When our team set out to develop a new reading program I had two thoughts in mind: one, it needed to help families better understand the role they can play in developing their children’s reading skills and, two, it needed to be fun. After all, I never enjoyed meetings where I sat in a tiny chair and just listened to teachers tell me what to do when my children were young! Our team decided the best way to engage families and teach them about reading was to make it into a game families could play together. Somehow that morphed into an evening full of games and then into an event where families moved from one game station to the next on a quest to learn strategies to help their children become better readers: Family Reading Experience, Powered by Kindle.
While the games are simple and don’t require a lot of supplies, we really wanted to be sure that families and teachers thought they were useful and enjoyed them as well. Our team decided to test the Experience by taking it on the road. We worked with some incredible local PTA leaders in Albuquerque and Baltimore and set up a series of Experiences to see how they went. Each Experience was unique but the response was overwhelming. Teachers said the activities were useful and they liked having everything ready to use. They even said they were borrowing some of them to use in their classrooms. Families told us the event showed them new ways they could help their children at home. They said they liked trying all the different games and learning new ways to read with their children. One parent told me they were having such a good time they didn’t realize they were learning!
I am incredibly proud of the Family Reading Experience, Powered by Kindle and I am humbled by the opportunity to work in an organization so full of talented and creative friends who can help me make these bold ideas a really fun reality!
Seen here at the PTA Family Reading Experience, Powered by Kindle pilot launch at Cecil Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, Sherri Wilson is the Senior Manager of Family and Community Engagement at National PTA in Alexandria, VA. Contact Sherri at firstname.lastname@example.org.