Ready to Read

By Noreen Bernstein, Youth Services Director 
Williamsburg Regional Library
  • The road to Reading Readiness starts at birth.  A baby’s brain is just waiting for stimulation.  Talk and sing with your baby. Play music. Recite nursery rhymes. Conversations are the start.
  • Getting ready to read involves all the senses.  Touching, smelling, tasting, seeing, and hearing paired together in a multiplicity of ways is important.
  • As your children grow, cross-lateral activities (like Pat-A-Cake) accompanied by words and music are a powerful way to enhance the brain connections a child needs to learn language and to read.
  • Young children need to experience books as toys: they need to touch them, smell them, see if they roll or bounce, and even taste them
  • As your baby grows, let him/her see you reading and enjoying books.
  • Keep paper, crayons, pencils, magazines and books available to your child.
How Williamsburg Regional Library Can Help



    We offer weekly storytimes for children from birth through school age.

  • We have a Winter Reading Program in February for children from birth through first grade.
  • All children from birth through high school are welcome in our Summer Reading Program
  • We have a special Parents Corner which includes materials to help with many of the questions parents have.
  • Our collections include age appropriate books to help with many of events families face as their children grow including loss, toilet training, going to preschool,  and the arrival of a new baby to name a few.
  • We offer Paws to Read each month, where preschool children can cuddle with a dog while a parent reads to them, and older children can read to their favorite dog.
  • We offer puppet shows, musical programs, and other educational entertainment.
  • We provide monthly storytimes at most of our public and private preschools along with classroom collections, and Mobile Library Services book delivery.
  • On August 20 we will host a Meet and Greet with your favorite characters from Busch Gardens at Williamsburg Library at11:00 and at the James City County Library at 1:30 pm.  Those children who attend and are entering Kindergarten in September can join us after the Meet and Greet and receive our Kindergarten Connection packet.
  • Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is always available to help you select the best materials to meet your needs.
  • Check out our new website, and find a picture book blog, Pied Piper’s Pics which introduces you to favorite titles selected by the staff.  We also offer Tumblebooks, a data base where children can read and listen to books on-line.
About the Author


Noreen Bernstein is the Youth Services Director at our wonderful local library. A native New Yorker, Ms. Bernstein has lived in Virginia since 1978. She has a background in educational publishing and has also worked as an illustration coordinator. She has met some of the best – Marc Brown, creator of Arthur (ask your preschooler about him if you haven’t yet met Arthur), and Mordi Gerstein, a Caldecott winner. In 1987, Ms. Bernstein became Youth Services Director at the Williamsburg Regional Library, where she has watched the library grow. When she started at the library, 500 children participated in the Summer Reading Program. Last year, there were more than 3,000 kids!
“We strive to provide materials, programs, and information for the youngest children learning to read and older children reading to learn. We would like the library to be a special place for each child in our community.” ~Noreen Bernstein


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