My First Library

My First Library is an early literacy initiative that helps develop literacy skills and promotes family reading.

Did you know that by the time children are three years old, their brain is eighty percent of its adult size? During these formative years, children develop language and other skills that lay the foundation for a lifetime of literacy. But for many children, these early literacy skills are hindered.

By age three, there is a 30 million word gap between children from wealthy families and children from poor families. Children from wealthy families hear approximately 215,000 words a week while children from families receiving welfare benefits may average only 62,000 words a week.

Based on reading ability, high school graduation rates can be predicted with 70 percent accuracy when a child is in the third grade.


Teacher Prep Academy students at Northwest Classen High School contribute to the effort by packing books each month.

Studies confirm that the number of books in the home is strongly linked to reading achievement. One study found that children who grew up with books in their home reached a higher level of education than those who did not.

The goal of My First Library is to place books into the hands of children who may have few if any books in the home.  Each month, more than 1,900 new books are distributed to pre-school classrooms thanks to partners including the Krueger Charitable Foundation, Target, area Rotary Clubs, and Tinker Federal Credit Union.

Reading to children helps improve their language and academic performance and increases their concentration and creativity. Parents and caregivers play a very important role. Engaging children in reading activities and having books in the home helps provide a strong literacy foundation.

Read Together with Ms. Kelley


Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? video

Little Red Hen

Little Red Hen video

Kelley Riha, with the Metropolitan Library System and Friends of the Oklahoma Center for the Book, reads Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and The Little Red Hen in these 5-minute videos filmed at the Literacy Resource Office at ODL.

The videos introduce ways to promote learning fun by asking questions, making observations, and inviting conversations when reading books with children. Parents, teachers, and librarians, we encourage you to use these videos for ideas. Reading and interacting as you read will support the development of children’s thinking skills and inspire a lifelong love of reading.

The videos are also fun for little ones to watch!

Reading Activities for Parents

These Fun Stuff activity sheets (from our Ready to Learn vault) provide parents and children with games, songs, coloring pages, and even recipes that enhance the specific books given away. Parents are encouraged to make reading at home a fun priority.

Tips for Reading

Tips for Reading with Children

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Ready to Learn Fun Sheets

Learn more about the Read Across Oklahoma event.