Engage families in reading fun at your school by hosting a PTA Family Reading Experience using this toolkit.
- Identify a theme. Choose a favorite family book character or seasonal theme. Or choose one of our fun themes:
- Choose the grade level(s) to focus on at your event. Our activity stations are grouped by Grades K-2 and Grades 3-5. You can host the event for families of all grades, but consider how families will navigate the event if they have more than one student at the school. Some schools host two events – one for K-2 activities and one for Grades 3-5 activities. Others have different time spans for the grade levels on the same night. Do what works best for your teachers and families.
- Recruit volunteers. At this event, volunteers are key to welcoming families, hosting the stations and keeping families moving through the experience, and encouraging families to participate in the activities with their students. You will need:
- 2-3 event volunteers for set-up and greeters
- 1 teacher or PTA volunteer to host each activity stations (6-12 stations)
- 1 person keeping time and announcing the transition to the next station
- Add volunteers if you include refreshments or other aspects to your event, such as a book fair or exchange.
Prepare Your Activity Stations
- Each station focuses on one of the domains of literacy skills (i.e., phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency) or ways to use technology for reading. The activity guide describes what volunteers need to know to set-up and host the station.
- Click on your selected theme below to view an activity guide for each station, as well as event materials such as signage and take-home resources for families.
- Set-up six reading stations in an open space such as a library, gymnasium or cafeteria. Or, host each station in a different classroom. Set a time amount – at least 15 minutes – for families to visit each station. Then sound a bell or make an announcement to signal the transition to the next station. Print the signage available for each theme and add your own arrows.
Promote Your Event
- Invite families. Use this sample invitation letter to parents (En Espanol) and customize your chosen themed take-home flier
- Tell your whole school community. Use these turn-key tools to help you:
Host Your Event
- Welcome all families with a PTA table for sharing school and community library resources on reading, as well as information about how to join PTA.
- Kick off your event by introducing and thanking your volunteers. Explain their role in assisting families through each of the six station activities.
- Set the tone for the event by showing one of our inspirational videos describing the memories made and love that grows when families read together.
- Encourage families to play together at each activity station. Don’t let mom, dad or grandpa stand back and watch the kids! Get them engaged in the fun! Ask station leaders to talk about the literacy domain at the station and share some simple ways to practice the reading skill at home. Ask your teachers for suggestions in advance, or use the parent take-home guide for ideas.
- Send families home with inspiration for more reading fun. Gain a bunch of ideas for how to encourage students and parents to create their own family reading experiences at home or on the go.
- Share how #FamiliesRead at your school and home using our social media tools. We want to celebrate your events. Also, use these tools to promote family reading messages throughout the year to your school community.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 307-4782.