In March, thousands of elementary schools will celebrate National Reading Month by hosting a PTA Family Reading Experience. Check out our NEW, interactive approach that engages the whole family in reading activities!
Parents take part in the fun with their kids and leave the event with a deeper understanding of the simple ways they can support literacy. National PTA has partnered with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) to provide literacy expertise and activities to host an engaging and effective Family Reading Experience.
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Family Reading Experience Guide
Engage families in reading fun at your school by hosting a PTA Family Reading Experience using our Experience Guide. This guide is organized into 5 steps with links to materials and sample templates you can customize for your own PTA and school.
Step 1: Plan Your Family Reading Experience
Connect with school administrators, community members, librarians and school literacy specialists to discuss the objectives for this event as well as logistics (e.g. location, date, time, promotion, etc.). Reach out to community businesses to secure food/prize donations.
- Visit RIF’s PTA portal at www.rif.org/pta.
- Review the RIF book list for your grade band K-2 or 3-5.
- Choose a book (or books) from the provided list that your PTA families will read together during your Family Reading Experience.
- Discuss the expected size of your event and how many copies of the book will be needed.
- Explore ways to obtain book sets (e.g. local library, RIF discounted book packs offered at $3/book via RIF's PTA portal - allow up to 4 weeks for shipping).
- Explore ways to provide whole/small group reading instruction with fewer books.
- Familiarize yourself with the free book extension activities from RIF’s PTA portal, that accompany your book selection(s) or use these ideas to create new activities.
Step 2: Recruit Volunteers
Recruit your PTA Family Reading Experience Team, including teachers and school librarians. Assign volunteer roles and gather event materials. Consider partnering with a local High School or business for non-PTA volunteers so your families can take part in the event.
- Suggested roles
- 2 to promote your event
- 1 to secure food/drinks and prizes for the event
- 2 to set up the event and clean up the event
- 1 to greet families as they enter the event
- 1 to help at the PTA membership table
- 3-4 to secure books, review activities for each book and facilitate book modeling for reading groups
- 1 to gather materials needed for activity stations
- 1 to take pictures and post to social media
Step 3: Promote Your Family Reading Experience
Use these customizable flyers and templates to promote your event for students, families and community members.
Step 4: Host Your Event
- Before the Event
- Make a welcome sign (in multiple languages if applicable) prior to the event.
- Set up the tables prior to the event starting.
- During the Event
- Welcome families upon arrival, encourage them to sign in and join the PTA.
- Organize reading and activity stations.
- Use the Be a Reading Champion tip sheet when reading aloud during the event and print copies for families to take home.
- After the Event
- Closing: Thank families for attending and volunteers for their amazing work!
Step 5: Wrap Up
- Share event success with your school community and National PTA with #PTAProud
- Email feedback and pictures of families engaged in reading to Programs@pta.org with the subject line: Family Reading Experience
Additional Reading Activities
Additional Reading Activities
Consonant Toss Grades K-2: Toss tokens on a game board to practice saying words with consonants and deepen students’ understanding about phonics or the relationship between sounds and letters so that they may better decode and read words.
- On Safari Game Grades K-2: Reinforce reading skills at home using this daily reading activity gameboard.
- Definition Expedition Grades K-5: Learn how technology, such as an e-reader, can help to improve vocabulary.
- Picture the Character Grades K-5: Demonstrate comprehension by drawing and labeling a picture of your favorite character from a book.
- Punctuation Toss Grades K-5: Toss tokens onto a punctuation game board to practice fluency, or the ability to read text quickly, accurately and with proper expression.
- Under the Sea Game Grades 3-5: Reinforce reading skills at home using this daily reading activity gameboard.
- Compound Construction Grades 3-5: Race to write all of the compound words you know!
Email Programs@PTA.org or call (800) 307-4782.
National PTA does not endorse any commercial entity, product, or service. No endorsement of RIF is implied.