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Week of the Young Child


This week marks the Week of the Young Child (April 1-7), an annual event sponsored by the National Association for Young Children that celebrates early learning, children, their teachers, and families. HCPL is here to support your family and community in early learning. Read on to find out more about resources that support our littlest library users!


Our children’s librarians are a great resource for you and your little ones to get you started reading and learning. For a fun way to add structure to your early literacy and learning goals, register for our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge to log books, earn prizes, and introduce the habit of reading into the life of your little one. Thanks to The Friends of Henrico County Public Library, finding 1000 titles is easier than ever. Browse 100 different book kits, each with its own unique set of 10 books perfect for readers from birth to age five, or fill out a My Next Read form for a customized book list from a librarian. Plus, don’t forget you can log stories heard at Storytime and through Storyline too!

Questions? Reach out to us! Our Children’s librarians and staff are more than happy to help connect you to resources.


Learning about reading, writing, and counting is a great way to prepare your child for school. Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond and HCPL support RVA Basics, a regional early learning initiative that focuses on five essential principles of a child’s development, called The Basics. In addition to principles of learning fundamentals of reading and writing, one of The Basics is “count, group and compare.” There are many fun activities to practice counting in daily life. For example, take a walk and count the number of birds you see, recite the rhyme “One Two, Buckle My Shoe,” or build a tower with blocks and count how many blocks you used.

The library can provide books that encourage your child to count, which will give them a good foundation to learn math. Here are some of our recent favorites:


The American Library Association has developed an initiative called Every Child Ready to Read, which supports parents and caregivers with the early literacy development of their children birth to age five. Six simple daily practices have been identified that parents and other caregivers can do with their children to get them ready for kindergarten. Just like The Basics, these practices include talking, singing, playing, reading, writing, and counting.

Reading and writing go together. Children notice that printed letters stand for spoken words. When children scribble and draw, they practice eye-hand coordination and exercise muscles in their hands and fingers that support the development of fine motor control. This is helpful as children learn to hold a pencil or crayon and write letters and words. Make writing letters and words fun by playing with toy alphabet letters and alphabet blocks daily!

Wordless picture books are another great way to encourage you and your child to become storytellers. Alphabet books are a fun way to learn about letters. Here are some books about writing from our collection:

Early learning can be challenging to navigate, but the library can help you and your loved ones reach your early learning goals through reading challenges, book recommendations, storytimes, and learning strategies like The Basics. Your local library can provide free learning tools, social learning experiences for children and caregivers, and stimulating play spaces so that every child can build a strong foundation for future education. Come visit and learn with us in celebration of the Week of the Young Child!

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