Every year our Adult Literacy Program students learn to read children’s books in a fun, interactive way to boost family literacy practices at home. A couple classes also get the chance to read to University Settlement day care classes (see the video above). Adult Literacy Program students specifically learn before, during, and after reading strategies that they can use at home in order to make reading a meaningful, exciting family activity. Here are a few:
BEFORE READING STRATEGIES:
Talk about the title, author, and illustrator.
Ask questions about the cover.
Talk about the pictures on the cover.
Have children make predictions about what they think the book is going to be about.
DURING READING STRATEGIES:
Change your voice and use body language.
Point at the words as you read.
Ask more questions to check comprehension and build on children’s prior knowledge.
Ask questions about the pictures and make more predictions.
Have children repeat after you.
AFTER READING STRATEGIES:
Review important vocabulary.
Have children summarize/retell the story.
Ask more questions connected to children’s own experiences.
Have children play a game or create art based on the topic of the book.
Last Thursday, one of our Adult Literacy Program students, Nian Ci He, spoke at a Family Literacy Forum sponsored by United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) at Educational Alliance’s Manny Cantor Center. She spoke about how her English classes have helped her make the most of her life in New York and they’ve also helped her become more involved in her daughter’s education. After speaking, Nian Ci also took part in a group discussion with other adult education students and fielded questions from the audience. She did a great job!
UNH, by the way, has begun a campaign to increase awareness about the importance of family literacy. Family literacy programs are designed to involve a whole family in their collective educational success. By engaging both children and their parents (or other adult family caregivers) in a collaborative and mutually reinforcing learning process, families are better equipped to gain the skills they need to succeed.
While I know I have the reputation as the stern principal, one of our student’s six-year-old daughter, who I had met once on a train, wrote me a note and asked could I help her with a project. Apparently they had read the “Flat Stanley” book and the teacher and students in her class wanted to focus on transportation and infrastructure. During my weekend, I did my outline, topics, photos and wrote my dialogue and on Monday cut everything and my secretary and I put it together. Please enjoy enjoy our story of “Flat Keira’s” visit to Newark, New Jersey.
This spring in the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program we learned how to read books to children – and not just read, but how to ask interesting questions and make reading fun. Several of our students got the chance to read to actual children in the University Settlement Early Childhood Day Care classes. Watch the video above to see how it went!