Literacy Skills Start with Babies


Latino literacy rates remains low, despite record numbers of Latinos enrolling in colleges. By starting your child’s lifelong habit of reading at an early age, you help guarantee their success later in life.
Literacy is developed from birth, and all babies must learn to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds in words. These skills are developed within the first eight to 10 months of life. A baby who is frequently spoken to and read to will develop this skill better than one who receives little interaction. The ability to identify sounds is basic and needed for reading and writing. The more often you talk to and read to your child and engage them in conversation, the better of they’ll be. And it doesn’t matter what you read … just make sure it’s lively and, if possible, colorful, according to a recent article on
During the toddler years, children keep developing literacy skills by learning to speak, increasing their vocabulary and developing fine-motor skills that are needed for writing. Sing the alphabet song for your child and read them rhymes and poems. Give your child coloring books, paper, pencils, crayons, and other art supplies. Teach your child to write her name.
In elementary school, your child starts learning to read and write, but that doesn’t mean a parent’s job is done. Read books with your child and take time to ask questions about the story. Have your child retell the story. Have your child draw the story, or act it out. By fourth grade your child should be reading fluently. They should be able to decipher long, complicated words and understand the main idea of a story.
Photo (c) Flickr