I’ve mentioned WETA Public Television’s “Reading Rockets” site and TV series several times in the past, but I particularly wanted to mention their newest programs on young children and reading readiness. This article, called “Toddling toward Reading,” reveals all the basics.

Many members of each new generation of parents – in particular, all the parents whose educational experience might be limited – believe that children learn to read in school, period, and their child doesn’t need any help gaining pre-reading skills before starting kindergarten. They don’t understand that those kids who have the easiest time learning to read in school have been prepared by parents who read to them from infancy, and who talked to them, recited rhymes to them, and sang to them. We library folks need to be passing the word on.

Unfortunately, the program is being broadcast on various public TV stations at all kinds of bizarre times, some of them inconvenient for parents of young children. But this site includes some great resources and materials you can pass along to parents and teachers you know. There’s a link to a National association for the Education of Young Children article called “Learning to Read and Write: What Research Reveals,” and another, “Pre-K and Latinos.” Take a look.