First 2000 Days. First 5000 Words.

Calgary Reads - Sing Read Talk PlayThe first 2000 days of a child’s life… yes, between birth and kindergarten… are when 85% of the brain’s pathways are developed. This is the best time to introduce the foundations of literacy.

Most reading problems are preventable by providing a literacy-rich environment in all the days before kindergarten.

The first 2000 days of a child’s life is easily enriched in literacy-focused love through the simple, daily fun of singing, reading, playing and talking.

Some eye-opening facts:

  • 42% of adult Canadians have low literacy skills. 
  • 25% of children enter grade 1 already significantly behind their peers in literacy and learning skills.
  • Good literacy rates drive economic growth, labour market outcomes, productivity growth and innovation, increased returns on public investments in education and health.
  • Children with a literacy-focused environment in the early years have greater academic success, professional success, social success, health, confidence, employability and income.

Literacy starts at birth.

The first 2000 days, the first 5000 words matter.

Calgary Reads newest initiative intends to increase awareness around the importance of early literacy issues and opportunities with our First 2000 Days, First 5000 Words campaign, programs and professional development.

Get started here:

First2000Days PowerPoint Presentation

Inventory of Programs & Services Impacting Literacy PDF file (Adobe Reader required) 

More information on young children

For more information about this initiative, research or how you can be a part of this Calgary Reads program, email us at or call 403.777.8254.