Early Literacy




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Did you know that strong relationships facilitate strong language development, which enables children to be ready to learn to read by kindergarten. UCCC offers a rich early language environment that supports lifetime reading and writing skills. Our early literacy programs support academic skills and provide the footing for positive social and emotional development in children. Language and literacy give teachers insight into the inner world of children so that they are responsive to each child’s individual needs.


Living Books Library

UCCC's Living Books Library is a resource for children and families. The lending library has over 2,500 books. The library remains updated through grants and donations to the Center and promotes literacy-rich environments at home. We are so thankful to the funders who keep our library stocked with thoughtful titles for our children and families. A special thank you to the Blues 14 Foundation, The St. Louis Service Bureau Shop, and the many individual donors who contribute books. 


Literacy in the Classroom

Teachers organize their classroom environments to include environmental print, quality children’s literature, and opportunities for reading and writing throughout the day.  Parents often see children writing "pretend" food orders in the dramatic play area, reading maps in the block area, playing matching games in the math area, and reading together in the book area.


Reading Volunteers

The Volunteer Reading Program places a long-term volunteer in each classroom. These volunteers spend time reading and developing literacy activities with the teachers.  Early literacy is an essential component in children’s development and an indicator of emotional development as well as academic success. Active literacy behaviors encompass listening, speaking, reading, and writing, all of which develop within the context of social and emotional growth. At UCCC we provide and promote literacy-rich environments and experiences that help children’s language develop and thrive.