Every year, schools work to build partnerships with parents because research shows that children are much more successful when parents are involved. Parental involvement has always been an interest of mine, and today, I’d like to share a collection of parental involvement ideas that my schools have enjoyed.
NIGHT FOR FAMILY LITERACY (NFL)
Kick off your school year with an NFL night. Wear your favorite team jersey, invite your local football team in as readers to spark interest, and host a tailgate prior to your program. You might have the football team return for pickup games on your playground or play music in the background. Make the program fun by bringing in a magician, musical group, or better yet, an author. When you line up your program, make sure you express that the goal of the program is to promote reading at home. When families come into the program, it’s a great time to hand out a brochure or take home packet with ways parents can support their kids. You can also hand out tickets for door prize drawings.
WE 💗 LITERACY MONTH
Last year, we tried something new. At the begining of February, we dedicated it We 💗 Literacy Month. We had a brief assembly and explained all that was planned. First, we did a one month reading incentive. With it, we encouraged all students to share their opinions on any book they read during the month using the special forms to the right. The forms were tailored to each grade level preK-5, and they were strung through the hallway like Christmas Lights. It worked really well because it provided a chance for the children to see what books others were reading. Kids want to read what other kids are reading. Every completed review was an entry into a drawing for a collection of books, and a gift bag including 10 books per grade level was we given away at our Read Across America Assembly held at the end of the month.
Around the 20th of February, we brought our families in for Read, Read, and Read S’More Night. You can probably guess what we offered as a treat at the end! So, at this event, we decorated our rooms like a campout. Teachers projected crackling fires on their smartboards, brought in lawn chairs and built fake campfires on their rugs, and shared their favorite picture book of all time in storytime fashion. Parents traveled from class to class to hear the books they liked, and for this event, we did door prize tickets. Each teacher read his/her book three times, and at the end of each session, he/she drew a ticket out of the basket and gave away a copy of the book for the children’s at home libraries. After the last session, all families were brought in for hot chocolate and S’mores. We had just under 400 people come, and it took me two days to make the s’mores. You can follow THIS RECIPE if your school would like to give this a try.
FAMILY MATH AND LITERACY NIGHT
Parental involvement is really important, and schoolwide events help parents, children, and staff build partnerships in a fun way. Learning is fun, and learning doesn’t just happen at school. Using your schoolwide events to help parents learn ways they can help their kids at home makes a huge difference in children’s success at school.