A Model To Improve Reading Proficiency Through Increased Involvement of African American Parents

Abstract: Limited reading proficiencyamong elementary childrenis prevalent across all racial groups. Lower performance in reading is generally more pronounced for African American children. Studies indicate that parents who assist in reading assignments have improved children’s reading proficiency. Based on this, a study was implemented in anelementary school with a predominantly African American population. With the support of the school administrators and teachers, a participatory model to increase and improve parental involvement in reading was validated.Focus group interviews were organized to identify what parents needed in order to provide effective support to their children in reading. Parents identified, as a major barrier, their inadequate preparation to assist children in reading. Focus group findings guided the school to engage parents in the reading activities of their children.

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Authors: Sheila Saravanabhavan

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