Columbia University journalism professor Dale Russakoff recently wrote this article, which was syndicated to many newspapers including our own News Journal.
In the article, Russakoff discusses the progress that has been made in promoting one of the most vital factors in a child’s educational accomplishment- actively engaged parents or other significant adults- including the current Administration’s ongoing review of Even Start and other programs which support or promote family involvement in education.
Public libraries can be key contributors in supporting not only children’s literacy and learning through programs such as Summer Library Reading, or What’s The Big Idea? but also through formal and informal learning programs that support parental educational accomplishments. Many libraries make adult literacy a programming priority, as well as offering computer training, access to test prep material both in print and online, and simply by providing a safe accessible place for children and parents to explore and learn together.
For parents who are interested in starting an informal lifelong learning connection with their children, State Librarian Annie Norman recommends trying out the question journal, The Curious Life of Me, available at our Learning Journeys website.
Parents can print just a few pages or the whole journal as needed. The Delaware Division of Libraries staff are testing the new journal at libraries and other venues throughout the state, and Even Start instructors in Delaware programs have also found it to be a useful tool for helping parents to engage with their children’s own learning journeys. Here are some comments from a recent workshop:
“The parents found it astounding that they could write down the questions and concerns that their small children had and were excited to know that they could go back and show them at a later age how inquisitive they were as a young toddler/preschooler.”
“The students are excited about creating memories by recording these priceless questions and responses.”
“…it is a great way to ensure that parents are involved and taking part in their child’s learning explorations.”
If you decide to try it out, please let us know how it goes! Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.