Cuddling up with your child and a good book is arguably one of the best parenting moments. It’s a time to learn more about your child’s favorite things and to help them gain early literacy skills while bonding over a story.
Titles like Dragons Love Tacos, Llama Llama Red Pajama, Little Blue Truck, Goodnight Moon and enduring authors like Roald Dahl and Judy Blume help create lasting memories for parents and children alike. Enjoying that time and togetherness helps foster a love of reading for children at an early age.
Southwest Human Development, Arizona’s largest nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development, has several literacy resources to support parents and children in their reading adventures.
• Raising a Reader – an eight-week literacy program that focuses on fostering early reading practices through songs, books, and child-friendly activities.
• Let’s Talk – a virtual 10-week program designed to give parents strategies for building young children’s vocabulary.
• Little Free Libraries – Little Free Libraries are “take one, leave one” book stations. This concept allows any individual to have easy access to books, regardless of their financial situation.
• Festival of Tales – a free bi-annual community literacy event in the spring and fall in partnership with Paradise Valley Community College. Activities include free books for all children, arts, crafts, and performances.
• Grow a Reader – a virtual book donation drive to fund early literacy programs and purchase books for donation to Arizona children and families participating in Southwest Human Development programs.
• This Little Farmer Went to Market and Up Up Up – both books were winners of the First Edition Project children’s book manuscript contest. With each purchase, this two-book pack, Southwest Human Development will donate two books to a child in need using a “Buy One, Give One” model.
• Thrive to Five Playfest – Southwest Human Development’s annual outdoor event with free books, bounce houses, yard games, sensory experiences, and lots more.
Research shows that all children benefit from a high-quality early childhood education experience, and that quality early education is especially important for children growing up in low-income families. Southwest Human Development’s more than 40 years of experience with early childhood education and literacy programs help children enter school ready to learn.
The nonprofit’s early literacy programs – in partnership with parents, caregivers, and generous donors – help young children build the skills they need to become successful readers now, while laying the foundation for lifelong literacy.
All content in this article, including any advice or commentary from Southwest Human Development staff and/or others, should be considered an opinion and is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the direct advice of your own trusted professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the child/ren in your care. Southwest Human Development does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures or other information that may be mentioned in this article. You may contact Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline at 1-877-705-KIDS (5437) to speak with one of our early childhood professionals for personalized assistance. Birth to Five Helpline specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.