Written by Taylor Weinfurter
The Marathon County Public Library recently unveiled its new Early Literacy Center, a special section in the children’s area of its Wausau Headquarters designed especially for children from birth to 5 years of age.
Library staff, representatives from the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce, and others commemorated the opening with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 20, 2018.
Early literacy is a term used to describe what children know about language before learning how to read. This includes knowing what letters look and sound like, knowing words that rhyme, knowing how a book works, and recognizing that printed text has meaning. These concepts are learned by children through talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing with a caregiver.
MCPL’s new Early Literacy Center will have a direct focus on these practices and skills compared to the play area that previously occupied the space in the children’s area. The center will also offer rotating themes and specialized activities to better help parents guide their children and will bring awareness to parents about these brain-building skills.
With its fun, whimsical décor, the Early Literacy Center also offers a cozy reading nook where adults and children can share books together.
The area also features:
- Wall manipulatives and puzzles that will help little hands develop fine motor skills, which are a precursor to writing;
- A magnetic wall, where children can build words with different letters; and
- A flannel wall, where little minds can retell a story — or make up one of their own.
It should be noted that our new Early Literacy Center would not be possible without the following generous donors:
- The Marathon County Public Library Foundation
- The Wausau Early Bird Rotary Club
- The Community Foundation of Northcentral Wisconsin
I invite you to visit MCPL Wausau’s children’s area TODAY to see this great investment in our youngest generation of lifelong learners!
Youth Services Librarian | Marathon County Public Library
Taylor Weinfurter has worked as a Youth Services Librarian with the Marathon County Public Library, since 2012. She has a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from UW–Milwaukee and organizes programming for children Birth–2 and in Grades K–2. Email Taylor Weinfurter.
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