Lit•er•a•cy (l?t’¶r-¶-s?) n. The condition or quality of being literate, esp. the ability to read and write.
Literacy cuts across all disciplines and all grade levels. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, it has the most profound impact on a child’s future. Therefore, a strong literacy program is essential for the success of any school. This program must be supported by all stakeholders, including teachers, administrators, students, community leaders, and parents. The following are a few things that you can do to help:
Ten Keys to a Literate Household:
1. Surround your children with literature! From the classics to the newspaper, from The New Yorker to Sports Illustrated, from individual journals to family message boards, there should be opportunities for reading and writing everywhere!
2. Provide a safe, quiet, comfortable space! Reading and writing can and should be enjoyable – the fewer the distractions the better!
3. Take a balanced approach! From Whole Language to Phonics and everything in between, there’s value in just about every approach. Expose your child to the best of everything!
4. Set high expectations! Encourage your children to work hard and do well. They need to be able to see and understand the price and the prize!
5. Read with your children! Tell stories, sing songs, play word games - good modeling is essential, and you’re definitely your child’s most important role model!
6. Get excited about reading and writing! If you’re excited about a book or story, chances are, they will be too!
7. Ask them about their reading! Who’s your favorite author? What do you like about this book? What lessons have you learned? What do you think will happen next? Etc.
8. Communicate with teachers! It’s imperative that you know what they need and that they know what you need!
9. Make TV viewing interactive! Turn on the closed captioning, chose programs carefully, and discuss the shows you watch.
10. Do your homework! Learn as much as you can about literacy. From instructional strategies to the latest programs - knowledge is power!