Publications and Resources
Articles and Websites
This research supports what we do in GSL and GSLA. The research directly links literacy and poverty and how one impacts the other. It also provides a solution by encouraging programs that increase literacy levels of parents that will then increase the potential success of children's literacy level and future educational attainment. >> Read the article
• This website provides a plethora of family literacy information. This link is to adult literacy statistics. ABC Life Literacy is the organization that spearheads Family Literacy Day in Canada.www.abclifeliteracy.ca/en/adult-literacy-facts
• Social returns on investment - Dr. Thomas Sticht explaining the social benefits of adult learning
• Exemplary Literacy Materials Online (ELMO) hosted by Literacy BC (www.elmoreviews.ca)
• The National Adult Literacy Database has a huge collection of information in PDF format, newsletters put out by various literacy organizations across the country, links and websites of many different organizations and literacy programs (http://www.nald.ca). This is a non-profit literacy organization that has information on national, provincial and local programs. Opportunities for collaborating and partnering with other programs are made possible by having the information accessible online. There is a search engine available on the website to narrow the wealth of information to your specific needs, family literacy for example. I would definitely recommend this site as a great starting point when researching the topic of family literacy, if it isn’t on this website it will guide you to websites or resources that you are seeking.
• New Zealand Literacy Portal is an amazing, comprehensive source rich in information and resources, as well as being extremely easy to navigate (http://www.nzliteracyportal.org.nz/). You are able to browse by country or by family literacy groups. There are resources for parents, teachers and information on policies, case studies and research, some which include video and audio clips. This website was very useful because it was so easy to find a lot of information and the way it was organized appealed to me.
• National Literacy Trust is a UK based literacy foundation which provides information for parents and professionals (http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/). Practical information on international, national and local initiatives is provided so it is easy to see what family literacy programs are available at all levels. They welcome email queries to users of the website as well. This website does seem a bit more useful to those in the UK but there are a lot of National Literacy Trust reports and articles on research finding available.
• Frontier College is a Canadian national literacy organization (http://www.frontiercollege.ca.english/learn/literacy_organization.html). This is a very useful website it allows you to find programs located near you, help set up community programs and they offer subscriptions to an E-newsletter. There is information on volunteering, supporting and advocacy for literacy. Nationwide literacy events are posted such as the Scrabble Friends and Family Challenge. This seems like a relatively easy way to begin work on a family literacy program.
• The Australian Government Department of Education and Workplace Relations has a resource called “Literacy Net” (http://www.deewr.gov.au/skills/programs/litandnum/literacy.net/links/pages/international links.aspx). This is a great page for its links to international literacy programs. I found the links on this page very useful for expanding my search in various countries.
People go through these Big6 stages—consciously or not—when they seek or apply information to solve a problem or make a decision. It’s not necessary to complete these stages in a linear order, and a given stage doesn’t have to take a lot of time. We have found that in almost all successful problem-solving situations, all stages are addressed. Download Big6 Problem Solving Skills.
II-Assessment and Evaluation
• Thomas, A. & Fisher, B. (1996). Assessment and Evaluation Strategies in Family Literacy Program Development. Ottawa, ON: Bonanza Press. This book provides family literacy practitioners with concrete suggestions regarding integrating assessment and evaluation activities within their family literacy programs. Embedding evaluation within your family literacy program is an important way to gain and maintain program funding, as well as maintain program quality and needs to be an ongoing consideration of all practitioners.
• Evaluation Tools for Learning in a Group Setting. This is an evaluation tool for adult literacy learners
• Income Affects How Kids Use Technology and Access Knowledge:
IV – Early Literacy and Language Development
• The linked article below is about tablet usage helping to increase literacy skills in “at-risk” youth in high school. While the focus of the article is youth, it talks about how tablets (iPad, Galaxy Tab, Xoom, etc) and iPods can impact literacy development and learning, which can be helpful in supporting adults who need to upskill for the new knowledge & technology economy. “Finally, the apps available for the iPad allowed for differentiation of instruction. Students had access to vocabulary-intensive apps, such as WordFlick and Words with Friends, access to tools for visualizing literature, such as Puppet Pals and ToonTastic, tools for story retelling, such as Storyrobe and Strip Design, and tools for authoring content such as Keynote and Pages.” Read the article - Unlocking Literacy with iPad.
• The Early Years Study 3 was released in Toronto and Montreal on November 22. This study, supported by a collaborative of funders including the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation, builds on the earlier work of Fraser Mustard, Margaret McCain and Kerry McQuaig. It recommends a nation-wide public investment in early childhood education, and demonstrates the social and economic value of doing so. The entire study and all of its supporting documentation can be found at http://earlyyearsstudy.ca.
• A website from a school district in British Columbia. It will be of interest to family literacy practitioners who want resources regarding developmental milestones etc. http://kindergarten.sd42.ca/
• The summary report of our National Survey of Early Literacy Programs is now available on the Read to Me! website at http://readtome.ca/research.htm. An annotated bibliography of our key resources and a list of (most) programs that participated in our survey are also posted there. We hope that you'll have the opportunity to take a look, and that these resources will be useful to you. Project READ contributed to the survey A great diversity of approaches to early literacy needs across Canada, and the passion of those conducting the work can be seen in the report. Many programs share common challenges, however, and we hope that the survey findings can serve as a small step towards both understanding and addressing these challenges. - Dalhousie's School of Information Management
• Provides ways to facilitate vocabulary development among young at-risk children
• Cooking with families – Provides recipes and ways for parents to make cooking a literacy rich activity with their children - Family Cooking.pdf
• Kitchener Public Library-Tumble Books and PebbleGo
• Mem Fox – Mem Fox is an Australian children’s author who writes and teaches about the value of reading aloud to children. Her website, (http://www.memfox.com/welcome.html) has some great information on how to support parents to read aloud to their children such as “Mem’s 10 Read Aloud Commandments”. Her book, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever is a must read for family literacy practitioners.
• Nursery Rhymes, Songs and Finger Plays (http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=1291) an inexpensive and wonderful collection of nursery rhymes put out by the American Public Library Association. Nursery rhymes help teach phonological awareness or learning about distinct sounds in words. It is one of the early stages of learning to read. Some parents who come to family literacy may not know many rhymes and so it is a good resource.
• Project Gutenberg is an online archive of eBooks that are free to the public. This link takes you to a book called, The Real Mother Goose (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10607/10607-h/10607-h.htm) and lists many of the original nursery rhymes. This is a good resource for families who are not familiar with nursery rhymes or who do not access a library frequently or own many books. Nursery rhymes are crucial for phonological awareness and families need to take the time to learn some rhymes if they don’t know any.
• Reading Rockets (http://www.readingrockets.org) is a website dedicated to providing resources to parents, teachers, librarians and other professionals who are assisting a struggling reader. There is a wonderful set of videos and podcasts on a huge array of topics related to literacy. There is also a section on research that is very good. This site is out of the US but is still extremely relevant to the Canadian context.
• The Hanon Centre (http://www.hanen.org/) which is an international non-profit organization dedicated to supporting children’s language and literacy development. It has some great resources particularly for children who have some speech delays and for regularly developing children as well. There are resources targeted to parents as well as professionals.
V – Family Literacy
• In Edmonton, Alberta the Centre for Family Literacy provides a range of programs for adults and families (http://www.famlit.ca/). There is a lot of useful background information into family literacy, many resources for professional to access. Centre for Family Literacy seems to be instrumental in further the training of professionals and in raising literacy and family literacy awareness. There are separate lists of current family literacy project and programs. The website is up to date and would be easy to find program or events all over Alberta. The Centre reaches out to rural areas as well as more urbanized centres. This website is a wonderful Canadian resource on family literacy.
• Literacy BC has a good section on Family Literacy on their website including best practices for family literacy programs and PDF materials with valuable information on starting a family literacy program (http://www2.literacy.bc.ca/family.htm). There were also descriptions of programs run by Literacy BC such as the Family Stories project. At the Word on the Street festival journals were handed out to encourage families to write stories together and the stories could be shared at a later date. Another program Books for BC babies hands out books to the parents of newborns at the hospital or upon the child’s first visit to the library.
• Maggio, S. (2004). Early Bird Family Literacy Program Manual: Phase II – Focusing on the Parent. Hamilton, ON: Hamilton Literacy Council. For practitioners, this booklet is meant to complement The Early Bird Family Literacy Manual. The booklet can be downloaded at no cost from www.hamiltonreads.ca (under the “publications” heading). It was recognized during the implementation of this family literacy program that adult literacy levels have a strong impact on family literacy. Information in this booklet can help family literacy practitioners identify what adult literacy skills are needed and help parents increase their comfort level when participating in literacy activities with their children. It also encourages practitioners to explore what resources are available in their community regarding adult literacy.
• Simpson, S. (2003). Early Bird Family Literacy Program Manual. Hamilton, ON: Hamilton Literacy Council. This program manual can be downloaded at no cost from www.hamiltonreads.ca (under the “publications” heading). This manual has been designed as a resource for early childhood based programs that wish to include a family literacy component. It provides an overview of basic family literacy principles, as well as specific strategies and a starting curriculum of family literacy activities over 10 weeks focusing on children birth to 3 years of age. The focus is on creating positive early learning experiences for parents and their children to promote ongoing literacy development. There is also a research study regarding the effectiveness of this program completed by the author available on the same website.
• Northwest Territories Literacy Council winter family literacy activities resource kit (www.nwt.literacy.ca/resources/famlit/howtokit/winter-activities.pdf. This 29 page resource developed by the Northwest Territories Literacy Council to celebrate 20 years of family literacy in the Northwest Territories. This resource celebrates the outdoors and provides concrete activity ideas for family literacy practitioners for the outdoors during the winter months. Having the option of outdoor activities in the winter months may put families at ease and demonstrate that literacy is everywhere.
• NWT Literacy Council has a great website that provides materials in many Aboriginal languages (http://www.NWT.literacy.ca). There are “How to Kits” and literacy activities available to download for parents and teachers, including lots of ideas on running family literacy evenings. This website also had many great links to other family literacy websites and resources. I would look to this website for inspiration when planning literacy activities or if I needed to use or direct someone to Aboriginal materials.
• Sanders, M. & Shively, J. (2007). Promising Practices in Family Literacy Programs. Retrieved May 30, 2011, from www.nald.ca/library/research/ppflp/cover.htm. This 5 page article provides a general summary of quality practices and guidelines for family literacy programs across Canada. Five key principles, followed by implementation examples are described. This article gives a brief synopsis of the variety and depth of family literacy work occurring within Canada.
• The Saskatchewan Literacy Network Family Literacy Tool Kit
• The United States website for the National Center for Family Literacy was unique in its focus on corporate sponsorship for promoting and funding family literacy (http://www.famlit.org). There are many descriptions of successful family literacy programs being run all over the States. Professional development opportunities focused on family literacy are available through the website as well. Detailed documents for creating family literacy programs are also available to users. This website would be a great place to gather information if you were thinking of beginning a family literacy program.
• A fun website for parents and teachers alike is Wonderoplolis which is affiliated with the National Center for Family Literacy (http://www.wonderopolis.org). Each day there is a picture that is the wonder of the day. People can put up posts of their thoughts about the wonder. I really liked this website because of the open ended nature. If you were running a family literacy group these vivid pictures could be used for endless possibilities, expansion of vocabulary and storytelling to name a couple. These pictures would be great for families to access at home to carry out discussions, research and stories of their own. I would recommend this website to everyone!
• The Even Start Family Literacy Program has a website which provides information to parents and different types of professional working with children (http://www.evenstartnetwork.net/). Amazing reproducible resources for early childhood and parent education that could be incorporated into a family literacy program. There was also a lot of information to help guide the administration of setting up a family literacy program.
• http://www.becomingparents.com – This website has articles about becoming a parent as well as details about upcoming training on parenting
• In the Bridges Out of Poverty materials they reference Dr. Reuven Feuerstein. He has an interesting theory on intelligence. He is a “cognitive psychologist, renowned for his theory of intelligence which states “it is not ‘fixed’, but rather modifiable”. This idea in general is that intelligence can be modified through mediated interventions.” He believes everyone can learn any time during life. He contradicts many theories of intelligence as something fixed that can be strictly measured. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reuven_Feuerstein
• Caring Minds: Youth, Mental Health and Community is a joint York University/University of Victoria knowledge mobilization project intended to promote social innovation informed by the latest scholarly research. It provides middle and secondary school teachers in Ontario and British Columbia with innovative, interdisciplinary teaching units that can be integrated into the classroom. Community-informed curriculum materials, for students in Grades 7 to 12, challenge learners to consider mental health issues from multiple perspectives and to explore themes of difference, diversity and discrimination.
There are four teaching units : Understanding, Experiencing and Equity; Self-Determination and Activism; Housing, Homelessness and Poverty; and Well-being, Health Care and Treatment. There are lessons and resources for each unit. Here is the link - please share this with your LBS agencies - thanks!