Why? According to Brandon Hubbard-Heitz, director of literacy and student strategies, there’s a pretty tight correlation between the number of books in a household, and kids’ future literacy. He hopes this program gets books directly to students, encouraging those educational values outside of the classroom.
Family Reads is currently in its pilot stage — focused on testing for proof points, and assessing sustainability of the program going county-wide. Here’s a peek into this stage.
Soddy Elementary School will serve as the program’s first activation site. Chosen for its strong home-school partnerships + because it doesn’t yet have a publicly-funded library system, students and families will be given access to books at home.
The school will receive 550 books each quarter. The first installment arrived in November, with the next coming in January. Alongside each book, families get an activity sheet sent home to help bridge the learning gap.
Think: Working on phonics, practicing decoding + word skills, and more.
“It gives families a window into what their kids are learning, whether it’s word recognition or topics and units they’re learning,” said Hubbard-Heitz.
To get an understanding of the program’s progress, literacy will be monitored through:
- State + school assessments to see if students are reading and writing on grade-level standards
- Feedback from students + families on how Family Reads is working for them
“We want to see students with a deeper love of reading. We want to see families feel more supported,” Hubbard-Heitz said. “We want to foster more authentic connections between school and home as well as give teachers more outlets to support student learning.”