimsical stories, and recite back to him what I saw. This was to help develop my creative thinking and storytelling skills. Check out pdfs of the handouts here:

Early Literacy(1)

Heartbeat of Toledo, Ohio was the first place to distribute the handouts, specifically to disadvantaged parents.  Parents were very receptive to how the content was presented and told the Executive Director, Pat Todak, of the impact it has made in their daily routine of interacting with their child.

The next program to use the handouts was Reach Out And Read at the University of Toledo Pediatric Center.  At every appointment, nurses give a child an age appropriate book to take home. This could be the first book that child receives.  However, if the parent does not know the importance of reading together and is unaware of the benefits of early literacy, this book would never leave the shelf.  Therefore, I believed that these handouts would accompany the newly gifted books perfectly.

Perhaps your library can be the next place that can utilize these handouts to help parents realize how easy it is to prepare their child to become a reader and the effect it has on them for the rest of their lives.


Courtesy photo from Guest Blogger
Courtesy photo from Guest Blogger

Our guest blogger today is Angela Bronson. Angela has a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio. This is her ninth year working for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, and is currently a Children’s Librarian at Kent Branch Library. In the past, she was a Preschool Art Teacher for Bowling Green State University. She illustrated her first picture book this year titled, “Alora in the Clouds.” 

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.



  1. Elizabeth

    The handout looks really great! I’d love to use it in our library.

  2. Julie

    These posters are amazing I’d love to use them at our library. I don’t see any credit line on them and I certain want to give you credit for all this work.

  3. Angela

    Elizabeth and Julie,
    Please do use them in your libraries as is! I am very excited that you like them!

  4. Jessica

    These handouts are great! Awesome info for parents!

  5. Chelsey

    I think learning to read at a young age contributed to my love of reading today! My mom has told me before to start reading to your children as soon as possible, even when they are babies, and they will learn to read and love it!

  6. Joyce

    Awesome tips! I will definitely find a spot in our library for your handouts and insights!

  7. Theresa Jankowski

    This is such great information for parents! Once kids learn to love reading they can learn about anything that they want to accomplish or build in their lives. SO important!

  8. Rene Schetter

    Reading is so very important to open up whole new worlds to people! It can take you anywhere in the world, teach you important facts for health, fun children’s activities, and spark your interest in topics that you wouldn’t have known about without reading! I started reading to my son the first week, and he loves books so much already! At several months, he would reach out for a book from the two choices I would give him. He would listen and flip each page for me! Now a little more than a year old, he points to a book he wants me to read, say “I do!”, and as we read, he can already point to so many things in the book that I ask him about or say the word as I am reading, and knows a few letters! He already has a love for reading. He will pick books up on own, sit and look through each page!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *