National Council of Teachers of English Logo

INBOX Ideas - Previous Revision

Family and Community Literacy
NCTE INBOX 7-16-13

As we get ready to head back to school, now is a good time to think about how to engage families and the community. The following resources from NCTE and provide more ideas for fostering these relationships and making connections.

Community LiteraciesThe themed issue of Language Arts "Community Literacies" includes articles such as "Schools as Meeting Places: Critical and Inclusive Literacies in Changing Local Environments" and "Create Partnerships, Not Programs," which discuss how partnerships can support literacy and engagement.

"The Family Backpack Project: Responding to Dual-Language Texts through Family Journals," also from Language Arts, shares how 249 low-income, prekindergarten children and their families were provided with opportunities to read and listen to audio recordings of three sets of books in their homes, matched to their home languages. Children and their families responded to an open-ended invitation to draw and write about the books in a family response journal.

Family Message JournalsBursting with the energetic voices of young writers and their families, Family Message Journals: Teaching Writing through Family Involvement follows the development of emergent and beginning writers as they explore the power and joy of written communication. View the lesson plans based on this book written by author Julie Wollman.

NCTE's Becoming Teammates: Teachers and Families as Literacy Partners offers a bold new look at how teachers and families can work together to build family-school relationships that value and respect each other's perspectives on literacy. This book features the voices of parents, teachers, graduate students, and preservice teachers.

Reading and Writing and TeensIn Reading and Writing and Teens: A Parent's Guide to Adolescent Literacy, author Cathy Fleischer, an English professor and mother of teenagers, explains what current research tells us about reading, writing, technology, and standards and testing – and gives specific suggestions for what parents and caregivers can do to help children succeed, both in school and outside the classroom.

"The Family Writing Project: Creating Space for Sustaining Teacher Identity," an article from English Journal, shares a report on the study of family writing projects in an urban school district. Using the concept of "third space," they describe the influence of this family literacy program on teacher practice.

The themed issue of English Leadership Quarterly "Leadership Roles in Family Literacy Projects" covers the topic of family literacy with articles such as "Fostering Literacy: Connecting Families with Schools" and "Building Home and School Literacy Partnerships: A Principal’s Perspective."

Visit's Parent & Afterschool Resources for an array of activities you can recommend to families and caregivers to make connections between literacy learning in and out of the school setting. 




Sign up now for an RSS feed of each week's INBOX Ideas!


Document and Site Resources

Share This On:

Page Tools:

Join NCTE Today


Copyright © 1998-2018 National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved in all media.

1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, Illinois 61801-1096 Phone: 217-328-3870 or 877-369-6283

Looking for information? Browse our FAQs, tour our sitemap and store sitemap, or contact NCTE

Read our Privacy Policy Statement and Links Policy. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use

Visit us on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linked In
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

Document Owner

Organization Name

NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts