The Process of Literacy

The majority of the time, literacy is seen as a basic skill that is met, typically when children enter school and ‘learn to read’. This is not the case, as literacy is actually a process that tends to start at birth and continue through the years, as children explore music, language and the written word in their environment. For example, children of infant age begin to express interest in literacy through exploration of nursery rhymes, lullabies, and name recognition. Specifically, at Islington Village, infant groups begin exploring jolly phonics, including music and pictorials of the program.
There is a strong link between positive feelings of self-esteem and emerging literacy. We can enhance feelings of security by providing children with opportunities to become familiar with letters, sounds, then books, reading, and other fun language activities. Therefore in toddlerhood, children expand on the jolly phonics program by connecting hand actions to the letters and music. A clear example, of how language, literacy, music and movement intertwine.
  Children are eager to listen to and read the adventures found in good books. By exposing children to books on a regular basis and telling them stories, we provide fertile ground for idea generation and imagination of young children. The new ideas lend themselves to children creating play time adventures. And in turn, inviting children to act on these new ideas increases the likelihood of future reading success. When observing preschool play, this is when you can really see the imaginative process children go through in dramatic play. They begin to create stories based on their own experiences and knowledge. These stories then include characters, and personas. It's important, at this point, as parents and caregivers to begin to engage with children during their creative process, by asking questions and encouraging new ideas.
  When we encourage children to experiment, and challenge them during play by revisiting and retelling stories, we are laying the groundwork for future success in literacy. Providing a safe, challenging, and open environment encourages the development of positive self-esteem and confidence. In turn, positive self-esteem increases later success in reading.