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Learn more about using children's storybooks with family involvement themes to engage families in their children's education and encourage family–school–community partnerships.
The Storybook Project was developed through a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, with additional support from the Reading Is Fundamental/Coca-Cola partnership, Reading Takes You Places.
Resources to Help Close the Achievement Gap
The Family Involvement Storybook Project uses children's storybooks with family educational involvement themes to boost young children's achievement by promoting family engagement in learning and literacy skills. This project focuses on culturally diverse low-income families, with a special emphasis on Latino families. It provides information and tools to support the use of commercially available children's storybooks, as well our own research-based storybook, to promote family involvement in school, home, and out-of-school time settings. These resources are available online on the Storybook Corner.
Providing Practical Information in a New Format
Research has amply documented that family engagement in education and learning matters to children's successful outcomes. Family involvement storybooks offer an original way to carry this important message from research into everyday use and into the many settings where children's picture books are read and shared.
The Storybook Project identifies commercially published picture books that touch on such topics as home–school communication and cultural differences in family engagement. It also features an original bilingual storybook, Tomasito's Mother Comes to School/La mamá de Tomasito visita la escuela, inspired by a real case from HFRP's family involvement study and available free online. With family involvement storybooks, educators can share knowledge about family involvement, and families can be inspired, informed, and empowered to support their children's learning and development.
Bringing Family Engagement Ideas to New and Wider Audiences
HFRP's family involvement research tells us that children are an often overlooked but very important part of the family engagement process. Family involvement storybooks provide a way to acknowledge that child voice, and bring children into the family engagement conversation. Storybooks can also provide accessible ways to stimulate reflection, discussion, and action for adults with low levels of print literacy or for English Language Learners.
Contributors to the Storybook Project
Many of the Storybook Project resources were developed through close collaboration between researchers and teachers. Ellen Mayer collaborated with educator practitioners Elaine Hou, Martha Kateri Ferede, Rashmi Kumar, and Elizabeth Heymann to create and test tools. Carrie-Anne DeDeo contributed her knowledge of children's literature to Storybook Project articles. Holly M. Kreider, M. Elena Lopez, and Abby R. Weiss provided review and feedback for Storybook Project resources.