Ready To Read

Every Child Ready to Read!

Did you know…

Children get ready to read long before they start school. Research shows that the first five years of life are critical to a child’s future success.

You can help your young child to be ready to learn to read… starting at birth.  Share these activities together:

Talking helps them learn new words and information.  Talk and listen to your child as you prepare meals, do household chores, get ready for bed or whenever you are together.

Singing is a natural way for them to learn about language.  Sing and play music for your child.

Reading together is the single most important way to help.  Have books within easy reach.  Visit the library and find books to make reading fun.  Show them how important reading is by reading yourself.

Writing and scribbling helps them learn that written words stand for spoken language.  Keep paper and crayons handy.

Playing helps them put thoughts into words and understand that spoken and written words stand for real objects and experiences.  Encourage imaginative play by keeping  a prop box with items for your child to use for pretend play.

Watch a short video demonstrating each of the activities.

500 by 5

Help your child read 500 books by age 5! Reading with your child helps them get read for school, increase their vocabulary, improve logical thinking, and more. See more information about 500 x 5 and get started!

Explore these websites or ask your children’s librarian for more information about how you can help your little one be ready to read.

  • Kids Book Blog
    A blog for finding children’s picture books created by the youth services staff at St. Mary’s County Library. Each entry features a cover image and blurb about the book, as well as special interest labels.
  • Birth to 6 (Hennepin County Library)
    An excellent site on Early Literacy, with information, tips and activities, and lists of books to share with your children. In English and Spanish.
  • Grow Up Reading
    As part of its Grow Up Reading™ initiative, the West Bloomfield Township Library (MI) offers information and activities about literacy and learning to help children, beginning at birth, grow into fluent readers.
    Free for St. Mary’s County Library customers to use inside the library, either on library computers or using the free library wifi. has a subscription fee for users outside of the library.
  • Every Child Ready to Read
    The updated and expanded 2nd edition of Every Child Ready To Read incorporates simple practices, based on research, to help parents and other caregivers develop early literacy skills in children from birth to age five.
  • Starting Out Right:  A Guide to Promoting Children’s Reading Success
    This book by the National Research Council can be read or purchased online, or borrowed from the library.
  • 500 by 5 Goodreads Page
    This Goodreads page can be used to find all sorts of books that will be appropriate for your child as they try to read 500 books by their fifth birthday.
  • NoveList K-8
    This resource can be used to help you find the absolute best books for your child as they learn the basics of reading. Just select “Ages 0-8” and select from a variety of topics! Requires a St. Mary’s County Library card.
  • TumbleBook Library
    Free animated books that can be set to either narrate the story, or just display the words to allow your child to read for themselves. A perfect resource that you can use as your child gets more accustomed to reading! Requires a St. Mary’s County Library card.
  • Watch a TEDx Talk from Dimitri Christakis, a pediatrician, parent, and researcher whose influential findings are helping identify optimal media exposure for children.