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Families Who Read Together, Thrive Together

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Family literacy programs are an important part of every school's literacy curriculum. Research articles have shown that everyone benefits from such programs. 

Students benefit academically - their academic standing improves, as shown by better grades and standardized test scores. They also show signs of higher self-esteem, general health improvement, and are more motivated to attend and succeed in school. Parents and other adult family members benefit from improved literacy as well as mathematical and executive functioning skills. Parents who engage in family literacy programs tend to stick with the programs longer than other parenting programs and show increased sense of self-efficacy as parents as well as better awareness and understanding of the support options available to them in the community. 

The community at large also benefits from family literacy programs. The increased self-efficacy of students and their families leads to improvements in the overall welfare of the community. Increased academic achievement leads to better school outcomes, less delinquency, and safer neighborhoods.

So what are you waiting for?

Encourage your school community to read together so you can all thrive together. One great way to start is with the One School, One Book and One District, One Book programs. Started by the family literacy advocacy group, Read To Them, this program strives to create a culture of literacy by encouraging family literacy. This program is especially easy to implement with Tales2go's unlimited, streaming access to titles! Every student in your school can listen to the same title, at their own pace.

Choose Your Story

To get started, choose a story that suits the majority of your student body. Remember that students can understand and enjoy content above their independent reading level if they are listening. So students who may have difficulty decoding and reluctant readers can still get in on the fun when you select a book that is also available on Tales2go

Play Host

Once you've chosen a title, plan some activities to engage your students and their families. Get your resource teachers together and host a few literacy nights with simple refreshments, activities, and maybe a contest or two. Bonus points to you if your refreshments follow the theme of the story - origami stations for The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, dolphin shaped cookies for Island of the Blue Dolphins, or clementines for Clementine

Remote Engagement

Keep the excitement up, even for families who can't make it in for events at school.

  • Turn a bulletin board into a wall of fame and rotate community members' illustrations.
  • Create a set of questions for families to answer as they listen to the story.
  • Create a community wide sequencing activity - ask your art teacher to draw an illustration for each chapter of the story and post them on a bulletin board out of order. Students can submit their ideas about the correct order of the illustrations.
  • Tell parents to use #HowWeListen to tag posts on social media showing how they are listening as a family - you can repost, and we will too!

Read More: One middle school teacher-librarian changed her school's reading game

**This is a guest post, written by Jenny Holt.

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** This guest post was written by blog contributor, Jenny Holt.

We believe children need to be good listeners before they can become great readers. We also believe that listening skills lead to better writing skills - for many of the same reasons.

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