Early Literacy


Baby with Board BookEvery child ready to read, ready to learn. Libraries aspire to these ideals.

Librarians at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County have worked with parents and babies for years and have now expanded their efforts through the Baby Brilliant project.

Parents can learn how to help their babies and toddlers discover important skills at an early age so they will become good readers and more successful in school.

Studies indicate that brain development during the first three years of life significantly affects a child’s educational success. Through the “Baby Brilliant” project, the Library offers special programs and kits to help parents and caregivers learn the techniques to spur early brain development and make babies better readers and more successful students.

The Library’s Baby Brilliant program has the following priorities:

  • Increasing community awareness of the importance of Early Literacy and the significance of the Library’s work in influencing a child’s development.
  • Loaning developmentally appropriate collections in kits and providing procedures and methods for their effective use, to help parents, childcare providers and educators with their Early Literacy efforts.
  • Training childcare providers and parents in use of these resources and techniques to strengthen Early Literacy in our community.
    Partnering with other community organizations with similar interests.

Baby with Picture BookBaby Brilliant-To-Go Kits

**Baby Brilliant Kits are NOT Currently Available** – Baby Brilliant Kits are a collection of developmentally appropriate materials that can be used by parents, teachers, and childcare providers to stimulate and reinforce the development of the preliteracy skills children must acquire to become successful readers. Topics for the kits also correspond to the preschool curriculum.

What’s included in a kit?

• Kits for early talkers (children ages 0-2) include 10 books, 2 music CDs, and 1 educational toy.
• Kits for talkers and pre-readers (children ages 2-5) include 15 books, 2 music CDs, and 2 toys.

To find out if the Library has a kit on a topic of interest to you, go the Library catalog and type “Baby Brilliant Kits” in either the title or the series field. This will bring up a complete list of the kits we own. Clicking on the title of the individual kit (e.g., “Fall”) will let you know if the kit is available or if it is in use. Check our catalog »

Baby & Me On-Board logoBaby and Me On-Board Kits

**Baby and Me On-Board Kits are NOT Currently Available** – Baby and Me On Board kits are available for families with children from birth to 1 year. Kits are mailed out to families and contain two books for Mom, plus five books and one music CD to share with little ones. Kits have been created for two age groups: birth to 6 months old and 7 to 12 months old.

For more information or to sign up for Baby and Me – On Board, call 330.792.3869.

ABC Building Blocks iconReading Skills Storytime Sheets

Teachers can help parents and childcare providers understand the importance of reading to children by using these sheets to identify and reinforce the names of the early literacy skills being developed each time a child listens to a story. List favorite books to share with children on these skills sheets to make parents and caregivers aware that reading to children is helping them acquire the skills children need before they can learn to read. Storytime Skills Sheets »

AWE Early Literacy StationEarly Literacy Stations

Kids ages 2-8 have one more way to learn, while having fun, at the Library on new Early Literacy Stations, a dynamic all-in-one digital learning solution for children ages 2-8.

Learn more about Early Literacy Stations »

Websites on Early Literacy

Reading is Fundamental »
Reading is Fundamental has designed a simple set of questions to check your child’s progress as he learns to read.

Helping Your Child Become a Reader »
Prepared by the Department of Education, this document gives practical ideas for Helping Your Child Become a Reader.

Zero to Three »
This comprehensive site covers all aspects of early child development.

Family Literacy Storytimes »
Everyday life is a learning experience for children. Born Learning is a public engagement campaign that helps parents, grandparents and caregivers explore ways to turn everyday moments into fun learning opportunities.