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Saturday, September 14, 2013


If we want to make a significant difference in children’s lives, then we must also reach out to the parents and teach them as well.  The more involved parents are in their child’s education, the more successful their child will be in school!

A teacher at a workshop once remarked, "I've taught in both upper and lower income schools and I've learned that mama bears are mama bears regardless of socio-economic status."  It's critical that we remember that ALL parents want to do a good job and they want what's best for their child.  Our challenge is to enable and empower them to provide their child with meaningful and memorable experiences.  

Over the next few days I will share weekly newsletters that you can send home to your parents.  Most of the activities suggested are simple and fun and will encourage language development.  Feel free to change the letters to meet the special needs of your population. 

Hint!  If possible, translate the newsletters for parents who are non-English speakers.
Newsletter #1

Read, Read, Read!

Dear Parents,

You’ve heard it before, and I’ll say it again.  You are your child’s first and most important teacher!  Over the next few weeks I’ll be sending home letters with suggestions for how you can help your child at home.  You’ll discover how much fun reading, talking, singing, and playing with your child can be!  And you’ll be laying the groundwork for a lifetime of learning and reading.

The best way to help your child learn to read is to read, read, read!

  1. Model reading in front of your child.  Read directions on recipes, the newspaper, labels on clothing, and street signs.  Show your child the importance of reading, and also the pleasure we can get from reading.
  2. Set aside a special time each day to read with your child.  It might be right before bed, or you could wake your child up each morning with a story.
  3. Point your finger under the words as you read them.
  4. Talk about the title of the book, the author, illustrator, etc.  What is the setting?  Who are the characters?  Could this really happen or is it just pretend?
  5. Take your child to the library.  Help your child get her own library card and take responsibility for books.
  6. Create a special basket or shelf in your home where you keep books and magazines for your child to read.  You might also want to keep a backpack filled with books in your car.
  7. Check out Jim Trelease's READ ALOUD HANDBOOK to learn more about the power of reading to your child.
Happy reading!

Note!  Go to my July, 2011, website to download these monthly reading calendars, activity calendars, and take home activities.