Literacy is a family matter

Reading Workshop


The National Center for Family Literacy has researched and published some staggering facts about the ways parental involvement can make a difference in a child's learning. For example, when parent involvement is low, reading comprehension levels of fourth-grade students average 46 points below the national norm. When involvement is high, fourth-graders score 28 points above the national norm. That is a gap of 74 points.

Family literacy is a concept that includes the home environment and home activities as contributors to the child's literacy. When there is parental involvement, both adults and children improve in their reading ability. Here are ways family members can support and nurture literacy in the home.

* Provide a wide range of reading and writing materials at home.

* Take your child to the library at least every three weeks.

* Buy or borrow books for your children more often (every one to three weeks).

* Engage in a wider variety of reading and writing activities by drawing, writing and playing educational games.

* Talk with your child. Explain, rather than instruct, on topics such as manners and hygiene.

* Display your child's drawings and writings.

* Let your child see you reading and writing for pleasure at home.

* Let your child see you writing letters to friends or relatives. Let everyone contribute by adding a line or by drawing a picture.

* Make a family book that is a collection of stories and pictures.

* Share at least one book with your child every day. It is OK, even good, to read the same book over and over. Let your child turn the pages, touch the book and explore.

* Log onto the National Center for Family Literacy's Web site at for read-aloud tips and information.

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