Language and literacy skills start early—from birth. Children learn language when you talk to them and they communicate back to you, and by hearing stories read and songs sung aloud. Children develop early literacy skills when you give them the chance to play with and explore books and other written materials like magazines, newspapers, take-out menus, markers, and crayons. Creating their own stories helps children better understand stories on the page. — ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families
The Library offers numerous opportunities for families with young children to develop strong literacy skills.
Sun Ray and Rondo Libraries have play areas developed in conjunction with the Minnesota Children’s Museum.
Sing, Play and Learn sessions are offered in partnership with the MacPhail Center for Music.
Every weekend, Central Library offers a late-morning Saturday Live! program near the historic puppet theater.
The Friends actively invests in the future of Saint Paul’s youngest residents, providing funds from its operating budget for the Saturday Live! program, as well as fundraising for age-appropriate play and literacy development installations at all library locations.
The library offers storytimes in English, Spanish, Amharic, Hmong, and Somali. These reinforce that both speaking to and with young children is beneficial in developing basic literacy skills, which are transferable between languages.
A generous Friends member has made it possible for storytimes to be available in Amharic, Hmong and Somali for two years.