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Ideas for Teachers to get Parents and Students Involved in Reading

Under the terms of your grant from Page Ahead, you agree to distribute books in a creative, festive way as well as to involve families. Here are some suggestions.

Local Author Book Talks

The Seattle area is home to many wonderful authors and illustrators. Invite a local author to come and speak to the students and read from his or her latest book. One program had Jean Davies Okimoto read and discuss her book, No Dear, Not Here. One possible way to contact local authors and illustrators is through the website for Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators, Washington Region.

Field Trip to the Public Library

Have a librarian provide a tour of the library focusing on resources available to the students and parents. Educate the students and parents on how to take proper care of the books and provide information on how to create a library at home. Children are then allowed to choose a book to begin their personal libraries.

Home Visits

Many programs hold book distributions during home visits. This provides a one-on-one opportunity to reinforce the values of a book and generate excitement in the parents and children. This visit also allows an opportunity to model for parents appropriate ways to read to children.

Parents and Children Read-In

Invite parents and children on-site for book distribution. Provide throw pillows and bean bag chairs so families can relax and read together while selecting a new book to take home.

Book Swaps

Combine a new book distribution event party with a book swap. Encourage families to bring books from home that they have outgrown or are willing to swap. Families will be able to take home a new book and can trade for used books as well.

Storytelling Events

Have storytelling for parents and students centered around a holiday or thematic unit. Storytelling is a great way to model for parents the power of a story and give suggestions on ways to read to children. Have local personalities come to your site to share their favorite books with the students. Ask people in your community to share personal stories about how books and reading have touched their lives.