Virginia Public Libraries Extranet

Overview of the Early Literacy Activity Center

The purpose of the Early Literacy Activity Center is:

  • To promote early literacy skills; as well as
  • Inspire children to explore and learn through self-discovery;
  • Demonstrate the purpose of reading and writing and inspire children to explore;
  • Demonstrate the purpose and power of print;
  • Encourage social interactions and oral language development;
  • Invite children to gradually understand print concepts;
  • Provide practice with real life experiences that require reading; and
  • Add an element of fun to the library – kids learn when they are having fun.


The Library of Virginia is using grant funds from LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) to place at Early Literacy Activity Centers in public library buildings.

A video by Baltimore County Public Library will give you an ideal of the purpose and the model we are using to develop the early literacy learning stations.

Early Literacy Throughout the Library (pdf)

Early Literacy Activity Centers will be placed only in those libraries that have expressed a desire to participate in the program.

Our Expectations

  • The Early Literacy Activity Center will be available in the children’s area during normal library hours.
  • Some items will remain permanently in the Library and some will be on loan to the library.   The Early Literacy Activity Center rotating materials will brought to the Regional Youth Services Meeting (March/April/May)  and Youth Services  Meeting in Richmond (August/September), and directors may pick up the materials for their Early Literacy Activity Centers at annual director’s meeting in Spring (Graves Mountain) or Fall.
  • Libraries unable to bring materials or pick up materials will be expected to contact the Library of Virginia in advance to arrange for an agreed-upon method of picking up or delivering the materials.  This may include mailing items to the Library of Virginia; delivering items to the Library of Virginia; or, having another library staff deliver materials.  The Library of Virginia will make arrangements for getting your library its next materials for the Early Literacy Activity Center.
  • All items are to be inventoried by the library before delivery to a new library.  We recommend that all items be inventoried by the receiving library, also.  After the tradeoff, libraries have two weeks to report any lost or damaged items.
  • Items are to be cleaned on a regularly and frequently.
  • Broken, worn and lost items are to be reported to the Library of Virginia in a timely manner.
  • Items worn from normal use will be replaced by the Library of Virginia.
  • Items maliciously broken or destroyed are to be replaced by the library.  The Library may collect the cost of replacement from a library patron, if he or she is responsible for the damage.  Items which cannot be replaced may be charged the retail price of the cost of purchase.
  • Finally, the Library of Virginia reserves the right to remove items from the Early Literacy Activity Center in any library – without notification, and without cause

Items Which Stay in the Library

Storage Island – A double-sided storage and display table all in one.  Birch hardwood with lacquer finish.  Shelving includes space for 12 boxes.  27.25 inches high by 48 inches wide by 12 inches deep  OR 8 Cubbie Storage Unit for Kaplan (70138) comes fully assembled.  The unit is 30″H x 19.5″W x 15.5″ D.  There are 8 slots on this one side unit.

Stand up Magnetic Design Center – Double-sided center features two giant magnetic write and wipe surfaces, plus a sturdy base.  Wooden center is 21 inches wide by 32 inches tall OR a magnetic board which attaches to the storage unit.

Bookstand – Rugged no-tip stand features 4 angles shelves and sturdy side panels…with smooth edges and rounded corners.  Bookstand measures 30.5 inches wide by 15.5 inches deep by 14 inches high.  This is provide to limited amount of libraries

Search and Find Alphabet Bags – The alphabet bags give children a hands-on way to explore letter sounds- from A to Z!  Each soft velour bag features a big, clear-view window that lets kids peek inside, plus lots of fun beads for children to search through.  As kids sift through the beads, they discover irresistible objects that represent each letter sound – from an apple and anchor for A to a zipper and zebra for Z.

Foam Blocks – Blocks teach spatial relationships.  This assortment of colorful shapes of high density foam may be stacked and quietly knocked down.

Self correcting alphabet wooden puzzle

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