Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Families have a strong and lasting influence on their children's emerging literacy and success in school. Families can provide print-rich environments for their children by acting as role models of readers, reading aloud to their children while interacting with the print and illustrations, providing expressive activities and taking them to the library. By collaborating with the school, the family can offer much support to their children as they strive to learn to read. A home-school partnership project for first grade was developed to extend opportunities for children to engage in reading activity at home and to engage their parents' support of their school experiences. Ways for parents to collaborate with the school were introduced at the open house, parent meetings and conferences, and by school newsletters. As a result, children spent more time at home in reading and related activities, and many more children visited the library. Many parents engaged in an ongoing correspondence with school to share their family literature activities. Several parents offered to volunteer in the classroom. Educators today are faced with many challenges in nurturing children's literacy. A partnership with the home can greatly impact schools' literacy programs. Morrow and Paratore (1993) state, "It is clear that if we do not attend to the home when we discuss literacy development, whatever strategies we carry out in school will never be completely successful" (p. 194). In the past, young children were not expected to read and write before first grade. A new view of literacy prevails today: The beginnings of literacy are apparent at an early age. Because of this view of literacy, schools need to become part of a collaborative endeavor with parents to foster children's literacy (Morrow, 1989). Children's emerging literacy depends to a great extent on the literacy environment at home. In order for children to be successful in developing literacy, families need to be aware of the importance of their role in this process (Strickland & Morrow, 1989). Morrow and Paratore (1993) suggest that a rich literacy environment in the home should include shared reading, reading aloud, availability of print materials, and promotion of positive attitudes towards literacy.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Jeanne McLain Harms


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