Literacy Supports for Your Child

Video created by DC Public Library.

Did you know communities in Ottawa County have many ways to help families talk, read, sing and read to children prenatal to age 5? It’s never too early to start! Studies show children who hear words through conversation, singing, reading is more likely to be ready to succeed in school!

Tips for Being Bilingual

Click the images below to download the Talking is Teaching handouts.

Community Events

NEA 2023 Mini Read Lakeshore

The More We Get Together & Little Read Lakeshore – Change Sings

For all the information and events: Little Read Lakeshore

Calendar of all the events! Play N Learns in Ottawa will be giving away and featuring the Mini Read book!


2023 Zeeland Community StoryWalk®

Everyone has a rhythm inside and as we experience each day we can move our bodies,  feel positive energy, and find joy in catching the rhythm with those around us. Reading through “I Got the Rhythm” by Connie Schofield Morrison

2022 Little Read Lakeshore: Last Stop on Market Street

“Last Stop on Market Street” will be read through the lens of “everyday heroes,” with the Little Read exploring what it might look like for readers to be heroes in their own communities and daily lives.

2021 Little Read Lakeshore: Fry Bread

Talking Is Teaching

Talking Is Teaching is a national public awareness and action campaign that helps parents recognize their power to boost their children’s early brain and vocabulary development through simple, everyday actions – like describing things while walking outside, or singing songs together during bath time.

When you talk, read, and sing with your child—even before she can use words—you’re building her brain and helping to prepare her for success in school and in life.
But it may not always be easy to talk to babies and young children, especially when they can’t talk back. To help, we’ve pulled fun tips and resources grounded in the best science, to help you talk, read, and sing with your child every day.

National Talking is Teaching Resources

Connect with us on Facebook!
Ottawa Parent Coalition
Help Me Grow Ottawa

Free Books!

Looking to give back? Donate books/ Amazon list

How do I donate gently used books to other families? Individuals: To donate books to be given away free to families, please email Monte Kelly or for little free libraries…..

Buy a NEW book to donate- Amazon wish list- books given free to families.

Tips: Your Child’s Reading Behavior

Tips for talking, reading, and singing with your child—keep it simple & keep it up!

  • Parents and other family members are the most influential people in your children’s lives. When you talk, read and sing– your child pays attention!
  • Wherever you are, interact with your child by asking questions and pointing out what is happening around you, asking them what they see, expand on their words with more words.
    Ex. Child: Red truck/ Caregiver: Yes, it’s a big, red, dump truck with wheels and a cab for the driver.
  • Children love singing! Try singing your words and sentences with a made-up tune to catch their attention.
  • Your local community has many free opportunities to help support you and your child’s development. Check out your local library and free little libraries (see links below) for free storytimes, books, and events.

For more tips:

Area Libraries

Join us for Story Walks!

Summer Reading Programs are underway! Feel free to sign up for multiple programs

Click below for Ottawa County Parks’ Story Walks!

Allendale Township Library


Allendale Library offers Storytimes, Music & Movement, as well as links to TumbleBooks Library, Early Learning by World Book, and Storytime Online to help and support early literacy in children. Offering the program 1,000 books before Kindergarten. For each 100 books read to the child, children will receive a prize. After 1,000 books are read, the child will receive a free book, completion certificate, and an opportunity to be on the Wall of Fame!

Coopersville Library


Coopersville Library offers storytimes on Facebook. Check out the Facebook page for everything youth-related including information, upcoming events, photos and book reviews. Check out Facebook and follow/like for the latest early literacy information.



Loutit District Library

Grand Haven

Loutit Library offers storytimes, for children 0-5. Follow the Facebook page for playlists, tips for early literacy! Loutit Little Bit is a monthly variety show for babies and Toddlers. Learn bounces, rhymes, and songs to enjoy with your your little one. Get inspired with ideas for games and activities using everyday household items. Learn ASL signs to help communication, tips to raise a reader, and ways to just have fun together! Streaming Storytime crafts, stories and fun to enjoy with your kiddos ages 0-5!

Herrick District Library


Herrick District Library, North and South locations offer baby, toddler, and preschool storytimes, links to our monthly early literacy calendars, and our early literacy kits. Countdown to Kindergarten for a digital preschool directory and additional materials to help PreK children get ready for school.

Gary Byker Library


Check out the website for Books to Go packpacks! Each packpack contains 8 books based on a theme. There are 10 backpacks to choose from such as transportation, pets, feelings, STEM, sing and play, shapes and colors, and more! Also, grab Book Bundles, perfect for families on the go.  Follow and like the FB page for Families can watch our family storytimes and Yoga Storytime!

Georgetown Township Public Library


Offering storytimes for children 18 mo to 5 years old. Also, sign up your child for the program 1,000 Books before Kindergarten. Also offering Books for Babies, infants under 6 months old receive a bag and a free cardboard book! Check out the events calendar for all early literacy events!

Spring Lake District Library

Spring Lake

Offering: The program, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, Discovery Packs–Backpacks with five themed children’s books and a sheet of rhymes and songs inside. They can be checked out for up to 3 weeks. As well as Ongoing Programs and events such as storytimes and story walks all to support early literacy and school readiness!

Howard Miller Library



Check out the Howard Miller Public Library You Tube channel for Toddler Laptimes and Preschool Storytimes or access videos through the Facebook page. Also, offering the program “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” through the Beanstack website

Birth to 5 years Play n Learn

Designed for families with children ages birth to 5 years old. Monthly sessions are based on a children’s book, with a story, fingerplays, crafts, and activities centered around the book. Each family receives a children’s book to take home. Child development and reading readiness information are also available for parents.

No pre-registration required.

Other Resources

Connect with further school readiness resources near you. High Quality Childcare & Preschools, Parent Groups, and a Developmental Screening with free fun activities to promote literacy!

Childcare & Preschool

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Parent Resources

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Development Resources

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