Importance of Literacy

July 2019
Importance of Literacy

Strong reading skills are the backbone for learning in all school subjects which is why it is so critical to develop early literacy skills in young children. Developing language skills early will help set a child on the right path for their academic journey.


Children introduced to reading early on tend to read earlier and excel in school compared to children who are not exposed to language and books at a young age (American Academy of Pediatrics). Reading, rhyming, singing, and talking, beginning from birth, profoundly influence literacy and language development, the foundations for all other learning ( Developing early literacy skills makes it easier for children to learn to read. Children who enter school with these skills have an advantage that carries with them throughout their school years.

Reading is an essential skill for success in school and later in life. Yet, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports more than 1 in 3 American children start Kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read.

This puts them academically behind before even entering their first formal year of school. Working to make up this difference is challenging at best, which is why the Sussex County Health Coalition, United Way of Delaware and over thirty other stakeholders are gathering quarterly to look critically at what services are available for our children and who are at risk for entering school significantly behind. This requires looking closely at prenatal services for expecting mothers to secure a health start. It also involves ensuring that children and families have access to regular developmental screenings, a plethora of quality books in the home, and that every child is regularly read to one-on-one. These are just a few of the important recommendations to establishing a healthy and successful start for Delaware’s children. We know this is critical not only for our children, but for our nation at large.

If you would like to join our Literacy Work Group, please email us at we would love to have you at the table.



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