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Resources to Support Family Literacy

By Samantha Stinchcomb
 | Nov 02, 2017

Family LiteratureResearch presented by the National Center for Education Statistics has proven that family engagement is one of the most important factors of literacy development, and that children enter kindergarten at a higher reading level when they have a positive learning environment at home. When literary success is highly encouraged and supported by the family, children are more likely to want to read, enjoy reading, and excel in all areas of academics. Below are a few ways to foster family literacy in and out of the classroom.

Resources for educators

  • Invite students’ parents and family members into the classroom to read their favorite childhood book aloud.
  • Provide a collection of books for students to take home to read with their families.
  • Introduce students and their families to websites such as ReadWriteThink and Reading Rockets and encourage them to engage in these learning games and activities together at home.
  • Assign interactive literacy homework such as group vocabulary exercises or discussion prompts.
  • Create “reading kits” for students to take home. The kits can contain worksheets, vocabulary words, and comprehension questions for families to go over together.

Resources for parents

  • Write a short story with your child using the day’s events or their imagination.
  • Call Dial-A-Story (416.395.5400) to listen to a story with your child anytime! The service is available in 16 different languages.
  • Involve distant family members in the enjoyment of reading by sharing a book together through video chat apps such as Skype.
  • Make puppets of your child’s favorite literary characters. Use these puppets to act out a scene from the book or to reimagine a scene in a different way.
  • Help your child write to a pen pal. Whether it’s a distant friend or family member, consistently writing to a pen pal fosters important writing and storytelling skills.

For more ideas, check out the National Center for Families Learning’s 30 Days of Families Learning Together.

Samantha Stinchcomb is an intern at the International Literacy Association.           

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