Research shows that literacy—the ability to listen, speak, read, and write - begins developing long before children enter elementary school. This book helps early childhood educators nurture that development. It begins with an argument for offering children literacy-rich activities and creating an environment for carrying out those activities. It then focuses on enjoyable and effective ways to build essential skills, such as oral language and phonemic awareness, and create dramatic play areas, book nooks, writing centers, and other literacy-rich spaces. Includes photographs, student work, and straight talk about kids and learning, Literacy and the Youngest Learner is destined to become a classic.
V. Susan Bennett-Armistead is currently a parent educator and early literacy specialist for Williamston Community Schools as well as an early childhood professional development consultant. Her doctorate from Michigan State University will be in teacher education with emphasis on early literacy development. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Susan worked for fourteen years in the early childhood community as a teacher, director, and advocate for young children and their families. Currently the parents of three children, Susan and her husband await the completion of the adoption of a fourth.
Nell K. Duke is an associate professor of teacher education and educational psychology, an affiliate of the program in school psychology, and co-director of the Literacy Achievement Research Center (LARC) at Michigan State University. Duke received her Bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and her Masters and Doctoral degrees from Harvard University. Duke's work focuses on early literacy development, particularly among children living in poverty. Her specific areas of expertise include development of informational literacies in young children, comprehension development and instruction in early schooling, and issues of equity in literacy education. Duke is the recipient of the International Reading Association Outstanding Dissertation Award, the National Council of Teachers of English Promising Researcher Award, the International Reading Association Dina Feitelson Research Award, and the National Reading Conference Early Career Achievement Award. She is co-author of the books Reading and Writing Informational Text in the Primary Grades: Research-Based Practices; Literacy and the Youngest Learner: Best Practices for Educators of Children from Birth to Five; Beyond Bedtime Stories: A Parent's Guide to Promoting Reading, Writing, and Other Literacy Skills From Birth to 5; and co-editor of the book Literacy Research Methodologies. Duke teaches preservice, inservice and doctoral courses in literacy education at Michigan State, speaks and consults widely on literacy education, and is an active member of several literacy-related organizations. Duke also has a strong interest in improving the quality of educational research training in the U.S.
Annie M. Moses is a graduate student in learning, technology, and culture at Michigan State University. Her research interests are in aspects of early literacy development and early childhood development, particularly with respect to educational television programs, shared book reading and socio-emotional development. She has worked in a variety of early childhood settings.