You are the biggest influence in your child’s life; you are your child’s first and best teacher. Even teenagers in the midst of rebellion seek your approval and love.

The most useful and nurturing action you can take to ensure your child’s success in his or her formal schooling is to create a home environment that encourages and supports reading and writing. Creating a family literacy foundation is both simple and economical: read aloud to your child from the day they are born; sing and share family stories; turn off the TV and computers and share family conversations with your child; and take your child to your neighborhood public library weekly, borrowing books that interest you and your child. Taking these actions will not only help your children succeed in school, you will also be giving them the tools they need to become successful later in their personal and professional lives.

We have created the Parent and Guardian Handbook to help you encourage your children to become lifelong readers and writers.  Click on a category or scroll down to discover a wide variety of ideas and activities that will help you expand your children’s language experience and expression.

General Interest
Linking Literacy to Everyday Tasks
Summertime Fun
Suggested Reading for Kids and Families

General Interest

Why Do Kids Need Books?

Parent & Guardian Literacy Basics

Parent Tips for Encouraging Reading and Literacy Development

Kids See, Kids Do! Become a Literacy Role Model

Reading and Writing: An Open Letter to Parents by Dean Schneider and Robin Smith

Back to School: Reducing the Stress!

Homework: A Parent’s Guide

A Literacy Field Trip

How to Bridge the Cultural Experience Gap

Family Date Night at the Library: An Affordable Night Out

Holiday Dinners: Avoiding the Kids’ Table Syndrome

The Holidays! A Perfect Time to Share Family Stories


How to Raise a Reader” by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo in the New York Times.

Helping Your First Grader Learn to Read

Use Technology to Read to Your Child, Even When You’re Far From Home

Creating a Home Library for Your Family on a Limited Budget

Tips from a Book Critic for Selecting Great Books

Read the Book First! How to Use Digital Media to Enhance Your Child’s Reading Experience

“Read to Our Own Heroes” Helps School Children Celebrate Local Heroes

Graphic Novels and Comic Book Resources

On FAQs from Real Parents and Teachers About Reading


Creating a Home Atmosphere that Supports Great Writing

Helping Your Teens and Tweens Edit Their Writing

Great Research and Reference Sources for Tweens and Teens

Linking Literacy to Every Day Tasks

Cooking with Cookbooks: Teaching Your Child Basic Cooking and Kitchen Safety

Literacy Survival Kit: Pre-Teens and Prescription Drug Labels

Growing a Spring Garden: Cultivating Plants and Your Child’s Literacy Skills

Summertime Fun

Summer Adventures Treasure Chest

Unplug on Your Summer Vacation:
Give Your Kids “Anti-Boredom” Travel Backpacks

Getting Your Teens and Tweens Reading this Summer!

Let’s Put On A Show and Other Summer Amusements:
Great Ways to Get Your Kids Writing in the Summer and Liking It!

Summer Travel Entertainment: Great Audiobooks for Kids

Suggested Reading for Kids and Families

American Heroes: Folklore Legends

American Heroes: Historic and Cultural Heroes

Great Books for Boys

Dog Day Reading

Home Run Reading: Baseball and Books for Kids

Discovering Fantasy Beyond Harry Potter

Gift Book Suggestions for Your Family

Great Reads Author and Illustrator Recommendations