10 Ways to Foster Family Literacy

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For nearly 30 years, our beloved Barbara Bush was a champion for family literacy across our nation because she believed reading learning to read begins in the home and that parents are a child’s first and most important teacher. November is National Family Literacy Awareness Month, so we wish to spotlight the importance of family literacy and provide you with ways to foster a literacy-rich environment in your own home.

Family Literacy is a type of literacy education that emphasizes bringing reading and writing into the home and making it a family activity. Research presented by the National Center for Education Statistics has proven that family engagement is one of the most important factors of literacy development, and that children enter kindergarten at a higher reading level when they have a positive learning environment at home. When literary success is highly encouraged and supported by the family, children are more likely to want to read, enjoy reading, and excel academically in all subjects.

The best things you can do for your children for academic success are also the simplest and most natural. Below are ways to foster family literacy in your home.

1.    Let your child see you reading.

2.    Read more than books together -- read road signs, food labels, etc.

3.    Let your child pick out the books you read together.

4.    Visit the library together.

5.    Ask your child questions about the books or pictures.

6.    Find ways to relate the stories to your child’s life.

7.    Create and tell your own stories.

8.    Sing songs and rhymes together with your child.

9.    Write notes to each other and to others.

10.  Create a special place for books and reading time.

“You know, sit with your arm around a little kid. It not only teaches them to read, but it keeps the family strong.” Barbara Bush