Early Literacy Focus at Somerset County Library System

Posted on January 3, 2018

In January 2018, the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) will launch SCLSNJ SOARING, (Supportive Opportunities for Achieving Reading in the Next Generation), in support of early literacy.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), more than one in three children in the United States start kindergarten without the language skills they require to learn to read. The AAP recommends reading to children from birth to support early literacy.

SCLSNJ SOARING is designed to help parents take advantage of the Library’s early childhood programming and resources; and to explore how to replicate those strategies at home.

“As librarians, we know many parents struggle with teaching their school-age children to read. We have found that there isn’t a widespread awareness of the importance of early exposure to picture books right from infancy and through the toddler years. Sharing books in this pre-literacy period provides the foundation for a smoother transition to independent literacy later in life,” said Meredith Hoyer, SCLSNJ youth services department supervisor.

Icons created by the SCLSNJ team will help parents efficiently discover age appropriate storytimes, activities, and resources when using their Library branch. Hatchlings – an icon of a small bird popping out of an egg – indicate appropriateness for children birth to 18 months; Chicks – an icon of the same small bird facing forward – indicate appropriateness for children 18 months to 3 years; and Songbirds – an icon of that bird now spreading its wings and taking flight – indicate appropriateness for children 3 years to kindergarten.

“SCLSNJ is dedicated to supporting our youngest patrons’ educational growth through storytimes, programs, and other resources. SCLSNJ SOARING packages all of our resources, from the traditional storytimes to new initiatives like ‘1000 Books Before Kindergarten’ and our ‘Ready Rosie’ service. The most significant brain growth occurs in early childhood, so we are excited to provide enrichment aimed at these exploring minds,” said Jessica Trujillo, SCLSNJ youth services manager.

For more information on SOAR or for information on how to become a participating SOARING school visit: sclsnj.org/sclsnj-soaring

Source: SCLSNJ