These teachers also know that building strong readers is a collaborative effort; in order for students to grow into competent, curious readers who truly love literacy, a culture that values and pursues reading must be established both at school and in the home. Thus, in an effort to promote the love of reading in young students, the “Creating a Reader” parent education program was born.
On Tuesday, March 13th, the kindergarten teachers and reading specialists at Washington School hosted “Raising a Reader” night. At this event, teachers modeled effective and engaging reading practices that translate from school to home and facilitated opportunities for parents to engage their students in reading. Teachers collaborated with parents to equip them with strategies both for reading with their children and helping them make connections to their personal lives as well as other books they have read. Parent feedback about the event was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. “We love the interaction between parents and kids during the workshop,” one parent said. “This program has motivated us to read to our kids more!” Another parent commented, “The parent workshops are great! They provide us with different ideas and allow us to practice with our kids. This provides validation that we are doing something right!” Many parents noted that this program is a great starting point for kindergarten students, helping them to understand the content more easily and relate it to themselves. They appreciated that students received books in both English and Spanish, and they commented that their children simply love the reading bags they take home at the end of the night. If teachers and parents can work together to foster a love for reading from a young age, then these young readers will truly become tomorrow’s greatest leaders.