We have always wanted all children to read and write fluently. But with our growing dependence on computer based communication and the return of public interest in early schooling, much attention is being paid to the attainment of literacy. Fortunately, some of this interest has resulted in careful research into what skills, understandings and attitudes are necessary prerequisites for success in the primary grades. Filmed in several multicultural preschool and kindergarten classrooms, this film reviews the underlying cognitive, social and physical requirements for all formal education and then presents the literacy specific understandings and skills that are being widely cited, but not always adequately described. Along with instructive visuals from these classrooms, serious scholarship and clever graphics are combined to introduce students to current concepts and the specialized vocabulary pertaining to the development of literacy. Rejecting the either/or approach of the reading wars, this video presents an integrated vision of how the precursors of literacy grow from appropriate experiences provided by thoughtful adults to the children in their care.