Parents, teachers, caregivers, and members of the community must recognize the important role they can play in helping children learn to read. The research shows that what families do makes a difference, what teachers do makes a difference, and what community programs do makes a difference... It is our shared responsibility.
Top 10 Things You Should Know About Reading
About the program
The Dallas Public Library's Emergent Readers program started as a pilot program at ten elementary schools in fall 2011 thanks to the generous support of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. In 2012, the program received a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and Texas State Library and Archives Commission to expand the program to reach 600 parents and children at twenty elementary schools.
Emergent Readers parent workshops provide parents of struggling readers in grades K-3 with information on how a child learns to read, tips on targeting the problem at home and basic steps toward improving their child’s reading abilities. The Dallas Public Library works closely with Dallas ISD elementary school librarians, teachers, counselors and community liaisons to identify at-risk students and provide this information to parents throughout the city of Dallas.
4 Steps to Reading with a Struggling Reader
- Step 1 Use leveled readers like the “Step Into Reading” or “Scholastic Leveled Readers” series. Ask your librarian for help finding leveled readers at your library.
- Step 2 Look at the pictures and the book title and ask your child to make a prediction about what the story will be about.
- Step 3 Work together to read the story aloud, sound out words and learn new words.
- Step 4 Ask questions to confirm understanding and make connections to reinforce learning.
Tips for Parents
- Make it a Habit - Choose a good, regular time to read aloud together.
- Choose Interesting Books – Make sure to choose books with that are about things your child likes.
- Repeat, Repeat, Repeat - It’s good to read the same book multiple times, especially if it’s one of your child’s favorites.
- Point to the Words – Either you or your child should point to each word as it is read.
- Interruptions are OK – It is ok to interrupt the story to make a connection to something in your child’s life or answer your child’s questions.
- The 3-Second Rule – When your child struggles with a word, wait 3 seconds then encourage child to sound out the word and then provide the word to him.
- Know When to Stop – If your child is frustrated with a book, pick an easier book and come back to that one later or you can finish reading the book out loud.
- Applaud your Child - Struggling with reading can cause emotional distress and put pressure on a child, so make sure to tell your child what a great job s/he did.
- Make it a Conversation – Use Who, What, Where, When, Why and How questions to test your child’s comprehension. Keep the following in mind:
- Wait 5 seconds for your child to respond to a question;
- Encourage your child to go back through book to find the answer;
- Make a conversation out of it and provide the answer when necessary;
- Make it fun – act like you forgot and need their help to answer your questions.
This program is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and Texas State Library and Archives Commission. (2013)