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Information and inspiration for parents and caregivers of babies, toddlers and preschoolers

Podcast: Reading, Language and Early Literacy

Father and toddler son reading together

This episode of the pArentZ pod, the Arizona infant and toddler podcast from First Things First, is all about reading and early literacy. Every parent wants their child to be a good reader, because it’s so important to being successful in school and life. But many people think learning to read just happens for kids as they grow up. Not so. Our guest, Jenny Volpe, the CEO of Make Way for Books in Tucson, AZ, is passionate about helping young kids on the path to being good readers. That path starts from birth.

“Your job as a parent, in these early years, is to encourage a love of language and books…”

In this episode:

  • 9 out of 10 kids who read at grade level at the end of 3rd grade will go on to graduate from high school on time. Those who don’t are four times more likely to drop out of high school.
  • The skills needed to learn to read – understanding language, making meaning from print – begin developing from birth.
  • Having back-and-forth conversations and sharing books with your child are the best ways you can help them develop these early literacy skills.
  • Talk with your child in the language you say ‘I love you.’
  • Don’t worry about the number of minutes you read with your child. Follow your child’s lead and keep it fun and interesting for both of you.
  • Kids don’t need to know how to read before kindergarten. Don’t force it.
  • It’s important for your child to see you reading.

Resources for AZ parents:

Your local public library!

Make Way for Books – Family Resources

Make Way for Books – Free Literacy App

Smart Talk from Read On Arizona

Find your local First Things First region

Volpe and Vilay






You can now download pArentZ pod on Apple iTunes or Google Play, or listen below.

pArentZpod Google Play


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