Literacy is the foundation for creating a well-educated and responsible citizen. It is essential that each child arrive in kindergarten able to take advantage of the materials, activities and interactions in classrooms that nourish literacy. The ways in which children learn to read and write are similar to how they develop language. Just as children seem to be compelled to learn language, children become excited about using pictures and letters to communicate.
The printed word, whether it is in a storybook or in the environment, is the bridge that allows children to connect themselves to distant places, to quality children’s literature and to new ideas. Through natural exposure to books and print, and through conversations that prompt children to discuss the people and important events in their lives, children discover that written words are another way to share ideas. A child who enters school experiencing the joy of a storybook, developing awareness of letters of the alphabet and demonstrating the ability to write a few letters, is a child well prepared to learn to read and write.