Molly Ness, the author of "Books in Motion: How a Community Literacy Project Impacts Its Participants", argues that familial involvement in literacy programs enhances children's experience with the learning process. Although the literary program, Books in Motion, was already discussed in another blog post, we are going to tune in to the importance of family involvement within the program.
Family literacy programs allow children to reap academic, social, and personal benefits. The social element of the program inspired families to continue reading with one another as a group. The children who were a part of Books in Motion had an incentive to continue reading the book, the incentive being watching the film adaptation of the book with their family and their community once they finished. Ness also notes that family involvement in the program led to increased parental involvement with children's school activities and classwork/homework, heightening a child's reading and writing abilities outside of the classroom context.
Catherine Snow, the author of "Unfulfilled Expectations: Home and School Influences on Literacy", conducted a study on 32 elementary school children primarily from low-income communities. Within the study, the teachers held stereotypical images of low-income parents, believing that they were not interested in their children's education, giving A's and B's to the students' work even if it was not satisfactory. The low-income parents believed that their children were doing well in school, therefore, they did not feel the need to reach out to the teacher or provide as much assistance to their child. The students within the study made below average gains on literary tests compared to the national average. Catherine Snow deduced from the study that encouraging communication and involvement between parents, teachers, and students improves and allows for literary growth and achievement.
The author, Molly Ness, noted that family involvement in the learning process improves a child's perspective and experience with learning how to read and write. Catherine Snow further builds upon this claim by exploring relationships between teachers, parents, and students, depicting that healthy relationships must be maintained and partook in in order to create literary success for a child.
Tips for teachers: Put aside your preconceived notions of parents involvement in their child’s learning process and literary acquisition. If problems arise in the classroom setting, or if any small or large learning barriers appear, make sure to communicate that with the student’s guardian(s) in order to allow the parents to help facilitate the child’s learning outside of school.
Tips for parents: Family involvement is highly linked to student achievement, therefore, make sure you’re involved with your child’s work and with your child’s teachers. Within your household, make it apparent that education is valuable and that you also engage in learning yourself; for example, read with your children, watch educational films, and make learning feel like a fun activity instead of a chore.
Whenever I look back on my experiences with learning how to read and write, I tend to remember the positive aspects of my literary acquisition inside the classroom and outside of the classroom. Literacy is a key component for a child’s development and for educational success throughout the span of their life. Both my parents and teachers have continuously supported my educational growth. Without this very support and care for my education, I would not be in the same position as I am in today. I would not value the importance of effectual education and literary achievement in a child's life if I had not experienced the same.