Building Relationships with Families Through the School Library Heather Erlandson Bloomfield Early Childhood Center 2007
Heather Erlandson • Level III Teacher-Librarian • Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction--Reading • Educator for 13 years • School Librarian for 6 years • Experience with Early Childhood, 3rd grade, Middle School, High School
Bloomfield, New Mexico • Bloomfield population is approximately 6400, and is bordered to the south by the Navajo reservation. • Median household income is approximately $34,700. • Nearest metropolitan city is Albuquerque, which is 175 miles away • Bloomfield Early Childhood Center is a public school that serves approximately 325 preschool and kindergarten children • 35% Hispanic, 34% Caucasian, 30% Navajo, and 1% African-American • 71% free and reduced lunch • 13.5% of kindergarten students are English Language Learners
Involving Families • Leapin’ LeapPads! • Family Nights • Bookfairs • Special Events • Book Giveaways • Volunteers • Reading Contests
Leapin’ LeapPads • Grant funded by Eastern New Mexico Center for Teaching Excellence • Research-Based • Parent Workshops • Low cost/management • Research shows results
Leapin’ LeapPads (cont.) • Build positive relationships between school and families • Encourage parent involvement in student learning • Improve students’ letter fluency skills • Transition students between audio/visual and print • Address New Mexico Standard: Language Arts: Reading and Listening for Comprehension, Content Standard I: Students will apply strategies and skills to comprehend information that is read, heard, and viewed.
Leapin’ LeapPads (cont.) Based on Research • ELL students • Learning Disabled Students • Student Success • Teacher Involvement • Socioeconomic Levels • Migrant Children • Reading Research • Bilingual/Illiterate Families
Leapin’ LeapPads! (cont.) • One-time, 45 minute workshop • Offered several times • Bilingual workshops • How the Leap Pad works • What the books do • Working with the child • How the program works • LeapPad Titles • Workshop evaluation
Leapin’ LeapPads Materials • $700 (funded by Eastern New Mexico University’s Center for Teaching Excellence) in the 2004-2005 school year bought: 7 LeapPads for circulation, 7 backpacks, 3 for training, 37 titles, batteries, and sticky note pads (for identification of borrower). Additional Leap Pad books were acquired through the use of Title funds and through Leapfrog Schoolhouse donations. • $3000 in the 2005-2006 school year increased LeapPads and backpacks to 30 for circulation, and titles to over 140, purchased replacement books, LeapPads, and backpacks, replenished our supply of batteries and paid for Spanish translation of 6 documents. • Activity funds in the 2006-2007 school year were used for replenishment of LeapPads and books.
Leapin’ LeapPads (cont.) 2006-2007 totals through 2/1/07
Leapin’ LeapPads (cont.) • Most participants used the program: • to have free access to the materials • to help their child learn to read • because their children had requested that the parents become involved in the program. • Families used the Leap Pad materials to: • read • play games • reinforce sharing skills • interact with siblings • teach their child Spanish • learn English with their child • on trips • spend quality time with their child. • Over 200 families members through the 2005-2006 school year were reported to have used the LeapPad materials in addition to the students.
Leapin’ LeapPads (cont.) Participants were surveyed for their feedback on the program. Only 8 participants responded, however. Of those participants, • 3 felt the program made them more comfortable with their child’s school • 3 felt they were as comfortable as they would have been anyway • 2 declined to answer this question • 5 respondents felt more able to help their child with learning • 3 declined to answer this question. • 4 respondents commented that this is a great program, and that they hope to use it again.
Family Nights • Literacy • Reading • Writing • Oral Tradition • Math • Science • Story • Carnival • World
School Libraries add: Resources Modeling an enjoyment of reading An additional possible relationship for families Try a Formula: Craft Activity, experiment, and/or game Snack to make Story to tell Family Nights (cont.)
More than just a fundraiser! Volunteers Activities to make families feel welcome Encouraging literacy skills at home Bookfairs
Another opportunity to engage and build relationships! Readathon Young Children’s Day Summer Fair Spring Carnival Young Authors’ Fair Community Extended family Special Events
Special Events (cont.) • Plan, plan, plan! • Then promote, promote, promote! • Whole staff input with leadership • Personal invitations • Parents/family members • Community businesses • Community service providers • Recognition
Book Giveaways Parent involvement is not always visible to teachers. • Getting kids to school for some is HUGE! • Checking notes and homework • Discussing the day with their children • Reading aloud totheir kids
Cheap Books! Scholastic Thrift Stores Garage Sales Book Drives Make it Special! Guest Readers Special Events Bookmarks Book Giveaways (cont.)
Volunteers • Personal invitations • Ongoing task lists • Plenty of recognition • Be prepared to handle siblings • Don’t forget school policies!
Reading Contests • What is your goal? • How will it involve family members? • How will you keep it manageable for you, the family, and the student? • What prizes will you offer? • What does the student need to do? • How will the winner win? • How will you communicate all of this clearly?
Reading Contests (cont.) • Genre Tic Tac Toe • Passport to Reading • Land of Enchantment • Design a Cover • Tree Ornament • Author Cards • Scavenger Hunt • Key Word in Titles • Mystery Diorama • Baskets for Books • Pull Yourselves Together!
District/School newsletter PSA’s Notes and flyers Phone Business Cards Communicate!