Family Reading

Family Reading Activities & Resources

Turn your advocacy for early literacy into family events and activities that celebrate reading while also sharing evidence-based practices for reading instruction, intervention, and assessments.

Virginia PTA is excited to partner with the National Center on Improving Literacy (NCIL) to provide evidence-based literacy resources for PTA Family Reading Night events.  NCIL is a federally funded national center whose mission is to expand access to, and use of, evidence-based approaches to screen, identify, and teach students with literacy-related disabilities, including dyslexia.  

WHAT IS EVIDENCE-BASED READING INSTRUCTION?

Research shows that explicit, systematic instruction in the following five essential components of early reading instruction are key to reading success:

  1. Phonemic awareness: Understanding that words are composed of sounds
  2. Phonics: Students learn to break-down, decode or sound-out a word
  3. Fluency: Ability to read accurately, rapidly, and with expression
  4. Vocabulary: The range of words a student understands orally and in print
  5. Reading Comprehension: Process of determining meaning of the text

Virginia PTA successfully advocated for the 2022 Virginia Literacy Act, which transforms how reading is taught in Virginia. Starting with the 2024-25 school year, Virginia’s schools must use evidence-based reading instruction, intervention, and assessment practices for grades K-3 and staff one reading specialist per 550 K-3 students. During the 2023 General Assembly Session, Virginia PTA advocated for an expansion of the Virginia Literacy Act to support 4th-8th graders. Learn more about Literacy Advocacy. 

Family Reading Night Toolkit

ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILY READING & LITERACY EVENTS (#VAPTAReads)

  • Host Bedtime Stories or a Reading Camp-Out in the gym
    • Select guest readers (Local Celebrity, Author, Teachers/Parents)
    • Encourage readers to dress as a character from their book
    • Encourage families to wear pajamas
  • Reading Bingo Print & give a prize for a completed card
  • Set-up an Illustrator’s corner for students to illustrate a book-scene
  • Set-up a Literacy Escape Room
  • Host a StoryWalk: Print pages from a book and mount them to yard-signs placed around the school campus
  • Host a Literacy Scavenger Hunt
  • Participate in Virginia PTA Spoken Word Contest or host your own live event.
  • Virginia PTA Read-Aloud: Record yourself or student reading a book and share it on Read Across America Day with Virginia PTA. Here’s a virtual background you can use.
  • National PTA Family Reading Event Toolkit

YEAR-ROUND ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR PTA

  • Share literacy resources or tips in your PTA newsletter
  • Invite the local library to a PTA event to help students and caregivers register for a library card
  • Share your local Library’s Summer Reading Events
  • Host a Community Book Swap
  • Start a Little Free Library or Book Swap Box in your school

EDUCATIONAL FLYERS TO PRINT & SHARE WITH FAMILIES

These infographics can be printed and shared with you school community to increase family knowledge or start a conversation.

EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS TO SHARE WITH FAMILIES

  1. Phonological Awareness – Rhyming
  2. Phonological Awareness – Syllables
  3. Phonological Awareness – Beginning, Middle, End
  4. Phonics (K-1st) – Letters & Sounds
  5. Phonics (K-1st) Writing the Letters
  6. Phonics – Digraphs & Blends
  7. Phonics (K-1st) – Long & Short Vowels
  8. Phonics (2nd-3rd) – Two Syllable Words
  9. Phonics (2nd-3rd) – Contractions
  10. Phonics (2nd-3rd) – Prefixes & Suffixes
  11. Phonics (K-3rd) – Sight Words
  12. Fluency – Smooth Reading

LITERACY WORKSHOPS YOUR PTA CAN HOST

Supporting Your Child’s Literacy Development Workshop Series
This toolkit provides a facilitators guide, a powerpoint presentation and a pdf with presenter notes
Each workshop lasts approximately one and a half hours

PRESCHOOL
1. Talking with Your Child and Helping Your Child with Speech Sounds and Letters
2. Talking About Books and Reading with Your Child
3. Asking Questions When Talking About or Reading Books

ELEMENTARY
1. Reading With Your Child and Helping Your Child Understand What is Read
2. Helping Your Child with Speech Sounds and Sounding Out Words
3. Reading Together to Develop Fluency

ADOLESCENT
1. Reading with Your Child and Engaging in Conversations
2. Offering a Literacy-rich Environment and Modeling Reading and Writing Behaviors
3. Being a Media Mentor and Motivating Your Child to Read

FAMILY RESOURCES:

Notable Dates

  • Sept 8 is International Literacy Day
  • October is Dyslexia Awareness Month
  • March is National Reading Month
  • March 2 – Read Across America Day
  • April is National Poetry Month