by 2020 a dozen states or more will increase by at least 100% the number of low-income children reading proficiently at the end of third grade
Parents are the first and most important teachers in their children’s lives. Research shows that students are most successful academically and socially when their parents are involved and engaged in their learning. There is no set of policies that will replace parents’ role in their children’s education.
Improving parental engagement can help turn around the nation’s achievement problems. Study after study has demonstrated that reading well by the end of third grade is a critical milestone toward academic success, and ultimately, economic self-sufficiency.
The message is clear: parents need to talk, read and interact with their children. But what parents really need to know is how they interact makes all the difference in the development of their children’s vocabulary, comprehension and critical thinking skills.
Engaging Parents in Boosting Children’s Early Language and Brain Development
Increasing both the quantity and quality of conversations between young children and their parents is a key strategy of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s work to boost brain development, early learning, school readiness and ultimately the number of children reading proficiently by the end of third grade. Our latest Innovation Brief, Engaging Parents in Boosting Children’s Early Language and Brain Development, is designed to show not just what and why but how parents and caregivers can bridge the word gap – that is, the disparity in the number of words that children from low-income families hear and learn compared to their more affluent peers. The brief calls out innovative programs in Oakland, CA; Seattle and Georgia.
How to Read a Book:
Research has shown that by reading with their children – not to them – parents greatly increase children’s language and literacy, developing the foundation they need to enter kindergarten as strong, confident learners on a path to grade level reading and so much more – for a lifetime. Plus, story time will be more fun as parents help their children become storytellers themselves.
The Rollins Center for Language & Learning at the Atlanta Speech School partnered with the Junior League of Atlanta to produce the complimentary video READ that emphasizes what parents can do to make books come alive for their children and increase their learning: Repeat Books, Engage and Enjoy, Ask Questions, and Do More. A two-page coaching sheet recaps the four steps, and provides more information on the research that is the basis for the READ strategy.
How to Pick the Right Technology:
Digital apps designed to teach young children to read are an increasingly large share of the market, but parents and educators have little to no information about whether and how they work. The Campaign worked with experts in early literacy and technology to create a report that scans the market of digital products and shares promising practices and programs. Read our Technology for Successful Parenting page.
How to Navigate the School Years:
NBC’s Education Nation created this toolkit to help parents navigate the school years from preK to 12th grade.