You have a toddler who loves books and stories and may even be ready to read simple books but you aren't quite sure how to encourage that. Or maybe your school-age child is having trouble reading books for homework. Regardless of a child's age or ability level, almost every community has programs and resources that can help. One of the best is the local library. Besides a wealth of reading materials, many libraries offer story-time programs for babies and toddlers, homework help for school-age youngsters, and summer reading programs for kids of all ages. Look for recommended reading lists, prize-winning and new books, and holiday or theme-related books throughout the year. Also remember that the library offers more than books. You'll also find magazines, activity packs with puzzles and games that relate to specific topics, lists of recommended websites for research, and audio recordings of favorite stories. A librarian can make suggestions based on your child's interests and needs. Nursery school teachers, childcare providers, teachers, pediatricians, and the Internet are also good resources for reading information. Elementary schools often have a reading specialist on staff. These professionals support teachers in the classroom by working on specific reading skills with individual students, assessing and organizing the reading curriculum, and acting as a resource for parents. Reading specialists can discuss your child's reading development and offer suggestions for activities to try at home. They may also offer parent workshops and provide information about community reading programs. In many areas, schools and community organizations run literacy programs after school. The reading specialist or your child's teacher should be able to direct you to such programs in your area. Lots of kids struggle with reading. The most important thing you can do is get help as soon as possible. If you're concerned about your child's reading ability, talk to a pediatrician, teacher, or reading specialist./p> Back to Articles Related Articles Creating a Reader-Friendly Home A home filled with reading material is a good way to help kids become enthusiastic readers. Here are some ideas. Read More Raising a Summer Reader Kids' reading skills don't have to grow cold once school's out. Here are some ways to make reading a natural part of their summer fun. Read More School-Age Readers From kindergarten through third grade, kids' ability to read will grow by leaps and bounds. Although teachers provide lots of help, parents continue to play a role in a child's reading life. Read More Helping Kids Enjoy Reading For many kids, reading doesn't come easily. But these simple steps can help them become eager readers. Read More Finding the Right Read Books make great gifts for kids. Here's how to pick one to fit a child's interests, maturity, and reading level. Read More Everyday Reading Opportunities Finding time to read is important to developing literacy skills. And there are many easy and convenient ways to make reading a part of every day. Read More How to Pick a Great Book to Read If you find yourself overwhelmed when choosing a book, check out these 5 simple steps to picking a book you'll like. Read More How to Pick a Great Book Reading on your own isn't like reading for school. You can pick something that's all about your interests — whether it's ancient martial arts, computers, or fashion design. Get tips on how. Read More Reading Milestones This general outline describes the milestones on the road to reading and the ages at which most kids reach them. Read More Reading Books to Babies Reading aloud to your baby stimulates developing senses, and builds listening and memory skills that can help your baby grow up to be a reader. Read More Story Time for Preschoolers Reading aloud to your preschooler is a great way to encourage learning development and to help prepare your child for independent reading down the line. Read More Toddler Reading Time Reading to toddlers lays the foundation for their independent reading later on. Here are some tips. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.