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Early Literacy

Early literacy is everything a child learns about reading and writing before they actually begin to read or write. It starts as soon as they are born, and their first and most important teachers are their family.

Literacy is a family project, and makes a difference that lasts a lifetime. We are here to help you with early literacy, family literacy, and lifelong learning. Here are a few excellent resources to get you started:

  • 100 Picture Books
    Picture books are a great way to inspire a love of books and to nurture a lifelong reader. Children’s and Teen Services staff have created a list of 100 picture books that we love and we think everyone will enjoy. It can be hard picking a book to share with your child, so this is a great place to start.
  • Early Literacy Alliance of Waterloo Region (ELAWR)
    Kitchener Public Library is one of over 20 member agencies working together to ignite a passion for learning and to fuel an early literacy movement in order to help our community and its children grow strong and successful. ELAWR’s Talk, Play, Read, Sing provides lots of great advice and tips for helping your children.
Image: Early Literacy Alliance of Waterloo Region
Image: Early Literacy Alliance of Waterloo Region
Image: Early Literacy Alliance of Waterloo Region
Image: Early Literacy Alliance of Waterloo Region
  • Getting Ready for Kindergarten
    Getting Ready for Kindergarten is a program designed to help children become comfortable with a routine and prepare for full days of school. It includes stories, songs, hands on activities, and more all to help active preschoolers get used to a classroom style environment. Getting Ready for Kindergarten is offered during the winter and spring programming session. Check out In Touch magazine or search the Calendar of Events for locations and dates.


Digital Literacy for Parents and Children

"Digital literacy refers to the knowledge, skills and attitudes that allow children to be both safe and empowered in an increasingly digital world." - UNICEF

Our devices are an essential part of our lives, as tools for communication, education, and entertainment. As children develop, it is important for parents to help them manage their screen time, and learn how to safely navigate the digital world.

Managing Screen TIme

Overexposure to screens is a concern many parents share. The Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) offers several tips for managing screen time, digital media, and social media exposure for children and youths.

  • Screen time and young children
    Very often, screen time is a lost opportunity for your child to learn in real time: from interacting, playing outdoors, creating or enjoying social ‘downtime’ with family. CPS offers advice for setting screen time limits for children ages 2-5.

  • Screen time and digital media (school-age and teens)
    Exposure to digital media carries certain risks. It is important for parents is to pay attention, get involved, and model positive media habits. CPS provides suggestions for plans, rules, and limits to reduce risk while still allowing your children to spend time on their devices.

  • Social Media: What parents should know
    Today’s children and youth are able to share personal information far beyond what their parents could do when they were young. It’s important for parents to learn about the different technologies children are using to help keep them safe online.

Internet Safety

Safety online continues to be a complicated issue, for all ages.  Here are some resources to help you ensure that you and your children can minimize the risks.

  • GetNetWise
    Features include a safety guide, parental tools, and websites for kids, as well as information for adults about internet security.