How is your school district currently fostering parent and family engagement at the preschool level? The Collaborative for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is positioned to support your district with professional development regarding parent and family engagement strategies and programming. Our parent and family engagement program Artful Reading on the Go disseminates “information on best practices focused on parent and family engagement, especially best practices for increasing the engagement of economically disadvantaged parents and family members” (ESSA Title 1, Part A, Section 1116). This program reaches parents and family members in their homes and communities because we, like the Kentucky Governor’s Office of Early Childhood, believe that “Every child can have a strong start in the Commonwealth when families, communities and schools work together.”
What is Artful Reading on the Go? It is an at-home, arts-integrated literacy program that provides parents and families with carefully crafted literacy experiences in a kit. While this blog focuses on the preschool experience, kits are available through grade eight. Each kit is designed thematically around a high-quality book that then curates educational resources, arts materials, and task cards to guide engaging learning experiences. The kits are appropriate for all children and their families but particularly for those children of low-income families as a means to help them meet achievement standards and provide them the resources to build on at-home libraries, at-home educational resources, and at-home arts materials.
These experiences promote developmentally appropriate approaches to early childhood education and are aligned to the Kentucky Early Childhood Standards. These are divided into two age bands: Birth to Three and Three to Four.
|Birth to Three||Three to Four|
|Approaches to Learning||Approaches to Learning|
|Creative Expression||Creative Arts|
|Communication||Language & Early Literacy|
|Motor Development||Physical Education|
|Social Emotional Development||Health/Mental Wellness|
How is Artful Reading on the Go aligned to the Kentucky Early Childhood Standards? The program provides at-home learning opportunities for both age bands.The following table highlights a variety of tasks that a child and their caregiver might experience as a result of engaging with an Artful Reading on the Go kit:
|Birth to Three||Three to Four|
|Approaches to Learning
||Approaches to Learning
||Language & Early Literacy
|Social Emotional Development
Artful Reading on the Go builds capacity for parent and family involvement by providing the materials they need to work with children to improve their children’s achievement toward kindergarten readiness (ESSA 116(e)(1-5)).
How can your district work with CTL? At the school level, Title I schools are required to develop a parent and family engagement policy. CTL can support districts in meeting the requirements in the statute and/or align your family and early education programming to the guidelines laid out in The Kentucky Family And Early Education Program Partnership Guide.
Your district may use funding that has been set aside for parent and family engagement activities. As a nonprofit organization, we can provide professional development to early childhood educators regarding parent and family engagement strategies. These strategies will then reach parents and family members at home and in the community through the kits. CTL will work alongside you to build the necessary communications with parents and families in their native language(s) to engage all families in your community.
Governor’s Office of Early Childhood. (n.d.). https://kyecac.ky.gov/professionals/Early-Childhood-Standards/Getting-Started/Pages/Start-Here.aspx
Kentucky Department of Education. (2023). Title I, Part A Handbook. Frankfort, Kentucky: Office of Continuous Improvement and Support Division of School and Program Improvement