Every Child Ready to Read

Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library (ECRR) ®, a joint project of the Public Library Association (PLA) and the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC), is a hands-on, research-based program designed to help public libraries further their roles in helping children prepare to become readers and lifelong learners.


ECRR is based on current brain development research and has become a model for public libraries to train parents, caregivers, teachers, and librarians in the six pre-reading skills and five early literacy practices.


More than ten years ago, PLA and partner ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) launched Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR), an evidence-based parent education initiative. Through ECRR training and resources, there has been a field-wide shift in early literacy programming in libraries, with a focus on using ECRR to engage, educate, and empower parents to help their children become ready to read. From the beginning, PLA/ALSC have continually assessed  and improved the program. Research conducted in 2008 measured the impact of ECRR on the library field, which yielded positive results for the goal of educating parents and caregivers at libraries and through outreach. Research results were also used to produce the 2nd edition of ECRR, which features updated, expanded, and more flexible curriculum. 


A second research effort is on-going, funded in part by an IMLS grant. It will quantitatively measure the impact of ECRR on parent behavior. Preliminary findings are pointing to the impact that implementing ECRR has had on the ongoing literacy behaviors of adults including the librarians themselves. Especially promising results are being shown for families who are English Language Learners (ELLs). To learn more about the research and the program, PLA/ALSC have posted two articles written by the researchers, “Libraries Emerging As Leaders in Parent Engagement” and “Libraries at the Ready,” by Donna Celano and Susan B. Neuman.  Please note that due to copyright restrictions, the second article will require an ALA member login and password.


Early literacy is everything a child knows about reading and writing before he or she can read or write.


Six basic skills comprise early literacy and help determine whether a child will be ready to learn to read and write.


The six skills that help prepare children for reading include:


PRINT MOTIVATION: being interested in and enjoying books


PRINT AWARENESS:  noticing print everywhere, knowing how to handle a book, and knowing how to follow the written word on the page


LETTER KNOWLEDGE: knowing that letters are different from each other, knowing letter names and sounds, and recognizing letters everywhere


VOCABULARY: knowing all kinds of words


PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS: hearing and playing with the smaller sounds of words


NARRATIVE SKILLS: describing things and events, telling stories, knowing the order of events, and making predictions




​Learning to read begins at birth. Parents, caregivers and librarians can reinforce and help grow brain connections through five practices that will help a child develop the foundation needed to read. Practiced regularly, these activities will help a child develop the six early literacy skills and be prepared to learn to read.