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  • Community Involvement and Parental Support in Literacy and Numeracy

    Christabel Pinto Sr. Specialist for Basic Education and Literacy, Save the

    Children US December 4, 2013

  • Outline

    1. Early Grades Learning Needs

    2. Importance of Community & Parental Involvement: Evidence Base

    3. Towards a solution: Community Action for Childrens learning

    4. Effect of parent and community involvement on learning

    5. What can Ministries of Education do?

  • EARLY GRADES LEARNING

    NEEDS

  • Schooling is not Learning

    Ghana learning pyramid:

    2005 DHS data

    Enrollment

    Completion

    Learning

  • IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY &

    PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT:

    THE EVIDENCE BASE

  • Parental involvement has a positive effect on childrens achievement even when the influence of background factors such as social class and family size have been taken into account.

    (Desforges,C. and Abouchaar, A. (2003) The Impact of Parental Involvement, Parental Support and Family Education on Pupil

    Achievement and Adjustment: A Literature Review. DfES Research Report 433.)

  • Parental involvement with

    children from an early age

    has been found to equate

    with better outcomes,

    particularly in terms of

    cognitive development. (K. Sylva, E. Melhuish, P. Sammons, et. al.

    (2004) Effective Pre-School Education. Final

    Report. DfES. London: Institute of

    Education)

  • What parents do is more important than who they are for childrens early development i.e. home learning activities undertaken by parents is more important for childrens intellectual and social development than parental occupation, education or income. (K. Sylva, E. Melhuish, P. Sammons, et. al. (2004) Effective Pre-School Education. Final Report. DfES. London: Institute of Education)

  • Materials and Reading Aloud

    Greater print exposure results in more experience in word and sentence decoding and recognition and in reading comprehension, as well as ongoing exposure to new vocabulary (Hood, Conlon, & Andrews 2008).

    Both sheer amount and the choice of reading materials seem to make a difference (Wigfield & Asher, 1984).

    The most important activity for building the knowledge and skills eventually required for reading is that of reading aloud to children (Teale, 1984).

  • Challenges to home & parental involvement

    Misconception: parents who are not literate/numerate cannot help their children

    Few books and other resources available in the home

    Belief that learning happens in school and teaching is done only by teachers

    Parents unaware of why and how to help children to improve language/literacy and numeracy development

  • TOWARDS A SOLUTION: COMMUNITY

    ACTION FOR CHILDRENS LEARNING

  • Interventions that engage Communities Save the Childrens Literacy Boost and Numeracy Boost interventions have three components: 1. Assessment

    2. Teacher Training

    3. Community Action

    Prathams Read India (in and

    out of schools)

    Many Others, but Evidence is scarce.

  • Community Awareness-Raising Focused on Childrens Learning

    Introductory community meetings for Literacy and Numeracy

    Share results of baseline assessments

    Explain Literacy/Numeracy Boost options & activities

    Secure parental support and participation

    Identify additional community resources (e.g., oral traditions, volunteers, venues for activities)

  • Parent & Community Awareness- Raising Workshops

    Literacy Volunteer-run Community Reading Awareness workshops on how to:

    Engage their children in rich oral language practice through everyday activities

    Ask their children to read to them

    Read to/with their children if they are literate

    Create simple literacy materials and establish home reading corners

  • Parent & Community Awareness- Raising Workshops

    Numeracy

    Volunteer-run Community Math-at-Home workshops on how to:

    Engage their children in simple, fun games to practice math concepts

    Use everyday activities to engage in math practice

    Math calendar

  • Volunteer-run activities with children

    Reading Camps

    Fun after-school or weekend activity

    Provides additional support and positive models for children learning to read

    Extends time-on-task for reading through activities outside the classroom

    Supplements reading instruction that happens in school

    Sample Reading Camp agenda (Literacy Boost)

  • Volunteer-run activities with children

    Literacy Boost Reading Camps in action

    1. Distribution of books (Burundi reading camp)

    2. Story time (Burundi reading camp)

  • Volunteer-run activities with children

    Pratham: Learning support classes for out-of-school and struggling in-school children

    1. Balwadi classes: pre-school, urban low income families

    2. Learning support classes: L2R (Learn to Read) and R2L (Read to Learn)

  • Volunteer-run activities with children

    L2R: Accelerated learning technique

    Reading and basic arithmetic in 4-8 weeks

    Not sequential, but integrates 4 activities:

    Say something

    Do Something

    Read Something

    Write Something

  • Volunteer-run activities with children

    Math Camps

    Fun after-school or weekend activity

    Uses games and activities to reinforce math instruction in school

    Math-based story book inspires session

  • Parent & Community Engagement in Material Creation

    Literacy

  • Parent & Community Engagement in Material Creation

    Numeracy

  • Parent & Community as Custodians of Books

    Book Banks/Libraries

    Volunteers serve as book bank custodians: Expands range of print

    materials children can read beyond textbooks

    Builds enjoyment and motivation to read

    Helps to establish an appreciation for print and a culture of reading in the community

  • Reading Festivals & Family Math Days

    Reading Festivals

    A day to celebrate reading in the community!

    Story Time

    Read/Tell a story in the community on a regular basis

    Family Math Day

    Community engages in math activities together!

  • Summary of Parent & Community Involvement

    Engage community volunteers to conduct literacy & numeracy activities in the community

    After school Reading & Math Camps

    Parent Awareness Workshops (Math and Reading)

    Story Time activities

    Reading Festivals /Family Math Day

    Material Creation (Math and Reading)

    Book bank/library custodians

  • EFFECT OF PARENT AND COMMUNITY

    INVOLVEMENT ON LEARNING

  • Yemen: Effect of Reading out Loud

  • Yemen: Reading skills by number of books at home

  • Pakistan: Effect of Reading Camp Attendance & Book Borrowing

  • Afghanistan: Reading at home as a predictor of Girls Letter Knowledge

    53%

    62%

    71% 71% 73%

    75%

    0%

    10%

    20%

    30%

    40%

    50%

    60%

    70%

    80%

    no one in family

    read to child last week

    25% of family members

    read to child last week

    50% of family members

    read to child last week

    girl boy

  • WHAT CAN MINISTRIES OF EDUCATION

    DO?

  • Identify structures & opportunities for parent and community engagement

    Role of PTAs or SMCs? Support from local government

    and/or local business? Involve students organizations? How should school leaders

    principals or school directorsdeliberately engage with parents, NGOs and civil society to expand childrens access to reading/math materials & opportunities?

    Partnerships? Adaptations for urbanized

    environments?

  • Communicate the Issue & Engage Stakeholders

    Communicate urgency of action to range of stakeholders: data are powerful!

    Engage parents and communities

  • Strengthen education policies that build parent & community engagement

    Should official/mandated PTA roles and responsibilities be reviewed so that it includes a focus on childrens learning?

    Is there space for local government advocacy to get policy or budget support to sustain community engagement focused on reading/math?

    Are there incentives that can be provided to businesses who support early grade reading/math?

  • In summary

    Parents and communities are:

    a key resource in the effort to improve childrens learning

    crucial advocates and partners in childrens learning

    Schools and ministries of education can engage parents and communities in multiple ways to reduce gaps and ensure equity in childrens learning outcomes

  • Thank You!

    For more information: cpinto@savechildren.org

    mailto:cochoa@savechildren.org

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