Early Literacy Mentoring Association (ELMA) is a program geared toward educating parents about the incredible importance of early literacy and getting kids excited about books, reading and their local libraries.

Why early literacy?
  • Children need to hear 1,000 stories read to them before they begin to read for themselves.

  • Birth to age eight is the most critical period of literacy development.

  • Children who have not been read to from birth find school more difficult.

Get Involved!    

An ELMA book bash is a celebration of books geared to children ages 0–5. Each book bash features a popular children’s book. Book Bashes are held at the Pella Public Library from 10:00 am–11:30am. All the services sponsored by E.L.M.A. are free of charge.

For Kids:

The Bash will be filled with fun crafts, activities and games based on the featured book.

For Parents:

As a parent, you have the opportunity to spend a fun morning with your child and receive a FREE copy of the featured book (while supplies last) to add to your family’s library and make a difference in your child’s future.

Fall Book Bash

Date TBD

10-11:30am (come and go)

Pella Public Library

How important is early literacy?

A 2000 U.S Department of Education study showed the following:

  • 75% of school dropouts report reading problems and at least ½ of adolescents and young adults with criminal records have reading difficulties.

  • Reading for less than 5 minutes a day increases the chance that your child will read below grade level.

  • Spending more than 20 minutes a day reading increases the chance your child will score in the 90th percentile.

What can you do?
  • Point out words on buildings and signs.

  • Invent stories with your child.

  • Recite nursery rhymes; do finger plays and action songs together.

  • Count the number of words in a sentence.

  • Focus on the sound a letter makes.

  • Ask about beginning and ending sounds.

  • Give reading priority status so you don't run out of time.

  • Read to your child from the time he/she is a baby. They love the cuddle time as well as the sound of your soothing voice.