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Fri, Jul

Resources To Improve Early Literacy Skills


A big part of dealing with the problem of early literacy is knowing where to turn for helpful information. The Free Library of Philadelphia has many user-friendly resources, programs, and trainings available to parents and teachers. They have compiled this list of some of those programs, plus other literacy resources throughout the city.

Free Library of Philadelphia

Early Literacy Information

Lifelong literacy begins long before a child enters school. Reading aloud and bringing books into daily life are the keys to encouraging and developing a young child’s ability to read. Find information, great read-aloud books, and tips for families of young children.

Free Library of Philadelphia

Early Literacy Calendar

Check out ideas for daily literacy activities to do with your children. For example, a great book to read on a wintry day is The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Looking for a quick activity to do with a child? Play a matching game with gloves and mittens. Find other fun activities on this calendar.

Free Library Kids Pages

From homework help to book suggestions for all ages and even fun learning games, browse this page for free resources and recommendations.

LEAP (Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program)

Available at all locations, LEAP provides homework assistance, computer literacy, and library skills for K-12 students, and daily literacy enrichment activities for elementary students. LEAP operates after school Monday-Thursday from September to June at all Free Library neighborhood libraries and Parkway Central Library, and Tuesday-Friday in the three regional libraries.

E-Books for kids

Downloadable ebooks and audiobooks for young readers from Overdrive. Here you will find familiar favorites like Harry Potter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Magic Treehouse, as well as picture books, chapter books, and audiobooks selected by children’s librarians. Use your library card to download books for free to your computer, tablet, or phone.


An online collection of animated, talking picture books which teach kids the joy of reading in a format they’ll love. TumbleBooks are streaming media, not downloadable e-books. Use your library card and PIN number with your computer and a Flash-compatible web browser to access these books.

Culinary Literacy Center

@ The Free Library of Philadelphia

A new demonstration kitchen provides culinary literacy classes for children, teens, adults, and families. The first part of the class teaches literacy skills through cooking. The second part explores culinary literacy. A list of current workshops and classes is available. You may even get to meet a famous Philadelphia chef.

Books in other languages

The Free Library also has books in a variety of languages. Spanish and Chinese language books are the most available.

Other local literacy resources

Children’s Literacy Initiative

Serves pre-K through 3rd grade educators by offering professional development, coaching sessions, teacher support, and classroom book and material selection. Working one-on-one and in groups in classrooms, they model effective early literacy instruction, with the goal of building strong readers, writers, and thinkers.

Children’s Literacy Initiative

Family Resource Center

Find tips for parents and families on reading, writing, and partnering with schools. Also, parents can get tips delivered to their phones. Text READINGTIPS to 292929 to sign up.


Serves the local community and meets the literacy needs of children and youth through the provision of quality out-of-school-time programs, including the Book Bank, Power Partners, Reading is Love, Reading Olympics, and Summer READS.

The Philadelphia Reads Book Bank

A resource for educators who serve city children and youth. Educators are able to get up to 350 books per school year, as well as supplemental classroom supplies with their annual membership.

Reading Is Love

Provides the “on-the-go” parent with opportunities to read five-minute stories on their phones with their child while running errands, waiting in the doctor’s office, or wherever they are. Text the phrase “Readtome” to 313131. Download the link onto your mobile device, select a story, and read with your child.

Treehouse Books

Grows and sustains a community of readers, writers, and thinkers in North Central Philadelphia. The Life With Books Literacy Initiative works with 6- to 12-year-olds, engaging them in thorough and consistent reading, and assisting them in applying these skills to their intellectual, emotional, and cultural development. Store is open Wednesdays from 10-5. New and used books available. Specializes in children’s books and African American literature. All books available for a “pay what you want” donation.