Family Support


Parenting Skills, and Techniques Accomplished by Goal setting, Educational Resources and Strategies

Parenting is one of the most important roles an individual can undertake, and unfortunately one that offers the least amount of instruction. Our Early Literacy Consultant will offer individualized technical assistance and group training opportunities to families of young children as available. Technical assistance will be available to parents to help them develop individualized goals to enhance strengths in parenting and/or early literacy. The Early Literacy Consultant will work with families to help them develop strategies and make progress in reaching their goals.

Call or come by Smart Start of Pender County and allow the Early Literacy Consultant to introduce herself and assist you with a variety of services offered through our program. Our services are FREE to parents of young children in Pender County. Visit us Monday thru Thursday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Friday 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Other times by appointment.

Ready Readers

reading-pair-webDid you know that the development of language and literacy skills begins at birth, and that children develop much of their capacity for learning in their first three years of life, when their brains grow to 90% of their eventual adult weight?

Early literacy does not mean early reading instruction or teaching babies to read. It is the natural development of skills through the enjoyment of books, the importance of positive interactions between babies and parents, and the critical role of literacy-rich experiences. Literacy development begins at birth and is closely linked to a baby’s earliest experiences with books and stories. Babies learn language through social literacy experiences by parents interacting with them by using books. These experiences also serve to associate books with parental affection, attention and approval.

By parents reading to their babies and by becoming regular library users themselves, parents help their babies develop language skills that will start them on the path to success in reading and learning.

Ready Readers encourages the parents of young children to recognize the important role they play in the literacy development of their children. Parents are eligible for a free 6-month lending library membership if they obtain a library card for their children ages birth to 5, bring it to the agency and complete a lending library application.

Here are ten important steps to remember in raising a reader and a writer.reading-family-web

  1. Talk, sing & play with your child
  2. Make time to read together each day
  3. Choose books with care
  4. Surround your child with reading material
  5. Slow down and have fun
  6. Read it again and again
  7. Foster your child’s awareness of print and how we use it
  8. Provide a variety of writing tools and materials
  9. Don’t push or pressure children about what or when to read
  10. Show children that you value their efforts

According to the National Institute for Family Literacy a study of 3 to 5 year olds who had been read to at least 3 times per week found the children to be:

  • 2 times more likely to recognize all letters
  • 2 times more likely to have word-sight recognition
  • 2 times more likely to understand words in context

Raising a Reader

Raising A Reader (RAR) works through early care classrooms in eligible child care facilities, to introduce the “read aloud” and “book cuddling” experience to families in a natural and fun way that will encourage families to take an active role in the literacy develop of their young children. The program helps families with young children establish a regular practice of library usage and “read aloud” techniques by rotating a set of bright red book bags filled with award-winning children’s books into the homes of families of young children on a weekly basis throughout the year.

RAR Coordinators train early childhood professionals (Program Implementers) in interactive “read aloud” techniques that stimulate early brain development and language acquisition. These professionals then train participating parents. RAR issues a special Blue Library Book Bag to each child in the program, generally in coordination with local libraries at the end of the school year. While children have to return the red book bags and books each week, the blue bags are theirs to keep.