What is Early Literacy - and why is it important?


What greater joy is there for parents than reading a book to your child as they are nestled in your lap, listening to you read? And research proves, time and again, that this act of family bonding also has far-reaching consequences in setting our children up for success at every stage of their lives.

Here at BCPS, we are committed to the continued evolution of improvement, and we are constantly working to increase our ability to support and propel students toward success. BCPS has a long-standing partnership with Bellarmine University called the Bellarmine Literacy Project (BLP), a program that focuses on training teachers in the most effective strategies for literacy development. This level of support and training is graduate level and has been critical in our literacy programming. 

Early Literacy is essentially the development of reading and language skills that will propel students toward becoming active readers; children “learn to read” in order to “read to learn.” Families play a huge role in the initial literacy development of their child’s life. Research shows that the more time spent reading to our children and exploring books increases the likelihood of future success. There are unlimited opportunities to build not only literacy skills but social and language skills simply by reading and talking to young children. For instance, access to new words increases all students’ vocabulary. Additionally, during the first two years of life, seeing pictures of objects in text helps build connections to the world in which the child lives. 

The interesting thing is that these opportunities are not just for toddlers – these moments are critical for our “learning to read” children and students. As our children learn to read, they develop foundational literacy skills that will help them become effective readers at every level. Access to books and discussions surrounding those books increases in importance during this stage of becoming a reader. Powerful practices may include conversations about the book they read. Talking with your children about what they read builds communication and social skills as well. 

Early literacy extends into Preschool, Kindergarten, first, and second grades. Our Preschool centers develop literacy skills through the use of songs, movement, and rhymes, whereas our Kindergarten to second grade classrooms focus on developing a comprehensive array of skills such as sound identification, letter-sound recognition, and vocabulary development so that our students become independent readers.  

If you are interested in additional information to support the reading development of your child, please reach out to your child’s teacher and/or your school. BCPS is committed to building strong partnerships with our families so that our students are equipped to be successful in life!


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