Unlock A World Of Possibilities Through Early Literacy Programs 

At Children’s Speech & Reading Center, we set the stage for lifelong success in school and beyond for children 4-5 years old at area preschools serving low-income families. We offer weekly sessions focused on developing and improving early literacy skills such as upper- and lower-case letter recognition, letter-sound correspondence, sound awareness, as well as print and word awareness. These prerequisite skills are excellent predictors for early reading success and future academic achievement. Join us in laying a solid foundation for your child's bright future.  

What is Early Literacy?

Early Literacy refers to the foundational skills that precede learning to read and write. These skills encompass knowledge of the alphabet, understanding that printed words carry meaning, and the ability to recognize sounds and rhythms in language. It's the bedrock upon which reading abilities are built and crucial for every child's academic journey.

Why Early Literacy Matters?

Early literacy transcends mere preparation for school. It is the cornerstone of a child's entire educational journey and a critical component of lifelong learning. Delving deeper into its significance reveals multifaceted benefits. 

Foundation for Learning

Early literacy establishes a robust foundation for literacy. It equips children with essential literacy skills that are vital for understanding the complex world around them. Through engaging with literacy activities and a variety of books, such as board books and picture books, children gain the tools needed for literacy development. It sets the stage for their future learning and exploration.

Language Development

The journey of early literacy is pivotal for language development. It creates a rich vocabulary and enhances language skills. Activities that promote phonological awareness and phonemic awareness are crucial as they help children grasp the nuances of spoken language and the structure of alphabetic language. These are foundational for effective communication and comprehension.

Cognitive Development

Engagement with early literacy is instrumental in cognitive and brain development. It encourages children to engage in critical thinking and develop problem-solving skills. Both of these are nurtured through interaction with text and contemplation of open-ended questions. In the long run, these build their background knowledge and cognitive abilities.

Success in School and Beyond

Early literacy is a key predictor of success in school and future academic pursuits. Proficiency in early literacy skills not only contributes to academic achievement, it also fosters a positive attitude toward learning. Most importantly, it encourages children to pursue lifelong learning. This sets them up for success in elementary school and beyond.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

For children from low-income families, early literacy can be a powerful tool in breaking the cycle of poverty. By providing access to literacy resources, childhood programs, and family literacy initiatives, children have the chance to transcend their socioeconomic status in the future. When they become adults, they can have more opportunities to achieve success and stability in their lives.

CSRC offers free pre-literacy programs for children 4-5 years old at area preschools serving low income families. 

Weekly sessions focus on developing and improving pre-literacy skills such as upper and lower case letter recognition, letter-sound correspondence, sound awareness (such as identifying rhyme and initial sounds in words), and print and word awareness. These prerequisite skills are excellent predictors for early reading success and future academic achievement.

Early Literacy Skills That Every Child Should Develop 

The journey of early literacy is a mosaic of skills and each plays a pivotal role in a child's development. These skills are not just about learning to read and write. These are the building blocks of comprehensive literacy development. When developed, these create a profound connection with language and communication. Most importantly, every child has the opportunity to become a confident reader and a lifelong learner.

Letter Knowledge

Letter knowledge includes recognizing alphabet letters in different contexts and understanding their associated sounds. This foundational skill is crucial for phonological awareness and the ability to decode words during reading. Interactive games, literacy activities like tongue twisters, and playful engagement with the alphabet support the development of this key literacy skill.

Print Motivation

Encouraging print motivation is about sparking a child's interest in and love for books. This early enthusiasm for reading is nurtured through everyday activities that integrate books into daily routines. It lays a strong foundation for school readiness and a lifelong relationship with reading. Age-appropriate literacy activities like storytelling and interactive book reading play a crucial role in developing this motivation.


A larger vocabulary is essential for effective communication and comprehension. Through experiences with books and engagement in everyday conversations, children expand their lexical repertoire. This enables them to express themselves more clearly and understand others better. Parental involvement in reading and storytelling enriches this learning process and significantly enhances language acquisition.

Print Awareness

Print awareness is the understanding that print is connected to meaning and understanding its significance. This skill is fundamental for literacy development. When nurtured, children can recognize the conventions of print which help them understand how text is used in various contexts. Activities like pointing out environmental print during everyday activities and discussing the conventions of print found in storybooks help solidify this awareness.

Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is the ability to recognize and manipulate sounds in words—a cornerstone of reading and spelling. It involves skills from recognizing as well as identifying rhymes and initial sounds in words to understanding syllables and phonemes. Activities that promote phonological awareness range from singing songs and reciting tongue twisters to more structured exercises like phonemic awareness games and literacy programs. These are all designed to highlight the sounds within words.

Narrative Skills

Narrative skills encompass the ability to tell stories and comprehend their structure. These skills are critical for school success as they underpin reading comprehension and creative writing. Engaging children in storytelling, reading various types of books, and encouraging them to recount their own experiences are effective strategies for developing strong narrative skills.

How Can Our Early Literacy Programs Help Build These Skills?

Our FREE Early Literacy Program is meticulously designed to transform foundational literacy skills into an exciting and enriching journey for young learners. Here's how we at Children’s Speech & Reading Center approach this vital task.

 Phonemic Awareness and Phonics

Our focus on phonemic awareness and phonics is fundamental to developing strong literacy skills. By tuning into the sounds of language, children begin to understand the relationship between letters and sounds. It solidifies a strong foundation for reading and writing. This evidence-based early literacy practice is crucial for school success particularly as children transition to elementary school.

Print Awareness and Letter Recognition

We emphasize print awareness and letter recognition to connect children with the written word in fun and accessible ways. Recognizing letters and understanding print knowledge are key literacy foundations that prepare children for future school success. Our early literacy program incorporates environmental print and diverse learning experiences as well. All these make literacy a tangible part of children's everyday lives.

Storytelling and Interactive Reading

Through storytelling and interactive reading, we breathe life into stories that spark imagination and curiosity among children. This method not only enhances literacy development but also strengthens emotional skills. As children connect with characters and narratives, they develop empathy and understanding. Our team is skilled in using facial expressions, tone, and gestures to engage children. We make each story a dynamic learning experience.

Vocabulary Building and Language Development

Expanding linguistic horizons is at the heart of our early literacy program. Through vocabulary building and language development activities, we enrich children's oral language skills. This aspect of our program supports academic achievement and healthy development. It enables children to have back-and-forth conversations that will expose them to a wide range of linguistic backgrounds.

Engagement with Writing and Fine Motor Skills

We encourage early writing attempts to develop fine motor skills and express thoughts in writing. Our approach includes effective and school-readiness strategies that support children in writing their letters. This hands-on experience is crucial for child development. 

How Can Your Child Benefit From Our Early Literacy Program?

Our Early Literacy Program is designed not only to introduce children to the world of letters and sounds. But to also build a comprehensive skill set that will benefit them throughout their lives. Here's a closer look at the profound and lasting benefits.

Enhanced Language and Communication Skills

Our program significantly enhances language and communication skills. By engaging in activities focused on oral language development and experiences with language, children learn to express their thoughts and understand others effectively. This forms a critical part of their early literacy education. It sets a strong basis in literacy that is crucial for their future school success. 

Foundational Reading Skills

Our early literacy curriculum is carefully crafted to lay the foundation for reading from an early age. By focusing on strong literacy skills and employing evidence-based early literacy practices, we ensure that children develop the reading abilities necessary for school achievement. Our childhood educators and teachers are trained to provide instruction that is age-appropriate and engaging. We employ school-readiness strategies to help children become well-prepared for school expectations and beyond.

Critical Thinking and Comprehension

A key component of our program is developing the ability to think critically and comprehend complex ideas. Through discussions and effective strategies, children are encouraged to ask essential questions and engage in back-and-forth conversations that enhance their comprehension and analytical skills. This focus on critical thinking and comprehension is crucial for their academic achievement and future learning.

Early Writing and Fine Motor Development

Our program also places a strong emphasis on early writing and the development of fine motor skills. We make use of low-cost ideas and evidence-based practices to ensure that every child can participate and benefit. Plus, these activities are designed to be accessible and engaging. Through various learning experiences and access to ideas, children are encouraged to explore writing which aids in their literacy development.  Plus, it contributes to their overall healthy development. 

Lifelong Love for Reading and Learning

The most significant benefit of our program is the lifelong love for reading and learning that we instill in children. By exposing them to various types of books we create positive learning experiences around reading. It ignites their passion for discovery that lasts a lifetime. This love for learning is a critical component of becoming a lifelong learner. They become capable of navigating the challenges of the future with confidence and curiosity.

Why Choose Children’s Speech & Reading Center

Our Early Literacy Program is designed to offer the best learning environment for your child. Here's why we are the preferred choice for early literacy development.


Our team comprises highly skilled professionals specializing in early childhood education, literacy and/or speech-language pathology. With years of experience and ongoing training in evidence-based early literacy practices, our team is well equipped to guide your children through their early literacy journey. This expertise ensures that we're not just teaching. We're enriching your child's life with quality lessons based on the latest research and best practices in the field.

Personalized Care

We understand that children have their own set of strengths, challenges, and learning styles. That's why we offer personalized care and tailor our programs to meet the individual needs of each child. Through early literacy screenings and continuous monitoring, we adapt our teaching methods so every child receives the attention and support they need to thrive. 


Joining our program means becoming part of a vibrant community of parents, educators, and children who are all committed to the importance of literacy and learning. This community aspect fosters a sense of belonging and support where families can share experiences, challenges, and successes. Children’s Speech and Reading Center is a place where the critical role parents play in their child's education is acknowledged and nurtured. This creates strong partnerships between home and our educational setting.

Proven Results

Our Early Literacy Program has a track record of proven results. Our methods are not just theory-based. Each year, the children in the Early Literacy program participate in a pre- and a post-test, to assess the key skill areas addressed by the program. Each child’s scores are computed to determine the amount of growth in each key area. The amount of growth demonstrated by each child is a testament to the profound impact our program has on children's lives. With our guidance, we prepare kids for future school success and instill a lifelong love for reading and learning.

Comprehensive Support

Our approach goes beyond mere literacy development. We provide comprehensive support for all aspects of your child's growth. Recognizing the interconnectedness of cognitive, emotional, and social development, our programs incorporate activities that promote healthy development and emotional skills. All these create a well-rounded experience that supports children in becoming confident and capable learners.

How Our Process Works

At Children’s Speech and Reading Center, we believe that literacy skills are for everyone. Thus, we designed this enriching educational program to be taught in area non-profit preschools.


The first step is to inquire about our program. We encourage parents and guardians to reach out to us with any questions or interests they might have regarding our early literacy offerings. Our dedicated team is ready to provide detailed information, answer questions, and discuss how our program can meet your child's needs. This initial engagement is crucial for establishing a clear understanding and setting the right expectations.


Once you've expressed interest, the next step is an assessment of your child's current literacy skills at a partner preschool program. This critical phase involves an evaluation conducted by our team to gauge your child's early literacy strengths, areas for improvement, and overall literacy level. The early literacy assessment is tailored to be engaging and child-friendly. It allows kids aged 4-5 years old to have a positive experience during the assessment. 


After the assessment, we proceed to enrollment. During enrollment, we'll discuss program logistics, schedule, and any other pertinent details so you can have a smooth start to your child's early literacy journey.


The final step is engagement, where the real magic happens. Your child will participate in interactive weekly lessons that blend fun with learning led by our skilled team. These lessons include a mix of storytelling, phonics activities, writing exercises, and more—all designed to enhance literacy skills in an engaging and supportive environment. Additionally, we provide at-home activities and resources to continue the learning journey outside of our program. This ongoing engagement is key to reinforcing new skills and fostering a genuine love for reading and learning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What age group is your early literacy program designed for?

Our program is specifically tailored for children aged 4-5. This age group is at a crucial stage of child development where early literacy skills are beginning to emerge. Our curriculum is focused on nurturing these skills, preparing children for a smooth transition to elementary school, and setting a strong foundation for their educational journey.

Is the program really free?

Yes, our commitment to advocacy for literacy awareness and opportunities for children extends to providing free programs to preschoolers from low-income families. This initiative is possible thanks to the generous support of our community and funding sources. We believe that every child deserves access to quality early literacy education regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Can parents get involved in the learning process?

Absolutely! Parental involvement is a cornerstone of our approach. We encourage parents to be active participants in their child's literacy journey. To support this, we provide various resources and effective strategies for you to use at home. Engaging in everyday activities that promote literacy can significantly enhance your child's learning experience. 

How often do the sessions take place? 

Our sessions are held weekly with each one carefully designed to engage and inspire young learners. These interactive sessions are a blend of fun and education aimed at fostering a love for reading and learning. By maintaining a consistent schedule, we ensure that children receive regular exposure to literacy activities that are vital for their ongoing literacy development.

What if my child has special learning needs?

We recognize and celebrate the diversity of learners in our program. For children with special learning needs, we offer personalized support to ensure they receive the most from their early literacy experience. 

How do you measure progress?

Measuring progress is an integral part of our programs. We employ early literacy assessments and literacy observation tools to monitor each child's development. Each child participates in a pre- and a post-test, to assess progress in key areas of literacy development. Active engagement in literacy activities provides insights into your child's growth.

What happens after completing the program?

Upon completing our program, we provide guidance on the next steps so kids can have a seamless transition to formal schooling. Our goal is to continue supporting your child's literacy development and school success. We offer recommendations for further learning opportunities and ways to maintain the momentum of their literacy journey.  

Set The Foundation for A Lifetime of Success!

Don't wait to unlock your child's potential. By nurturing essential reading and writing skills from the start, we pave the way for your child's future academic achievements and instill a lifelong passion for learning. Join us now and witness your child's growth.