|The literacy center provides children with an area where they can explore books (the books used in the Read, Play, and Learn!® modules as well as other books). They can study the pictures, turn the pages, notice the print on the pages, and see recurring pictures or sequences. They can experiment with various literacy materials pencils, markers, a stapler, letter tiles, stamps and stamp pads, paper, and storyboards. This area also can contain taped versions of the books, so children can "read along" with their favorites.
Books open up a new world for children. Through reading, children can try out roles different from their own, learn about other cultures, and develop concern for others. For example, children might learn compassion and empathy from hearing a story about people with disabilities.
Literacy activities are also crucial to children's cognitive development. Through scribbling or drawing on a piece of paper, children learn that writing is a way to communicate. Reading increases children's vocabulary, and turning the pages in order helps them to understand sequence. Reading and listening to stories also helps develop children's own storytelling abilities and imaginations.
In addition to all of the cognitive and socio-emotional benefits of literacy activities, children can develop their fine motor skills when learning to write with crayons or markers. Reading also strengthens children's eye muscles and helps them to refine their visual discrimination skills.