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The Atlantic City Free Public Library

ACFPL's Guide for Parents and Caregivers: Literacy - Helping Your Child Succeed: Helping Your Early Reader Succeed

First Steps to Reading: Birth to Age Five - Start Small!

A few ideas for parents and caregivers of babies, toddlers and preschoolers...


Read and sing to your baby!  Researchers have found that reading aloud to your child during infancy supports language acquisition, vocabulary development and comprehension. Start with rhymes and songs like "Itsy, Bitsy Spider," or read a birthday card, a cereal box, or even the newspaper!  Children learn to identify sounds when you read and sing to them.

Teach your child to read pictures.  Reading pictures builds visual literacy skills and encourages pre-readers to make connections between images and text.  Play "I Spy" and ask question like "Why do you think the dog is hiding?" or "What did the little chick find in the barnyard?"

Change your voice for different characters in a story.  Help your child understand the characters through your voice, and learn how to express a story creatively.

Read the same book over and over.  Hearing the same story many times makes children feel secure, and repitition builds recognition.

Make a special time for reading aloud -- before bed, in the bath, during a trip to the park, anytime!  Savor the moment, and don't be in a hurry.  Let your child know that spending time together with books is important to you.

Visit the library often and let children help select their own books.  Baby Bounce and Preschool Storytime in the Youth Services area are free and available all year round, and family readers are encouraged to participate in the Summer Reading Program.  Youth Services also offers Early Literacy computers to children up to age 8 for skillbuilding and fun!

Use computers creatively and wisely.  The library web site can be your portal to entertaining, educational and safe internet sites and other digital resources, including Tumblebooks, and

How the library can help: Membership, programs and more.

Find books by browsing our catalog.  Scroll down to find our fabulous phonics collection...

Apply for a library card today! 

Library membership is open to children of all ages, and provides them with a portal to the world. With a library card, your child can...

  • Check out books, movies, and music
  • Download ebooks and audiobooks
  • Log in to computers in the children's area
  • Access digital resources and databases in the library or from home

Library Programs for Young Children

Bring your child to the library and share in a variety of programs for babies, toddlers and preschoolers to enjoy. Check the library calendar for...

  • Baby Bounce and Play Group with Miss Moffit -  designed to introduce infants to the world of sounds, stories and movement, helping to build pre-reading skills. An informal playgroup immediately follows story time. Best suited for infants to age 2 with caregiver.


  • Pre-school Rhyme Time with Miss Moffit - features stories, songs, finger plays and crafts for children and their caregivers. Library story times are a fun way to help your child develop the skills they will need to be ready to read. And it's fun for you too!  Ages 3-5.


  • Early Learning Computers - A safe and fun way for children up to age 8 to develop technology skills while learning math, reading, science, geography, art, music and more.



Finding Phonics Materials @ the Library


Help your early reader learn to decode words by using some of the great Phonics resources found at the ACFPL library.  We have books, DVDs and Spoken Word.  Select the titles below to access our catalog!

More Resources for Parents and Caregivers

Ask the experts!  Check out the following links to find out more about reading readiness and development.

Library Website |  Library Catalog |  Contact the Library | Call the Library: 609.345.2269