Here are some resources for librarians and parents to use to help families engage with their children to help promote literacy and literacy programming, whether it’s reading literacy, financial literacy or other kinds of literacy.
NJ Family Literacy and Best Practices in Education information: These are some short articles about best practices in education in NJ from the NJ Department of Education, written in family friendly terms. One of the articles is on promoting reading for kids from a variety of different genres of books.
Family Literacy Project: Resources
The following are some suggested web sites to visit for family literacy-related resources:
- The International Literacy Association (ILA) provides free downloadable booklists for children of all ages and free online tools through ReadWriteThink.org for educators to use in teaching reading and language arts in grades K–12.They have book lists called Choices Booklists (Children’s, Teachers’, and Young Adults’ Choices) that can be downloaded. The Children’s Choices is cosponsored by the Children’s Book Council and includes approximately 100 titles that have been chosen by the children themselves. The Teachers’ selection identifies approximately 30 books rated by teams of teachers, librarians, and reading specialists as outstanding for curriculum use. The Young Adults’ list includes approximately 30 titles that have been selected by teen reviewers. These book recommendations can really help children of all ages find books they’ll love reading this summer!
- Just Read, Families! Florida’s resources (library, reading, FCAT, summer reading lists) for families, children, and teens in English and in Spanish.
- The Florida Literacy Coalition promotes, supports and advocates for the effective delivery of quality adult and family literacy services in the state of Florida.
- The National Center for Family Literacy provides information and support about initiatives that support life improvement for the nation’s most disadvantaged children and parents.
- Parent resources on how to prepare children for school, facilitate reading development, support learning, help with homework, and help children succeed.
- 100 Home-School Activities Literacy for Kindergarten. Find information about reading and literacy skills activities parents can use to support their kindergarten student.
- 100 Home-School Activities Literacy for First Grade. This site provides reading and literacy skills activities parents can use to support their first grade student.
- 100 Home-School Activities Literacy for Second Grade. This site provides reading and literacy skills activities parents can use to support their second grade student.
- 100 Home-School Activities Literacy for Third Grade. This site provides reading and literacy activities parents can use to support their third grade student.
- Reading Rockets offers information and resources on how young children learn to read and what adults can do to help. It is produced by WETA and funded by a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
- Five ways to raise a reader.
- Scholastic books and reading (book lists, read aloud tips, and learning tips, grades preK-8) for parents.
- Colorin Colorado! This bilingual English-Spanish site provides valuable information, activities, and advice for Spanish-speaking parents and educators of English language learners. It is the companion site to Reading Rockets, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
- The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) provides resources for educators and parents of children birth to age eight.
- The National Head Start Association (NHSA) provides a national forum for supporting low income families and their children (birth-5).
- The Reading is Fundamental (RIF) uses support from the U.S. Department of Education and other organizations to provide over 200 million books in the hands and homes of children who need them most.
- National Literacy Trust: Reading Connects! Examine this site for information and resources on how to build whole school reading communities.
- Family Involvement Toolkit. This comprehensive family literacy toolkit from the UK is designed for educators. Topics include how to manage a family literacy program, how to assist parents, establish effective communications, practical ideas for educators, and how to encourage parents to get involved in their childs education.
- Your Child: Development and Behavior Resources. This web site is designed especially for parents as a guide to Internet information on children’s development and behavior.
- Family Literacy Special Connection: A Service of the National Institute for Literacy. Find a comprehensive list of resources on reading, activities, and ideas.
- Family Literacy Special Connection: A Service of the National Institute for Literacy: Sites for Parents and Children. These resources include information about parenting issues, interactive children’s activities, classroom materials, and more.
- What Should I Read Aloud? A Guide to 200 Best-Selling Picture Books by Nancy A. Anderson (International Reading Association, 2007). This is a helpful resource for parents or teachers who are looking for guidance in selecting picture books for children. Using research conducted by Publishers Weekly, author Nancy A. Anderson compiled a list of children’s picture books that have made the all-time best-selling list.
- Is There Something I Could Buy That Would Help My Child to Read Better? – Author Jim Trelease guides parents about the “Three B’s” they can buy to help their children become better readers.
- Celebrate Literacy Calendar (PDF)
The calendar provides suggestions for fun parent-child year-long language and literacy activities (provided both in English and Spanish).
- A Toolkit for Title I Parental Involvement
- Reading Rockets Resources for Parents
- How to Create a Home Library
- Tutoring and Volunteering
- Signs of a Struggling Reader
- Prepare Your Child for Testing
- 103 Things to Do Before/During/After Reading
- Reading Together
- Getting Dads Involved
- Reading Tips for Parents (in 10+ Languages)
- Speaking in Tongues (Video)–A Documentary About Dual-Language Education
- Immigrant Stories: Refugees Around the World
- Reaching Out to Parents–Free Guides and Toolkits (Also in Spanish)
Family Literacy Programming
Celebrate National Family Literacy Day November 1
National Family Literacy Day, celebrated across the U.S., focuses on special activities that showcase the importance of family literacy programs. First held in 1994, the annual event is officially celebrated on November 1st, but many events are held throughout the month of November.
Schools, libraries and other literacy organizations participate by offering various activities to promote this event.
Kick off National Family Literacy Day by inviting parents, grandparents, and other family members to your library for fun events.
- Invite students’ family members to read a favorite story from their childhood, or their child’s favorite bedtime story. (Grandparents can share both their child’s and their grandchild’s favorites!)
- Provide a collection of books for families to share during a group storytime session. Invite families to get comfortable by bringing a cushion, beanbag chair, or pillow.
- Introduce families to some of the games & tools provided by ReadWriteThink. Encourage them to use these engaging tools at home to enhance their reading and writing experiences.
- Provide each family with a printed certificate of participation or a bookmark at the end of the event. Print certificates and bookmarks from your computer.
- At the close of your event, be sure to remind parents about other National Family Literacy Day events in your community.
Remember that family literacy is something that should be encouraged all year round. The websites have some ideas to keep families engaged in reading on a regular basis!
This website provides resources for parents and teachers, including podcasts, interactive games and free courses to foster powerful parent-child partnerships and improve literacy outcomes for children and adults.
Wonderopolis: Where the Wonders of Learning Never Cease
Brought to life by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), this website has a wonder of the day which is a different question or concept of interest to kids and their parents. Their approach both informs and encourages new questions, sparking new paths of wonder and discovery in family and classroom settings. – See more on their website. An example is the question of whether your taste buds change over time. Here’s the answer.
Other resources from the National Center for Family Literacy: includes a monthly calendar of family activities that you can download and print.
Whats the Big Idea? Making Math and Science Come Alive for Children and Families in Your Library
What’s the BIG Idea? Math & Science Librarian Starter Kit includes the following math and science materials and a fully evaluated Librarian Manual. $357 from MotherGoose website but you can also purchase the materials on your own and use your own library books.
The KidsUniteToFight organization has teamed up with Coles Foundation to provide encouragement in the form of prepaid postcards to provide encouragement to other kids across the nation who have or are dealing with a terminally ill disease. Kids and their parents can use their literacy and writing/drawing skills to write a letter or make a card for ill children. Older children can work with younger children to write their letters.
Color A Smile is a nonprofit organization in Morristown, NJ, that collects crayon drawings from children.
Every month they distribute these drawings to Nursing Homes, Meals on Wheels Programs, and individuals all across the country. Their goal is to make people smile! You can download and print out sample coloring pages featuring holiday and seasonal greetings from the website. Pair this activity with holiday/seasonal themed books.
Scholastic Read and Rise program
Program that engages families, schools, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, and communities in literacy development while celebrating the positive impact of family culture and tradition. This unique multi-dimensional program includes:
- Research based curricula built on best educational practices
- Family workshops to engage families in how best to support literacy development at home
- Take-home libraries for every student
- Partnerships and resources to help build a text-rich home environment
- English and Spanish editions available
PNC Grow Up Great Program, For Me, For You, For Later
Family Financial Literacy program in partnership with Sesame Street Workshop.
Newark PL got a grant from PNC to do this. They received free bilingual, multimedia kits that included a Parent and Caregiver Guide, a Children’s Activity Book, 3 Jar Labels, and an original Sesame Street DVD that features Elmo, Cookie Monster, and their Sesame Street friends as Elmo learns the basics of spending, saving, and sharing. The kit can be downloaded for free from their website.
Educators and librarians can download the Educator’s Guide that can help easily incorporate activities that build financial skills into your programs. Kits are also available for free at any PNC Branch or can be ordered over the phone at 1-877-PNC-GROW (1-877-762-4769).
This information is from SuperSummary™, a website that contains in-depth study guides written by experienced teachers, professors, and literary scholars. It is divided into sections. One includes links to resources that were created to help ESL students improve their English reading comprehension skills. Another has links to worksheets, instructional articles, and fun games and activities to help encourage good reading comprehension practices. A third section includes links to tools and texts designed to help students prepare for standardized exams in reading comprehension.The section for parents and educators includes links to materials to help students engaged in the practice of reading with intention. Some of these sites in this section offer premium benefits for paid members, but all provide ample amounts of study materials at no cost. The last section provides links to quizzes and practices test for learners of all ages, from those geared for young children through collegiate-level questions and test preparation materials.