New Parent Booklets Encourage Literacy Activities at Home

Published in SEDL Letter Volume XIX, Number 1, April 2007, Developing a Staff of Learners

Parents can make a powerful impact on their children’s reading success. Students do best “when both the home and the school provide optimal conditions for literacy development” (Chall, Jacobs, & Baldwin, 1990, p. 166). And given that students spend most of their time outside of school at home, the potential for increased achievement in reading is great if parents are involved in literacy activities (Murphy, 2003, p. 192). Sometimes teachers and schools need to make the first step to get parents involved in literacy activities, however, and help parents learn how to work with their children at home.

The National Institute for Literacy has published the following five new booklets designed for parents of K–3 students. The booklets foster parents’ understanding of the five skills necessary for children to learn to read well and provide examples of how parents can work with their children to strengthen the skills. Best of all for teachers and parents, these booklets are available free of charge.

Dad’s Playbook: Coaching Kids to Read

This colorful tabloid publication is targeted to dads. It explains why learning to read by third grade is so important, explains the five skills, and provides activities for dads and kids to do together. It also includes profiles of 20 fathers and what they are doing to help their children learn to read.

Cover of Dad's Playbook publication Cover of Dad's Playbook publication

Big Dreams: A Family Book About Reading

Designed for parents with low-literacy skills, Big Dreams explains positive steps all parents can take to help their children succeed.

Cover of Big Dreams publication Cover of Big Dreams publication

Shining Stars

Each of the Shining Stars booklets includes a story modeling how parents help their children learn to read. The booklets also have a short story to read with kids and include ways to talk to about the story afterward. To encourage parents to think about their children’s reading development, each booklet contains a checklist of skills that children should develop at the appropriate grade level.

  • Shining Stars: Kindergartners Learn to Read
  • Shining Stars: First Graders Learn to Read
  • Shining Stars: Second and Third Graders Learn to Read
Cover of Shining Stars Kindergartners publication Cover of Shining Stars Grade 1 publication Cover of Shining Stars Grades 2 and 3 publication

Next Article: Credits