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NCFL Family Literacy Presentation

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Presentation from the 2008 NCFL National Conference on Family Literacy

Presentation from the 2008 NCFL National Conference on Family Literacy

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  • 1. Family Literacy & the Achievement Gap National Conference on Family Literacy April 1, 2008 Louisville, Kentucky Dorothy S. Strickland, Ph.D. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • 2. The Nation's Report Card: Reading 2007 National Center for Education Statistics
    • Some Overall Results —
    • White, Black, and Hispanic students in grades 4 and 8 made modest gains
    • Female students outperformed males
    • Some student groups made gains in both grades 4 & 8; however, these gains were not accompanied by significant closing of racial ethnic and gender gaps.
    • Some modest gains have been met. Yet, the gaps remain challenging and persistent.
  • 3. What Is Known About Children’s Literacy Development
    • Literacy learning starts early and persists throughout life
    • Oral language is the foundation for literacy development
    • Children’s experiences with the world and with print greatly influence their ability to comprehend what they read
    • Children are active participants in the processes of learning language and literacy
  • 4. Children’s Literacy Development (cont.)
    • Storybook reading, particularly family storybook reading, has a special role in young children’s literacy development
    • Literacy learning is nurtured by responsive adults.
    • Literacy learning is deeply rooted in a child’s cultural milieu and family communications patterns.
  • 5. The Role of Family Literacy in the Achievement Gap
    • Home Literacy Environment is highly correlated with —
    • Higher student achievement
    • Better student attendance
    • Positive attitudes toward education (both parents & students)
  • 6. The Early Years Family Literacy Programs and the Literacy Skills of Young Children
    • Research Evidence:
    • A meta-analysis of the impacts of effective home and parent programs on the literacy skills of young children indicate that these interventions improve oral language and general cognitive development —
    • — both are key contributors to literacy achievement
    • National Early Literacy Panel, 2008
  • 7. Meaningful Differences Averages for measures of parent and child language and test scores Families 13 Professional 23 Working-class 6 Welfare____ Measures and scores Parent Child Parent Child Parent Child Pretest score 41 31 14 IQ score at age 3 117 107 79 Recorded vocabulary size 2,176 1,116 1,498 749 974 525 Average utterances per hour 487 310 301 223 176 168 Average different words per hour 382 297 251 216 167 149 (Hart & Risley, 1995)
  • 8. The Early Childhood Years Impact
    • “ Taken together, we estimate that at least half of the black-white gap that exists at the end of twelfth grade can be attributed to the gap that already existed at the beginning of first grade. The remainder of the gap seems to emerge during the school years.”
    • from M. Phillips, et al (2000) analyzed several achievement gap related surveys in an attempt to describe age related changes in the Black-White gap as children move through the grades (NCES)
  • 9. The Adolescent Years Challenges for Learners & Teachers
    • School Structures: Departmentalization
    • Shift from self-contained to departmental classes
    • Shift in role of the teacher
    • Subject-matter specialists
    • Responsibility for large numbers of students
    • Unlikely to differentiate instruction
      • These factors affect learning for ALL students.
      • May be exacerbated for children at risk for failure.
  • 10. The Adolescent Years Key Areas for Home/School Collaboration
    • During the adolescent years, Family Literacy Programs work best when Home and School share a common understanding and vision for —
      • Supporting motivation and engagement
      • Understanding and meeting instructional demands
      • Providing quality intervention
  • 11. Some Characteristics of Effective Family Literacy Programs
    • Focus on ongoing family literacy practices
    • Promote parents’ literacy skills
    • Equip parents to support children’s literacy development
    • Respect participants’ languages and cultures
    • Actively involve participants in overall planning and conduct of meetings, etc.
    • Make accommodations for logistical needs (scheduling, childcare, location, etc.)
    • Focus on child and family “well being”
  • 12. The Power & Potential of Family Literacy Programs
    • Family Literacy:
    • Responds to a growing awareness of the need for schools, families, and communities to work together
    • Is increasingly valued as a key component of educational programs
    • Is an important part of a growing body of research designed to inform & improve literacy education policy and practice
    • Family Literacy Programs play a key role in closing the achievement gap.
  • 13. Literacy Now
    • Go to NCFL’s blog to share your thoughts and ideas about closing the achievement gap:
    • www.famlit.org/blog

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