Healthy partnerships between schools and families are a strong predictor of student success.
- How can schools best initiate that partnership?
- How is that partnership sustained over school breaks?
- How can we access our positive family relationships in order to support our students’ literacy journey?
Elmdale School students were supported through the summer break in an innovative way. Families were given the opportunity to be part of a Summer Reading Club. Twice per week, a staff member met with students in the park or at their homes to share the joy of reading. Parents and children greeted staff with enthusiasm and cheerful smiles! Pre-school siblings were often eager to join in as well. When it was time for the staff member to leave, the children would often beg for another story! Parents frequently remarked about how fortunate they felt to have staff invest time reading with their children.
Summer reading was shared within parks, on trampolines, under play structures, among trees, and even in the shade of front porches. Many times a pet or two were included in the fun! What a wonderful opportunity to model reading strategies, discuss stories, and develop oral language. Dr. Gordon Neufeld recommends bridging absences from school in a way that will allow children to maintain a connection. The Summer Reading Programme helps to maintain and develop students’ literacy and guard against summer slide. Moreover, the Summer Reading Programme supports and maintains children’s and families’ relationships with the school during the summer months. This, in turn, helps to facilitate a positive transition back to school in the fall.
Healthy partnerships between schools and families are important. Student success is positively impacted when those relationships are bridged during school breaks.