Rehm 1Jenna RehmNovember 18th 2011CorbettAP Literature Early Childhood Literacy and Its Importance What would education systems be like without a strong focus on early childhoodliteracy? Through parental guidance, educational programs, and instruction from teachers andlibrarians, children are learning the importance of literature at a very young age. Without adoubt, this prepares them for years of schooling ahead and provides them with a basis ofeveryday life skills. Parents are a strong factor in helping their young children focus on literature. Theirimportance has been noted through a view that “as the first teachers of children, parentsinfluence and prepare their children for the world, for their educational experience, and for theirfuture literacy success” (Caravette 52). Before reaching the age where they will learn and focuson reading in school, children first have to learn basic skills from their parents. The skillslearned not only teach the young children fundamentals for reading more advanced books, butalso eventually pinpoint the focus of just how important reading is for them. Now there are newproducts out that help parents prepare for reading and relate these readings to their children‟slives. The “Bounty New Mother Bag” is a great example of this as “in oneinstance, representations of a product designed to keep babies safe from germs invoked imagesfrom the traditional fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood by making a visual analogy betweengerms and the Big Bad Wolf” (Nichols, Nixon and Roswell). Through the use of these products,these authors clearly explain how reading is of great importance to the young children in our
Rehm 2world today. By recognizing the classic tale of “Little Red Riding Hood”, some of these youngreaders are able to understand the link between a main character and germs as it teaches them theimportance of health through the use of a great example. This lesson provides them with a lifeskill that they will forever remember because of the impact of reading at such an early age. Through research, it was found that there is “a significant positive relationship betweenthe availability and range of reading materials in the home environment and children‟s attitudetowards and achievement in reading” (Becher). Parents who find the time and resources at theirhouse to read with their children are bettering themselves and their child for the future. Bysimply reading a book every night and having a child grasp everyday information through theunderstanding of words in context, the parents are doing their job. It is clear that reading to achild improves children‟s expressive and receptive vocabularies, inferential and literalcomprehension skills, sentence length used when writing or speaking, letter and symbolrecognition in text, basic conceptual development, and overall general interest in books (Becher).These improvements found in a child just from primary education reading are great rewards. Notonly are these improvements helpful in learning at school, but they also leave behind importantskills for succeeding throughout school and throughout a future career. Children will have amore positive and understanding attitude towards reading with the help of their parents. Theparents must foster the love and importance of reading, since children cannot understand howengaging in text at such an early age will be of great benefit to them in the future. Before a childeven reaches school, the only thing that can be done to improve their education is through thehelp of their parents. With parental knowledge of the benefits of early childhood literacy andhow it effects reading levels and performance skills in school, parents are the true teachers thereto enforce just how important reading is at a young age.
Rehm 3 Many schools set standards for young students through the concept of reading andthrough the role of its importance. Some programs are put together under the fact that, “althoughschool library media specialists collaboratively establish library media program goals relevant tothe needs of individual schools, they are guided by a mission such as that articulated by theAmerican Association of School Librarians (AASL)” (Latrobe). As shown by the establishmentof an association to promote early childhood reading, the importance of this concept iswidespread. Focusing young children on literacy is not just done to help during the hours ofschool but to lead the child down a path of learning communication techniques and structure inspeech for everyday usage. The missions that the AASL put together are clearly thought out andmade to meet the needs of the students. With much thought, the association came together tostate that “according to some of those AASL standards, young people should be able to evaluateinformation critically and competently and appreciate literature and other creative expressions ofinformation” (Latrobe). Through the focus on these standards and goals this program has set,educators are able to promote a love of reading to young people. The program‟s goal is to notonly make children love reading because of its benefit but to help students in the long runwhether they see the benefit taking place or not. Children have a hard time telling if they canevaluate information more critically than they could a few weeks ago, or if they can appreciateliterature with a better understanding than they once had. With the help of this program, it isclear that they will become better readers and make that time worth their while. It is certain thata key role is played by early literacy as it “[enables] the kind of early learning experiences thatresearch shows are linked with academic achievement, reduced grade retention, highergraduation rates and enhanced productivity in adult life” (Strickland). Through other research, it has been found that having a strong literacy at an early age is a
Rehm 4definite benefit. Life as a child is not the only thing affected, seeing as life as an adult willbecome affected as well. Public schools have even set up recommendations that, “all childrenshould have access to early childhood programs with strong literacy components, early literacycurricula and teaching practices… that should be integrated with all domains of learning, and…they should reflect consistency and continuity with overall program goals” (Strickland). Onceagain, it is made clear that schools believe in the importance of reading, as it should be involvedin all aspects of their teaching. Reading has such a large impact on lives, that just spending alittle bit of time a day doing it will not help anyone to succeed. Along with the AASL, “EveryChild Ready to Read @ Your Library has also been established as a program in many elementaryschools to promote reading in the library and the actions the children must take in order to be asuccessful reader” (Ash 5). In order to benefit, reading should be promoted through all subjectsand applied on exams as well. By realizing that reading and learning can be promoted together,it makes reading become a second nature to many students. All in all, programs defined topromote reading at a young age strongly emphasize the advantages that will be rewarded in thefuture. Teachers are very aware of the rewards that come out of being so strict on the demand tokeep young children reading. Many teachers have begun to notice that in the past fifteen years, ithas been apparent that preschool quality has put a strong focus on elementary school readingreadiness. Information has now become child-specific about working on early literacy skills(McCormick 31). An age limit has not been set on the process of building up a child‟s literacy.Teachers are now finding it critical that students stay on track with the skills that are producedout of how they teach and the way their teachings enhance the students. Reports show that“72% of children spend time in center-based early care and education prior to starting
Rehm 5kindergarten. With most children attending childcare programs during a time when they aredeveloping early literacy skills, it is important to have a qualified staff adept to teaching suchskills” (Mullis 4). The big deal made about the importance of literacy skills proves that with somany children in classes that will be based upon building up literacy, teachers must be very welltrained. Not only are the educators teaching these children life lessons, but they are also givingthem the basics to a very important aspect of life, reading. When discussing a class that shetaught, Professor Morrow made it clear that teachers of early education “study the different areasof literacy development specifically oral language, writing, and reading. [Which are]…thentranslate[d] into practical strategies, materials, preparation of the environment to math teachingstrategies, and assessment concerns” (Morrow 171). The professor made sure that the differentaspects of development were included in the study of how early literacy works for young people.By translating the information into ideas to use for student lessons, teachers can easily set upways to promote reading to the young. When discussing the important role a teacher plays inearly childhood, it was mentioned that “children need lots of opportunities to have hands onexperiences with books, learn about the sounds of languages, learn about the letters of thealphabet, and listen to books being read” (Benham 2). This statement proves that experiences inthe classroom trigger the mind to capture more information for students. Through the use ofactivities, it is easier for the children to value reading as it becomes a fun classroom exercise forthem. Without teachers focusing on the impact of reading at an early age, the literacy of childrenwould be at a dramatic low. All in all, there is a very strong importance on early childhood literature. Without it, theaverage child would take longer to recognize the basic skills of life. At the rate teachers areworking with these children and their reading skills, comprehension and basic knowledge of
Rehm 6sentence structure and sounds of the alphabet are becoming easier to learn and easier to usethroughout school. From parents, to programs, to educators, the promotion of reading to youngchildren is done by fulfilling an overall love of reading and by giving an understanding of itsimportance in education and everyday life.
Rehm 7 Works CitedAsh, Viki. “Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library.” Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children 7.1 (2009): 3-7. Galileo. Web. 13 Nov. 2011. <http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=3&hid=21&sid=a9233f6c-1476-449e-944c- 49db6c3ff40c%40sessionmgr112&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=a9h&AN =40507758>.Becher, Rhoda McShane. “Parent Involvement: A Review of Research and Principles of Successful Practice.” N.d. Education Resources Information Center. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/ detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED247032&ERICExtSearch_Se archType_0=no&accno=ED247032>.Benham, Tammie. “Research-Based Strategies for Teaching Early Literacy Skills.” N.d. Skyways. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. <http://skyways.lib.ks.us/tricon/2006/handouts/benham_handout.pdf>.Caravette, Loretta. “Portrait of the Reader as a Young Child.” Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children 9.2 (2011): 52-57. Galileo. Web. 13 Nov. 2011. <http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=3&hid=12&sid=b262b108-360e-4240-ac8c- ee9631cd94f3%40sessionmgr10&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=a9h&AN= 64396906>.Latrobe, Kathy Howard. “School Libraries.” Gale Virtual Reference Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2011. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/ retrieve.do?sgHitCountType=None&sort=RELEVANCE&inPS=true&prodId=GVRL&userGrou pName=cant48040&tabID=T003&searchId=R1&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&contentSegm ent=&searchType=BasicSearchForm¤tPosition=2&contentSet=GALE%7CCX340320054
Rehm 8 2&&docId=GALE|CX3403200542&docType=GALE&role=>.McCormick, Christine E. “Early Literacy Individual Growth and Development Indicators (EL-IGDIS) as Predictors of Reading Skills in Kindergarten through Second Grade.” International Journal of Psychology: A Biopsychosocial Approach 7: 29-40. Galileo. Web. 13 Nov. 2011. <http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=e985ac7c-e004-4b87-b778- b507ebcbcdd1%40sessionmgr15&vid=5&hid=14&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3 d#db=a9h&AN=64886670>.Morrow, Lesley. “Literacy Development in the Early Years.” Handbook of Instructional Practices for Literacy Teacher-Educators. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2001. 171. Rpt. in Handbook of Instructional Practices. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Google Books. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://books.google.com/ books?hl=en&lr=&id=evRP7HpQH8AC&oi=fnd&pg=PA171&dq=teachers+and+childhood+lit eracy&ots=Ixqn42MxOZ&sig=ZCBwqXi5EqSoyF3_kCL_wGBGUlA#v=onepage&q=teachers %20and%20childhood%20literacy&f=false>.Mullis, Ron L. “Congruence of Parents‟ and of Teachers‟ Perceptions of Early Literacy Behavior.” N.d. Florida State University. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://www.chs.fsu.edu/files/reports/ NCFR%20parents%20and%20teachers.pdf>.Roswell, Jennifer, Helen Nixon, and Sue Nichols. “The „good‟ Parent in Relation to Early Childhood Literacy: Symbolic Terrain and Lived Pactice.” Galileo. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2011. <http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=7d2f8068-7a25-40ab-92d9- 64053cf29547%40sessionmgr113&vid=5&hid=9&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3 d#db=a9h&AN=42419085>.Strickland, Dorothy. “Early Literacy: Policy and Practice in the Preschool Years.” Reading Rockets.