Each year at the beginning of March, libraries kick off National Reading Month by celebrating the birthday of the beloved Dr. Seuss. With help from Read Across America, their goal is motivating kids and adults to read every day. The James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St., has a month of activities planned to highlight basic literacy skills for children and families.

But what about the little ones? With a little help, they can enjoy National Reading Month too. Research findings outlined in a recent report of the National Early Literacy Panel note that the development of literacy skills begins at birth. The panel identified a number of early skills that are related to – and may even help predict – a child’s later success with reading and writing.

Skills closely related to later success with reading and writing include:
• Alphabet knowledge: the ability to name letters and sounds made.
• Phonological awareness: the ability to hear and manipulate sounds of spoken language (such as hear the beginning sound of a word).
• Rapid letter or number naming: the ability to quickly name letters or numbers.
• Rapid object or color naming: the ability to quickly name random series of colors or objects.
• Phonological memory: the ability to remember spoken information for a short period of time.
• Writing letters or one’s own name: the ability to write single letters in isolation, or write their own name.

“Even young children who are not yet reading can join in the celebration of National Reading Month,” said Nina White, youth services and programming manager at the James V. Brown Library. “While each child’s developmental journey is at his or her own pace, you can enhance the development of these important skills with activities that suit your child’s current abilities and interests. And chances are, you and your child already engage in some of these activities. Visit the Library and check out some of our programs today.”

For a list of programs taking place in March for children and families, visit calendar.jvbrown.edu. Highlights include:
• Grandparent storytime – 10:30-11:30 a.m. Friday, March 1.
• Saturday surprise storytime – 1-2 p.m. Saturday, March 9.
• Sensory Play storytime – 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 13.
• Family Dance Party and storytime – 6:15-7:15 p.m. Monday, March 18 and 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 19.
• Lycoming County Pop-Up Play – 12:30-2 p.m. Saturday, March 23.
• Mega Marble Run – 6 p.m. Monday, March 25 and 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 26.
• Goodnight Yoga family storytime – 6-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 27.

These events will be presented in the children’s programming rooms of the Welch Children’s Wing.

The James V. Brown Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 24/7 at www.jvbrown.edu.