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In recent years, unprecedented attention has been focused on early literacy. Federal, state, and local initiatives are taking on the challenge of improving reading achievement with literacy programs involving families, local schools, and communities. Young children with disabilities and their families need to be part of these initiatives. Evidenced-based practices for teaching literacy skills to all young children can also inform literacy initiatives for young children with disabilities.
This Web site was designed by the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) to provide information and resources to state deaf-blind projects, teachers, family members and related service providers interested in beginning or enhancing literacy instruction for children who have combined vision and hearing loss and children with other complex learning challenges. It contains sections on Early Emergent Literacy and Emergent Literacy. NCDB is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). (posted January 26, 2012)
CELL is a research-to-practice technical assistance center funded by OSEP to promote the adoption and sustained use of evidence-based early literacy learning practices by early childhood intervention practitioners, parents, and other caregivers of young children, birth to five years of age, with identified disabilities, developmental delays, and those at-risk for poor outcomes. CELL products include practice-based research syntheses and summaries, evidence-based practice guides, and tool kits.
Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project at WETA funded by OSEP to provide accurate, accessible information on how young children learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. The Reading Rockets Web site provides a wealth of reading strategies, lessons, and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better. A Chance to Read, the ninth episode in Launching Young Readers, focuses on the challenges that young children with disabilities face in learning to read.
The WWC provides high-quality reviews of the effectiveness of replicable educational interventions. The Early Childhood Education reviews focus on curricula and practices designed for use with 3- to 5-year-olds to develop cognitive and language competencies associated with school readiness. A number of these relate to early literacy.
The DWW Web site is dedicated to helping educators identify and make use of effective teaching practices. Much of the DWW content is based on reports from the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC). The Early Childhood Language and Literacy section focuses on two recommended practice areas: develop phonological awareness skills; and utilize interactive and dialogic reading practices to improve language and literacy skills.
These resources provide parents with tools, practical lessons, and activities to help their children build early language and literacy skills.
This joint position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the International Reading Association (IRA) was issued in 1998 to provide guidance to teachers of young children in schools and in early childhood programs (including child care centers, preschools, and family child care homes) serving children from birth through age 8 years. See also Where we Stand on Learning to Read and Write (2009), what research reveals and policy recommendations.
This position statement from the International Reading Association (IRA), adopted in 2005, highlights the importance of preschool; the nature of language development and literacy-based instruction in quality preschools; what to aim for in preschool teachers' preparation and professional development; and recommendations for preschool educators, early childhood and elementary educators, public school boards, teacher educators, policymakers, and community leaders.
See also, Cornerstones: An Early Literacy Series - based on findings from the National Early Literacy Panel's report.
This initiative of the Language Diversity and Literacy Development Research Group at Harvard University will provide 16 memos for leaders dedicated to childrens literacy development from birth to age 9. Topics will range from assessment to professional development to family partnerships.
Washington Learning Systems provides evidence-based programs to promote early literacy, language, cognitive, and social development. Materials are available in multiple languages. Free parent-child materials in the preschool and birth-to-three age range and "ON-THE-GO" activities (for use during car rides, walks, bus rides, etc.) are available online. These materials complement the "Language is the Key" evidence-based early literacy video programs, which can be previewed online. (downloaded 11/11/11)
ZERO TO THREE offers a collection of resources for families and professionals related to early language and literacy. (downloaded 11/08/10)
(GRTR!) is a national program that provides research-based strategies to parents, early education professionals, and child care providers to help build the early literacy skills of preschool-aged children. GRTR is an initiative of the National Center for Learning Disabilities. (downloaded 11/11/11)
(DEC) publishes a Young Exceptional Children Monograph Series, which is available for purchase online. Scan down to No 7: Early Literacy, Horn and Jones (2005). (downloaded 11/11/11)
NCFL is a non-profit organization supporting family literacy services through programming, training, research, advocacy, and dissemination.