Ready to Read: Literacy Resources for Families
Literacy is the single most important skill required for educational, career, and lifetime success. Yet, two-thirds of our Black and Latino students have not been meeting grade level proficiency in reading. In addition, students who change schools often fall behind when their new school uses a different curriculum. To close these gaps, New York City Public Schools launched NYC Reads earlier this year.
Through NYC Reads, all of our our early education and elementary classrooms will adopt one of several literacy curriculum options over the next two years. These curricula are based in the “science of reading,” a broad collection of research that is focused on helping children become better readers and writers through evidence-based practice.
The universal curriculum also helps make the transition between schools smoother for students, and allows for better coordination of professional support for our teachers, to ensure that they are successful in implementing these lessons.
There are many ways that families can help their students continue to build their literacy skills outside of the classroom, too.
- Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt: make a list of things your child can find in your neighborhood, like street signs or names of shops. For a twist, have your child try to find one thing to represent every letter of the alphabet.
- Family Book Club: choose a book to read together each month, followed by discussions and activities related to the book’s themes.
- Phonics “20 Questions:” choose a secret word and have your child ask questions that will help them guess what it is (i.e., Does the word begin with the letter “T?” Does the word end in a vowel?”)
- Language and Vocabulary Games: flashcards, word searches, and even word association games like Heads Up can be great ways to make learning more fun.
- One Sentence Stories: to help build sequencing skills, work together as a family to write a story, one sentence at a time. You can start out by retelling a story you all know, or coming up with a new one of your own! A helpful tip is to use sequencing words like “first,” “next,” and “finally.” When you finish your story, recap the characters and plot together to help build reflection and comprehension skills. Children can also practice writing it down together, and even add illustrations to create your own picture book.
Even more resources are available on our Literacy webpage, where we also have links to book lists that will inspire your at-home reading. You can access many of these titles through the New York Public Library, or through Sora, NYC Public Schools digital library.