Becoming Readers
Tips for Parents and Caregivers

Preschool Years

Learning to read begins long before the first day of Kindergarten.  Each student will develop language skills starting as an infant.  Building literacy skills will help students with the increased expectations of reading and writing that come with CORE curriculum.

When students are prepared with basic literacy, the focus of their instruction is different and they will progress at a more rapid pace.  Reading is a key in all subjects and is critical to learning for a lifetime.  

Public libraries are a great place to get started with ideas, classes and materials to help parents be the first and most important teacher their child will learn from as they develop.

Medical and Dental Needs

Before your child starts school, parents can schedule appointments for medical visits to make sure there are no issues that will keep them from doing their best.  This can be at a well check visit and often times your pediatrician will bring this up as part of their conversation during an exam.  If they don't, take time to describe any issues that you see related to vision, hearing or developmental milestones.


Getting enough and regular sleep is also an important part of setting the tone for success.  Many times when students act out and have a timeout, they will fall asleep.  They were tired and just didn't know how to express it.  More than 8 hours of recommended sleep is needed for most youngsters to feel rested. 

Dominant Side

Ask you child to stomp the floor or kick a ball.  Most times they will use their dominant foot to complete these tasks.  For hands, have them color, cut or drink and see what they choose.  Finally, holding their hands out, close one eye and which eye still sees the finger when it lines up, that will be his/her dominant eye.

5 ways to build literacy

1. Talking- they listen, acquire and respond

2. Singing- sounds, syllables, rhymes and patterns

3. Reading- ask questions, builds vocabulary, creates sequence

4. Writing- scribble 1st, draw and explain, form letters and words        

5. Playing- puppets, dress up, characters- explore their imagination


These are activities that can and should be continued as students start school. 

Web sites to visit
Every Child Ready to Read
Mesa Public Library
Maricopa County Libraries
Head Start- Preschool
MPS Parent University
Parent Resources- MPS
Ready AZ
First Things First
Quality First