Once a month Evelyn hosts a Family Literacy Day in her classroom where parents are invited to participate in storytelling with the children. Parents take turns sharing a story in their home language and then the teachers lead an extension activity related to the book or story shared. Word spread about Evelyn’s idea which became so popular that other Kai Ming preschool classrooms have also begun incorporating Family Literacy Day events at their centers. One of our community partners, Raising-A-Reader which is a local non-profit that helps families of children aged 0-8 develop, practice and maintain home-based literacy routines critical for school success, also noticed how effective this collaboration with parents had become to the families at Kai Ming Head Start. As a result, teacher Evelyn was featured as a Raising-A-Reader Superstar! We know that the research is clear — when families are involved, children’s academic achievement improves. Congratulations to Evelyn’s excellent example of sharing the importance of early literacy and parent engagement in the classroom!

(Raising A Reader February Educator Newsletter, 2012)

Words From Evelyn

“Working with children is truly my passion. I feel accomplished whenever I am able to be part of the growth and development of each child, scaffolding their learning and seeing them thriving. I believe I can assist children even further when working collaboratively with parents or other significant adults who care about children and would like to contribute to their development. I recognize the influential roles families play in children’s lives, and this was the reason I started the Family Literacy Day, using it as a pathway to bridge school and home, and an open door  to collaboration with families.

From our first Family Literacy Day until now, more and more parents have been getting involved in the monthly activities and contributing in a variety of ways. We can see that families believe that these activities promote children’s learning across many different aspects and we are grateful that they highly support us in the process.

In my ongoing teaching practice, I will continue to make efforts towards promoting engagement, as well as extending and improving these meaningful activities. Furthermore, I would like to advocate among the field of early childhood education for activities such as Family Literacy Day, and share insights and strategies with other teachers. It is my hope that what I have been doing and learning through the Family Literacy Day events, could serve as a useful resource for other educators.

done for the Family Literacy Day can serve as a useful resource for other educators.