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getting parents to read


Junior Member
After a long time abroad, I'm going to teach in my home area, in a primary school where students come from 'very socially and culturally deprieved environment' ( in the principal's words). I'll probably teach first grade and I thought I have to get parents to read if I want them to be able to help their kids. I won't be able to visit the school or the area before August but I need to plan and prepare long in advance... Anyway, I'm trying to figure out a few ways I could get parents to read. I thought I could have an 'open reading morning' in my class on a regular basis - still need to check if I'm allowed to. I also thought I could start a book group for adults one evening a week or so. I don't want to come as the 'know-it-all, I'm going to show you what to do' but I'd really like to try my best to get these parents involved. From what the principal told me, not much is happening in the school.
Any ideas? Does a book group sound like a good idea to you? Should I start with easy books, kids books, or adult broad public books? I still have a few connections in the area so I can probably get sponsors to donate books.
Any comments would really help me...


Food, too

I think that you have a great idea. I, too, work in a low SES school. We get very low turn outs for parents unless one of two things happen-FOOD or KID PERFORMANCE. Since you are thinking of morning time for your open reading class, I would advertise coffee and donuts for the parents. Local Bagel shops and donut shops give us free food all the time since they cannot sell day-old products-but they taste just fine.
I would start out with kid books, and see if their is an interest for adult books. The adults may be intimidated if they have never been part of a book club before. Good luck!


Junior Member

Yes, food is a great incentive for parents to come... Sad if you think about it but worth trying for kids'sake. Thanks for the idea!


Senior Member
Get your team invloved!

Maybe also invite your team or other staff to participate. They should be familiar with the community and probably have the same feelings. This will be a huge undertaking and would probably benefit many people. We also do a fmaily learning night which we are looking to extend into providing a few workshops for the parents on how to best help thier kids at home. Good luck with this!

K/1 Teacher

Full Member
mystery reader

Once a week there is a mystery reader in my classroom. This person comes in to do the read aloud but nobody (except me) knows who it is until they show up. The parents sign up to be the reader and I've also had other school staff do it when no parents are available. This gives the parents a chance to be in the classroom, and to choose a children's book to read to the class.

I also used to work at a school where each friday morning we had something called "Family Reading". For the first 30 minutes of the school day parents were invited in to spend time reading with the kids. Siblings could also go to siblings classrooms. It was a time spent on social reading in small groups. It was nice but parents needed to really be encouraged to actually come, otherwise it ended up being the same 2-3 parents each week.