Dr. Molly Ness's Five Strategies on How to Create Literacy-Rich Home Environments

250 educators and parents participated in the May 20 live webinar “Creating Literacy-Rich Home Environments” presented by The Windward Institute’s newest faculty member, Molly Ness, PhD. 

Press the yellow + buttons on the interactive infographic to read more about each of Dr. Ness's five strategies on creating literacy-rich environments.

250 educators and parents participated in the May 20 live webinar “Creating Literacy-Rich Home Environments” presented by The Windward Institute’s newest faculty member, Molly Ness, PhD.

Here were Dr. Ness's five takeaways from the webinar:

  1. Promote access, relevance, choice.

To promote a love of reading and literacy at home, children benefit from three key components: access, relevance, and choice. Dr. Ness suggests that parents avoid judgment of their child’s book choice. Recent research shows that many kids want books that make them laugh!

  1. Take advantage of everyday moments.

Parents can tap into everyday moments and activities as opportunities to build language and cultivate a love of reading. For example, parents can create a “parking lot” of questions. Children can post their questions, and together, families can later research the answers together. This practice stimulates curiosity as well as draws the connection that books are useful resources to answer questions.

  1. Create communities that cultivate an authentic love of reading.

Some ways include starting a family book club, tracking the number of books each member reads, and sharing reading with neighbors.

  1. Model life-long reading.

Adults can model authentic, engaged reading, too! Now is the perfect opportunity to dedicate time to find your favorite, cozy reading spot at home, and read! Dr. Ness reminds us that it’s ok to put down a book you don’t enjoy!

  1. Be aware of the "Decline at Nine."

Research shows that reading aloud at home “declines at nine.” Shared read alouds are wonderful opportunities to share a love of reading at any age and provide numerous benefits to a child’s language and literacy skills. In fact, brain research demonstrates positive effects of read alouds on the brains of all ages.

As Dr. Ness said as she ended the webinar: “Reading is enough.”

Watch the recording of the webinar here.

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