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Library News

Week of the Young Child


Happy Week of the Young Child! Founded by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), this annual event is a time to celebrate early learning, children, their teachers, and families. HCPL is a strong supporter of early learning and invites you to explore our resources. Read on for early learning tips you can try at home, as well as books, materials, and programs available at the library!

The American Library Association has an initiative called Every Child Ready to Read. The initiative identifies six simple practices that parents and caregivers can do daily with their children to get them ready for kindergarten. These practices include talking, reading, singing, playing, writing, and counting.


Children learn language by listening to others, so talking with adults is one way that children can develop skills for reading.

  • When talking with little ones, it is important to use descriptive new words to help them develop a larger vocabulary.
  • Try to find opportunities for your child to speak, and not just listen, every day. It is never too early to start talking with your child!
  • When having a conversation with your child, “strive for five.” In other words, aim to have a five volley conversation with back and forth responses between the two of you.
  • If English isn’t your first language, speak to your child in the language you know best. Your fluency in your first language will allow your child to learn more and increase their vocabulary.


Reading to your child every day is another way to broaden their vocabulary, because the text in children’s books contains “rare words,” or words that are not usually heard in conversation.

  • Consider reading nonfiction books with your child, because these books contain even more “rare words.”
  • After finishing a book, talk about it with your child and ask them some questions. Aim to give them at least five seconds to answer, since it can take children longer to process and respond to questions.

There are many children’s books that support the practice of talking. Here are a few titles from our collection that encourage conversations between adults and their children:

Our 1000 Books before Kindergarten Challenge is another fun way to work toward early literacy goals and introduce the habit of reading. Thanks to The Friends of Henrico County Public Library, you can browse 100 different book kits, each with its own unique set of 10 books perfect for readers from birth to age five. 


Additionally, the library offers Storytimes and programs that incorporate other early learning practices like singing, counting, playing, and writing. Be sure to browse our Storytime calendar and Program & Events Calendar for early learning activities that you can participate in with your little one.

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