Talk, Read, Sing

Talking, reading, and singing are some of the best ways to help a child’s young mind grow.

Talk, Read, and Sing Every Day!

Can “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” help close the achievement gap? We think so. Every word a child hears impacts brain development and sets the foundation for future reading and literacy skills. By age three, a low-income child has heard roughly 30 million fewer of these words than her more affluent peers. Talking, reading, and singing to young children may be one of the best ways to level the playing field and help every child reach their potential.

Your words have the power to shape their world. 90 percent of brain growth happens before age 5 and it’s early exposure to words that lays a foundation for all that follows. First 5 commissions across the state are joining to bring this message to the forefront with the Talk, Read, Sing Campaign. It’s a simple message with a powerful impact, and it anchors our early literacy work with public libraries, bookstores, funded partners, and families throughout Ventura County.


Free children’s storytimes in your neighborhood

Help your child nurture a love of stories, books, and words by joining one of more than 40 free weekly storytimes at our local public libraries and bookstores. Find storytime locations and times near you.

Take 5 and Read to Kids! Event

Take 5 minutes to make a difference that lasts a lifetime!

Take 5 and Read to Kids! is part of First 5 Ventura County’s ongoing effort to raise awareness about the importance of reading to young children, share the joy of books, build champions for early literacy, and build a lifetime love of learning.

You’re Invited to Take 5 and Read 2024!
Celebrity Readers will be joining us on May 3rd to foster a love for reading! More information to come. 

Give the Gift of Literacy!
Donations from the community allow us to provide a book for each child to take home to build their personal library. Make a donation in support of the Take 5 and Read to Kids! event.

Volunteer to Read!
If you would like to volunteer to read to children under 5 in 2024, please contact Lauren Arzu,

Read about our 2023 event!

Practice “Dragon Breathing” to Create Calm

Little kids can have Big emotions!
As children grow, they begin to explore, recognize, name, and talk about their emotions. Sometimes these feelings can get bottled up and come out as crying, screaming, or even tantrums. But that’s okay! By helping your child learn about their feelings, and how to manage them while they’re young, you can help give them a great start to a happier, healthier life.

Explore how First 5 California’s Dragon Song helps kids stay calm!
One way to teach your little one about calmness is to practice dragon breathing in front of, and with, them. It’s never too early, and it’s also never too late to start practicing calmness in front of your child. Watch the video below to see how the Dragon Song helps kids stay calm!

More resources for you!
For more tips on how your family can talk through their feelings together, visit First 5 California’s site here. Explore details on calming techniques that help regulate moods and techniques to better manage future meltdowns. 

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