An Evaluation of Family Literacy Bags as a Vehicle for Parent Involvement

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Early childhood scholars concur that books and interactive reading between adults and children strongly support children’s reading achievement. Furthermore, they argue for the importance of involving families in their children’s education. The Family Literacy Bags (FLB) project described and evaluated here, is a parent involvement and education innovation designed to engage children and their families in reading books at home. To meet the diversity of family needs, some of the FLB contained materials in both Spanish and English. Findings from this inquiry conducted in four primarily rural, middle class school districts in the west, suggest that the FLB project encouraged home book reading in families. Furthermore, parents learned effective ways to read and discuss books with their children, new information about availability of various books, and information about their children’s developing language skills. Children demonstrated an initial and sustained interest in the FLB project. Suggestions for further research and parent education are discussed.