Parents and close caregivers are the key to helping children unlock the magic of books. On average, children from low income homes are exposed to 25 hours of one-on-one reading, compared to 1,000 to 1,700 average hours for a middle income child. (McQuillan, J. (1998). The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions. Heinemann.)
Many parents grew up without being read to themselves. They may feel they are doing it wrong, or their children aren’t going to pay attention. They don’t realize how the simple act of reading to their children will impact their future. Parent BookClubs add value to the Reading Is Fundamental Books for Ownership Program by giving parents instruction on how to use books at home with their pre-K and Kindergarten age children.
To help a child establish good literacy habits parents must establish these habits themselves. The practice of specific behaviors during joint book reading promotes future academic success. (Cochran-Smith, 1984; Flood, 1977; Morrow, 1983).
Parent BookClubs meet once a week for six weeks. Parents of pre-K and Kindergarten students receive read-aloud instruction and practice, a free book each week, and take-home materials to help them extend their child’s interest and understanding of each story.
Last year, 276 parents at 12 schools participated in a BookClub and took home 1014 books. A six-month follow-up survey of parents who participated in fall BookClubs was very encouraging: