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What reading experts say:
Letter recognition is an important prerequisite to learning to read. Successful beginning readers have a good knowledge of the alphabet, know letter names and understand that letters represent sounds.

Draw your child's attention to the visual form of individual letters in many different ways that are fun for you and your child.

Being able to recognize and name letters of the alphabet at entry into kindergarten is a strong predictor of reading ability in 10th grade. Ehri, L. and McCormick, S. Phases of word learning: Implications for instruction with delayed and disabled reader, Reading and Writing Quarterly.

What good readers know:
Good readers understand that letters are different from one another and that each letter has a name and its own distinct sound. In Straight Talk About Reading, authors Susan L. Hall and Louisa C. Moats say that most educators recommend teaching the letter name first, then the letter shape and finally the letter sound.

To be ready to read, children should know the alphabet song, upper case and most lower case letters and know the sounds each letter makes.

What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Week 1:
Tell your child a story about your first day of school. Be expressive. Use new words your child does not know. Ask questions and respond to your child's answers.
Week 2:
Read five books from the "Talking" booklist. Remember to make a tally mark for each book. Do this every month!
Week 3:
Go to a Library program like "Saturday Morning Live" or "Pajama Storytime." Find program schedules at www.WB-Buzz.org
Week 4:
Play "I Spy" with numbers on the calendar. Say, "I Spy with my little eye, a number that is more than 8 but less than 10."

Activities - Talking:
  1. Talking is a key component to a child’s development. Talking to your child about the daily routine, family events and favorite activities, this encourages language connections, speaking skills as well as listening and comprehension awareness. Use
  2. Listen to your child’s stories. Get down at their level, give them your full attention and really listen to your child. Not only are you building their language skills, you are creating a confident creative young child.
  3. Vocabulary is a key part of communicating with young children. Use new words when talking to your child, tell him what it means, and then explain it in a sentence. For example, you can use the word "automobile" instead of "car." You can say, "Let’s go get in the automobile so we can drive to the grocery store."

More Great Books to Read(click on a title to check for availability at the Library)