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Early literacy is what children know about reading before they actually learn to read. It starts at birth, when parents and other caring adults spend joyful time talking, singing, reading, scribbling, and – most importantly – playing with their children.

These early enrichment experiences in the lives of children ensure not only their ability to learn but also their long-term health and their productivity as citizens, providing huge economic payback for our communities.

Promoting early literacy is everyone’s responsibility, guaranteeing strong communities now and in the future. Through book collections, storytimes, summer library programs and more, the public libraries of Rock County and Arrowhead Library System are committed to helping babies and children develop the pre-reading skills that will help them be ready to enter kindergarten.


  • Read On Wisconsin
    ROW is a state-wide literacy program that promotes high-quality books for children and teens. Each month features one or more Read On Wisconsin titles for children and teens in five different age-level groups.
  • Growing Wisconsin Readers
    This Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction 2013-2016 statewide initiative was/is rooted in public libraries, which provide Wisconsin caregivers of young children with information about early literacy in order to prepare children for learning at school and beyond.
  • Cooperative Children’s Book Center
    CCBC is a unique and vital gathering place for books, ideas, and expertise in the field of children’s and young adult literature. The CCBC is part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) School of Education (SoE), and receives additional support from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). 
  • Reach Out and Read Wisconsin
    Reach Out and Read prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with clinicians to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.

     We are a small, dedicated team working to enrich every student’s reading experience. Our mission is to equitably give all readers insights and opportunities that deepen their understanding and joy of the books they are reading.

  • Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards
    The WI Model Early Learning Standards specify developmental expectations for children from birth through entrance to 1st grade. The standards reflect the domains of a child’s learning and development.
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