Growing Young Minds Print

Early Learning Begins With YouMother and Father reading to their young son

You have been your child's teacher from the day he or she was born.  You know more about your child than anyone else.  You are in the best position to help your child get ready to read because:

  • Young children have short attention spans.  You can do activities for short bits of time throughout the day.
  • You know your children best and you can help them learn in ways and at times that are easiest for them.
  • Parents are tremendous role models - if your children see that you think reading is important and enjoy it, they will follow your lead.
  • Children learn best by doing - and they love doing things with YOU.


Why is it so important for children to get ready to read before they start school?

Children who enter kindergarten with pre-reading skills have an advantage.  They can focus on learning to read instead of first learning essential pre-reading skills.  Children who start kindergarten ready to read have greater success throughout their school years.

How does the library support early learning?Mother and Father with their new baby and a Raise a Reader packet

For several years the Whatcom County Library System (funded by the Whatcom County Library Foundation) and the Bellingham Public Library have been working together to give each baby born at St. Joseph Hospital a new board book of their very own, along with a packet of information about the services the library systems offer to support early literacy. These packets are available in English, Spanish and Russian.

Raise a Reader has also partnered up with several pediatric clinics in the county. These clinics, which were already sending free books home at well-child exams, are now also including library information in the material that goes home with parents. 

Using tools such as Every Child Ready to Read, Raise a Reader provides parents with simple measures they can take to increase pre-reading skills. 

We invite you to come to one of our storytimes or programs and share the joy of reading with your child.  

Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library (link coming soon)

Reading lists, brochures and helpful links (link coming soon)


Send any comments or questions to Tammy LaPlante.