Quick Guide: How to Effectively Promote Literacy

Quick Guide: How to Effectively Promote Literacy

Did you know that you can effectively promote literacy in your family and your classroom? Yes, YOU! We know that everyone is busy. With family, school, work and community responsibilities, invariably many things are sometimes moved to a “back burner.” Annually, we make plans or resolutions to re-address those back-burner items on our lists and follow through with their completion in the new year.  What about your plans for more and better literacy in the next year?  Have you placed them on a back burner in recent years because of other duties?  Do you just have too much to read or is screen time the mainstay in your life and in your family?

Well, this can be the year to change all that—not only for your own personal literacy, but for your family, school, workplace and your community.  We can show you how with some relatively easy tips to make it happen.  Happy Reading AND Happy New Year to everyone!

Tips to Effectively Promote Literacy in Your Home

1. Read to Them Daily! It’s never too early to read aloud to your child. In fact, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends reading to children in infancy! This special time actually promotes healthy brain development and serves to bond parent and child closer together.

2. Read in Front of Them, too. – If parents “practice what they preach” about the importance of reading, it sends a loud and clear message to their kids that reading is, in fact, valuable.

3. Create Space for Reading and Writing. One way parents can make literacy appealing to children is by providing an inviting place to read and write. A desk with pens, pencils, markers and paper nearby will encourage your little one to hone his writing skills. A small bookshelf filled with books, with a comfy beanbag nearby, will promote more engaged reading.

4. Be Involved with Your Child’s Homework. If your little one is school-age, then be available to help with homework. Children often feel overwhelmed and unsure about their assignments. Your presence can help to alleviate their anxiety as well as remind them that you place a high value on their education.

For MORE Literacy Tips for Your Home, click here.

Tips to Effectively Promote Literacy in Your School

1. Set Aside Time for Independent Reading. Time for reading independently doesn’t just happen. Plan for it by making it a priority in schedules across K-12 classrooms. You may need to get creative by stealing minutes here and there, but find at least 15 minutes a day (20 recommended) for self-selecting, independent reading.

2. Create Literacy-Rich Environments in every K-12 Classroom. A literacy-rich environment – full of print, word walls, books, and reading materials – not only supports educational standards. It also provides a setting that encourages and supports speaking, listening, reading, and writing in a variety of authentic ways – through print & digital media. Finally, make it a priority that every K-12 classroom be an inviting, print-rich environment that supports independent reading and learning, too.

3. Encourage Read Alouds. In the Becoming a Nation of Readers report (1985), experts reported that “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” Read alouds allow teachers to model that reading is a great way to spend time. They also expose students to more complex vocabulary than they might normally hear or read. It’s important to read to older students, as well. Sometimes, reading a more difficult text aloud provides opportunity for rich discussion and enhanced vocabulary development.

4. Create a “Caught Reading” Campaign that features Teachers as Readers. Creating a school-wide reading culture is important to promote reading as a lifestyle. Students need to see their teachers as readers. Create posters of teachers and staff reading their favorite books and display them in hallways throughout the schools. Also, create bookmarks that feature teacher’s favorite book picks to help guide students in selecting books for independent reading.

For MORE Literacy Tips for School, click here.

Tips to Effectively Promote Literacy in Your Workplace

1. Start a Book Basket in Your Office. Place a basket, box or bin in a high traffic area in your office. The mail room, lunch area, or where everyone signs in and out are good places. Books will be easily accessible by any colleague for leisurely reading. Bring a few books from home that you have already read and donate them to your workplace. Everyone can take a book if they promise to bring at least one back to share.

2. Relax and Then Read. Promote literacy through relaxation and sensory-appeal.  For example, you can easily turn your workplace into a stress-relieving space by dimming the lights or adding party or holiday lights. Try using a wax burner or oil diffuser to stimulate the sense of smell (as per office or workplace policies, of course). Play instrumental music to set a restful tone. Bring a rug or pillows to get more comfortable. Finally, make hot tea or cocoa to stimulate your taste buds, too! In other words, help relax the senses. Provide a mental break from the stress of the day. Also, you and your co-workers will notice how energized and relaxed you feel, as well.

3. Create a Book Club in Your Workplace. Get a group of colleagues to commit to read a book that everyone agrees upon and set weekly or monthly expectations for what should be read. Meet over breakfast, lunch, or happy hour to discuss. If time is short, start a slow twitter chat and pose questions to each other regarding the book.

Tips to Effectively Promote Literacy in Your Community

1. Research Literacy Websites to Educate Yourself and Others. Start by researching some of the online resources available to you. Then share them on social media or anywhere else you think they will help, too. Some are comprehensive directories that can help you identify resources in your own community.

2. Volunteer at a Local Literacy Council. Your local literacy council can help adults learn to read, do math, or anything literacy and numeracy related. It can also help children keep up with reading in school. Staff members are trained and reliable. Participate by becoming a volunteer or by explaining the services to someone you know who might benefit from them.

3. Hire a Private Tutor for a Challenged Reader. Give the gift of reading to someone who needs it. It can be very embarrassing for an adult to admit that he or she cannot read or work simple calculations. If the thought of attending adult education classes is challenging, private tutors are always available. A local literacy council or library are some of the best places to find a trained tutor. These tutors respect student privacy and anonymity, too. Also, it’s a great gift for someone who might not otherwise seek help—AND you’ll effectively promote literacy, too!


10 Tips to Promote Literacy at Home by Jennifer Campbell, Red Apple Reading Blog

25 Ways Schools Can Promote Literacy And Independent Reading by TeachThought

Promoting Literacy in the Workplace posted by Alejandra Guzman, High Five Science

5 Ways to Improve Adult Literacy by ThoughtCo.

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