An Intervention to Support Teachers in Building on Children’s Home Literacy Backgrounds

Lilly Steiner, Christina Cassano


This study examines the results of a family literacy intervention to teach teachers to build on families’ home literacy practices. A quasi-experimental design was used to study effects on: (1) the use of home-based literacy practices at school; (2) teachers’ beliefs about the family's role in children's literacy development; and (4) first-graders’ literacy achievement. The study was conducted in two first-grade classrooms with culturally diverse student populations. In the treatment classroom, the teacher learned practices for building home-school partnerships. This teacher incorporated specific opportunities to involve parents in children’s literacy learning that led to an increase in parent-teacher collaboration. A combination of teacher and parent participation in the intervention resulted in statistically significant differences in students’ scores on the Concepts About Print (CAP) assessment compared to students in the control classroom. This study is small; yet, it provides a timely and relevant model to promote parent involvement, which is particularly important given the renewed emphasis on building effective home-school partnerships.


Family literacy, home-school partnerships, early literacy instruction

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