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Home-to-School Connections:

Communities Matter

A bumper sticker states, "If you can read this, thank a teacher." But the latest research indicates the situation is more complex.

Who plays the critical roles in preparing a successful reader?

First, as an essential starting point, families can maximize the benefits of parent-child communication from birth.

Second, caregivers and preschool teachers can be given training and resources to stimulate emergent literacy.

Third, children deserve well-trained teachers who understand reading development, who can pinpoint problems, and who can address them effectively, according to the National Research Council.

But the consequential task of ensuring that children learn to read should not be left to families, providers, and teachers alone.

Entire communities can rally around their children for literacy success. This means more partnerships between schools and communities. It means greater engagement of private enterprises, colleges, universities, and cultural groups. It means more volunteers and more opportunities for legions of mentors and tutors.

Americans from all walks of life must step forward to win the war against illiteracy. We as a nation have unlocked the secrets to better reading. If we start early and finish strong, we can help every child become a good reader.

The momentum is with us for a breakthrough in student reading achievement.The only question that remains is whether we are commited to literacy for all children.

Source: U.S. Department of Education.

Communities Matter