Family Literacy Resources
The Goodling Institute creates resources to assist programs develop curriculum, activities, and engage in research.
Family Literacy Resources
The Interactive Literacy Activities (ILA) Toolkit is intended to provide guidance and suggestions for implementing ILA in family literacy programs. Included are ideas for in-person, hybrid, take-home, and remote interactive literacy activities.
The Goodling Institute adapted and revised indicators of program quality from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Adult Education within the Bureau of Postsecondary and Adult Education: Family Literacy Indicators of Program Quality (2002), the Indicators of Program Quality for Adult Basic and Family Literacy Education (2010), and the Indicators of Program Quality (2019). The updated Family Literacy Indicators of Program Quality retain a majority of the indicators from the 2010 and 2019 version, while also going back to the original (2002) language of the Family Literacy indicators. The current version strengthens the language around children and families, while updating and reflecting current best practices and requirements of family literacy programs (i.e., digital literacy).
~ Parent and child learning together is a cornerstone of family literacy. BEAR Book Activities are family learning activities that help develop young (3 to 5 years of age) readers' language and literacy skills to help them become ready for school.
~ Each family learning activity is based on a child's book and contains Before Reading, Reading Together, and After Reading suggestions that a parent/family member can engage in with their child.
This is a parent awareness health literacy unit that provides essential oral health care information for parents of young children. The curriculum includes a Facilitator's Guide and a Reader's Theater script.
Practitioner Action Research (PAR) is a reflective process of progressive problem solving that helps you to answer the questions you have about issues in your program or practice. Pennsylvania Family Literacy programs were engaged in this process through the SEQUAL professional development from 2007 until 2011.
The annotated bibliography of picture books in children’s literature is a 2009 update by the Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy for use with the class and take-home activities in Andrea DeBruin-Parecki’s Let’s Read Together: Improving Outcomes with the Adult-Child Interactive Reading Inventory (ACIRI). This book list was developed to support the implementation of the ACIRI in Pennsylvania (PA) family literacy programs.
These lessons plans are a series of 18 lesson plans that relate to the Foundation Skills Framework of Basic Workplace Skills, Basic Employability Skills, and Basic Workplace Knowledge. Each of the 18 lessons includes readings and activities for the four components in family literacy: adult education, early childhood education, parent education, and Interactive Literacy Activities. The adult education activities relate to the GED skills, and the early childhood activities relate to the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards. There are also lessons intended for distance learners. The Family Literacy Work-Related Lesson Plans were developed by family practitioners and technical assistants.
The Goodling Institute was funded to develop and pilot a Study Circle Guide, "Rethinking Instruction and Participation for Adult Basic Education" by the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy(NCSALL).
Literature Search Resources
The purpose of this literature review was to provide background information about distance learning (DL) in adult basic education (ABE), specifically to identify program design and policy implications to inform the use of DE for GED® students in rural Pennsylvania.
Find online resources to support family literacy. Resources targeted to instructors, adults, and children, as well as lots of resources to engage in interactive literacy activities for parents and children to do together. Updated 7-21-21
The Barbara Bush Foundation supports family literacy across the county where children and parents can succeed together.
NCFL exists to encourage family engagement as adults and children learn.
The National Center on Improving Literacy is a resource for improving outcomes for students with literacy-related disabilities, including dyslexia. There are many resources for parents, families, schools, and districts including Improving Literacy Briefs, current legislation, and a resource depository.
The Parent Child Home Program uses education to break the cycle of poverty for low-income families.
~ Family Literacy activities were developed in cooperation with the the Pennsylvania Center for the Book. These research-based resources were designed for parents and educators working with parents and young children.
~ Resources include (1) sample integrated lesson plans for Adult Education, Parenting Education, Early Childhood Education, and Interactive Literacy (also known as PACT Time); (2) developmental information guides for parents and practitioners; (3) recommended booklists for children’s books and parent resources; and (4) downloadable activities based on high quality children’s literature.
The purpose of this website is to provide family literacy practitioners, particularly those in Pennsylvania, with the most recent and useful resources in curriculum, publications, professional development and websites.
The Smithsonian Learning Lab offers free digital access to more than two million artworks, objects, videos, educational activities, and more from across the Smithsonian. Using the Learning Lab’s authentic resources and innovative tools, parents, teachers, and learners of all ages can make discoveries, create personalized learning experiences, and share their creativity and knowledge with others around the world.
Although the federally funded Even Start Family Literacy Program is no longer funded, state evaluations and program overviews continue to provide evidence of positive and significant outcomes for the families that participated in these family literacy programs. Several examples include: Texas (2009-2010), Pennsylvania (2008-2009), Illinois (FY 10), Nebraska (2009-2010), Michigan (3 year review from 2008/09 to 2010/11).
Soliman (2018) provides an overview of the The Even Start Family Literacy Program: The Rise and Fall of Family Literacy and the Need for its Return.
At the 2008 National Even Start Association Conference, a session called Even Start Works! explored three research studies that demonstrated the impact of Even Start Family Literacy programs.
Follow-up data on older children who have been in family literacy programs are provided in Is Family Literacy Achieving Its Intended Outcome? (2004) to demonstrate their success in school.
The Brookings Institute demonstrates in the article, "School readiness: Closing racial and ethnic gaps" (2005), the importance of parental and preschool child interventions in eliminating racial and ethnic gaps in school achievement.
The Anne E. Casey Foundation released a KIDS COUNT special report, Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters (2010), to emphasize the critical importance of having all children achieve grade-level proficiency by the third grade. Learning to read is paramount to children's success in school. An update was written in 2013 -- Early Warning Confirmed.
The National Center for Family Literacy and the National Institute for Literacy developed a report, The Effect of Family Literacy Interventions on Children's Acquisition of Reading from Kindergarten to Grade 3 (2006), that reviewed the scientific literature on parent involvement and the acquisition of children's reading from kindergarten to grade 3. The results from the meta-analytic review were clear: Parent involvement has a positive impact on children's reading acquisition.
Adult Education Organizations
Websites to Assist Instructors
Tips for remote learning (https://blog.commonlit.org/these-commonlit-digitalfeatures-make-remote-learning-possible-bdbdc4715728) – Blog posts for assistance using the Commonlit tools.
English learning resource (https://www.rong-chang.com/) – Practice reading and speaking through conversations and passages; applicable for both children and adults. Levels are for beginner and intermediate learners. Readings can be translated into French, Spanish, and Arabic.
Google Classroom (https://classroom.google.com/) – Use Classroom to make connections easier between learners and instructors. This is ideal for schools, non-profits, and anyone with a personal Google account. Classroom helps create classes, distribute assignments, communicate and stay organized. An instructor can upload Youtube videos of lessons and do live sessions with accompanying assignments.
Idd blog (https://www.iddblog.org/videoconferencing-alternatives-how-low-bandwidthteaching-will-save-us-all/ ) – Consider factors of bandwidth and immediacy as you design online courses. This article provides information about these factors and a graph reflects on the pros and cons of each factor.
- iSLCollective (https://en.islcollective.com/) – Discover a collection of ESL worksheets, Powerpoints, and video lessons.
- Literacy Minnesota
ESL Storybank (https://www.literacymn.org/sites/default/files/beginning_esl_story_bank.pdf) – Find a collection of short stories written specifically for adult ESL learners. This is part of the Minnesota Literacy Council’s Adult ESL Curriculum.
Educator Resources (https://www.literacymn.org/educator-resources?audience%5B891%5D=891&audience%5B892%5D=892&format%5B883%5D=883&format%5B886%5D=886&format%5B885%5D=885&sort_bef_combine=title%20ASC) – Find a vast array of teaching resources for ESL and ABE.
Marshall Adult Education (http://resources.marshalladulteducation.org/reading_skills_home.htm) – Find leveled reading selections that are appropriate for adult learners.
Quizlet (https://quizlet.com/) – Develop flashcards and games to make learning easy.
Reading Skills for Today’s Adults (https://www.readingskills4today.com/) – Access leveled stories for the adult learner. Currently, site is under partial construction.
Read Theory (www.readtheory.org) – Provides personalized reading comprehension exercises for K-12 and ESL students. This free, adaptive tool is great for assessing and tracking student reading performance.
Townsend Press Learning Center (https://www.townsendpress.net/home) – Targets educators and students using Townsend Press materials. Includes online books and reading/writing resources, online assessments, and video lessons. Time can be time tracked for adult learners at all levels. This platform is free through the end of June.
Websites to Assist Learners
Webinar Tutorials – Learn to set up accounts and classes on Khan Academy and USA Learns. This webinar tutorial is presented by Chuck Klinger from TIU11 Distance Learning Technical Assistance Project in Pennsylvania. Keep in mind the intended audience is Pennsylvania Department of Education-funded adult education programs; however, information can be applied to instructor’s situation to help begin classes.
Khan Academy – (webinar on 3/23/2020) https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SBgN2UklYAZY2qQKfChxsZKX8qolMs3A/view
USA Learns – (webinar on 3/24/2020) https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GZtGCkTGslpiIJ6atIUu6fPImtTy_MeN/view
Websites for Instructors to work with parents
Center for Effective Parenting (https://www.archildrens.org/patients-and-visitors/support-services/center-for-effective-parenting) – Lists parent information websites that include general parenting information; family fun sites; mother specific sites; father specific sites; new & expectant parents; and educational issues.
Mental Health American (https://www.mhanational.org/mental-health-month-2019-toolkit-download) – May is mental health month and you can find the 4 Mind 4 Body Outreach Toolkit (https://www.mhanational.org/sites/default/files/MHM_2019_FULL_TOOLKIT_FINAL.pdf) to use with families.
National Center for Improving Literacy (https://improvingliteracy.org/) – Access this resource to help families learn how to improve reading outcomes for students with literacy-related disabilities, including dyslexia.
Pennsylvania Department of Education Resources (https://www.paadultedresources.org/family-literacy/) – Learn about activities and lessons for adult education, interactive literacy activities, and parent education.
Ready Rosie (https://healthyathome.readyrosie.com/en/) – Access this free toolkit with information and resources for parents to support children in their care, including learning at home, prevention and care, and emotional well-being. Site available in English and Spanish.
Website for Families
Learning Heroes (https://bealearninghero.org/readiness-roadmap/#) – Use this site to help keep children on track while school is closed. Tips are provided to help with math, reading, life skills, and more. Site available in English and Spanish.
Kids Read 2 Kids (https://kidsread2kids.com/) – Learn about building children’s reading confidence and self-esteem. This website is particularly relevant to families who have children with reading challenges, such as dyslexia.
- PNC Grow Up Great (https://www.pnc.com/en/about-pnc/corporate-responsibility/grow-up-great.html) – Discover lots of great resources for families, including Everyday Tips for learning, activities for exploring math (Peg + Cat), and Sesame Street® Learning Resources.
Raising a Reader (https://www.raisingreaders.org/promoting-a-love-of-reading/parentsfamilies/) –Access parent tips for reading with children (8 languages available).
Reading Rockets Parent Reading tips (https://www.readingrockets.org/article/readingtips-parents-multiple-languages#languages) – Learn about parent reading tips for children who are babies, toddlers, pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades (available in 12 languages).
Talking about COVID-19 and Healthy Behaviors
Teaching Young People about COVID-19 (https://www.bigdealbook.com/newsletters/k12_technology/?show=teaching_young_people_about_covid-19/b3984de7d-11b5-45cdb5d3-7d87b01d1e0c) – Access a link to a comic that explains the coronavirus. The comic is also published in Chinese.
BrainPOP (https://www.brainpop.com/health/diseasesinjuriesandconditions/coronavirus/ ) – watch videos and read information about viruses and about COVID-19.
- Thrive Initiative (https://thrive.psu.edu/) – NEW Learn about programs for parents and caregivers to learn and practice effective strategies for raising healthy children.
Websites for Instructors (to review for learners)
- ¡Colorín coloradoǃ (https://www.colorincolorado.org/) – Targets for educators and families of English language learners. Site includes ELL basics, school support, and teaching ELLs. Site available in English and Spanish.
- CPALMS (https://www.cpalms.org/Public/) – Use this online toolbox of information, vetted resources, and interactive tools to help students learn. This resource is primarily free but requires a login account for non-Florida learners and educators.
- Khan Academy Kids (https://learn.khanacademy.org/khan-academy-kids/ ) – Access free online education on a variety of subjects to help children in school.
- PBS Learning Media (https://witf.pbslearningmedia.org/) – Offers free, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans. For pre-K to grade 12.
- Scholastic Learn at home (https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html) – Find daily projects for grades pre-K to grade 9. Also includes resources for parents and teachers.
- Tech & Learning (https://www.techlearning.com) – Find remote teaching tips. Provides free e-learning resources for schools.
- Various Education Companies (http://www.amazingeducationalresources.com) – Find free resources from education companies due to school closures.
- Special Education
- Illinois Autism Partnership (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1O-186CJ3MmtUZuoCX_oRlR1Dgzqc5RmkYUdTKm_dQ4E/edit) – List of websites and resources that are beneficial for children with autism.
- Special Education websites (TheSpedGuru.com) – List of websites targeted to children with disabilities. Includes resources for many youths
- Wide Open School (https://wideopenschool.org/) – Powered by Common Sense Media, this site provides a breadth of information, links, and websites for children pre-K to 5th grade and 6th to 12th grade. The site is geared to both educators and families and covers topics, including get started learning at home, access for all students, field trips, emotional well-being, special needs, virtual classroom setup, reading and writing, get moving, and English language learners.
Websites for Children (parents can do these with their children for Interactive Literacy Activities (ILA)
- ABC Mouse Early Learning Academy (https://www.abcmouse.com/abt/homepage) – Engage in 30 days of learning with a curriculum for children ages 2 to 8. Focus is reading, math, science, and art/colors.
- ABCya.com (https://www.abcya.com/) – Provides over 400 fun and educational games for Pre-K through 6th grade. Activities are designed by parents and educators.
- Brainfuse Online Tutoring (http://home.brainfuse.com/) – Offers online tutoring for school-age and higher education individuals. There may be a fee for the tutoring.
- Cool Kid Facts (https://www.coolkidfacts.com/) – Enjoy this free resource with fun facts on animals, plants, science, geography, and history. For 1st to 8th grade.
- Cool Math (https://www.coolmath.com/) – NEW Discover an “amusement park of math and more” where children can play online math games.
- Grammar and Word Games (https://unscrambler.co/) – NEW Play grammar and word games at home to improve language skills such as parts of speech, nouns and pronouns, and punctuation.
- Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems! (https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/) - Learn to draw, doodle, and explore new ways of drawing/writing through Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. New episodes each weekday at 1:00 pm ET.
- PBS Kids (https://pbskids.org/) – Play and learn with activities for children, including TV shows on PBS Kids, as well as skill development (i.e., literacy, science, reading, math, music, creativity), and learning “word of the week” (https://pbskids.org/apps/filter/episode/).
- Prodigy games (https://play.prodigygame.com/) – Engage in fun, curriculum-aligned math activities.
- Reading Promise (https://www.readingpromise.org/summerlearning) – NEW Engage in a new learning adventure with weekly games, activities, and more!
- Readworks.org (https://www.readworks.org/) – Find free content, curriculum, and tools to assist teaching and learning from kindergarten to grade 12. Great for reading comprehension for adult and child learners. Daily articles available and are pre-recorded so students can work on comprehension.
- ReadWorks Remote Learning tips (https://about.readworks.org/remote_learning.html#recorded) – Access the remote learning webinar series that provides research-based ideas for supporting learning. Start with Webinar 1: Effective Remote Learning.
- School House Rock Videos (https://youtu.be/FFroMQlKiag) – Watch the famous School House Rock videos, including I’m just a Bill, Conjunction Junction, and Multiplication.
- Sesame Street (https://www.sesamestreet.org/) – Access preschool games, videos and coloring pages.
- Starfall (https://www.starfall.com/) – Access a place to help children learn to read. Targeted for children preschool to 3rd grade.
- Special Education
- Storyline online (https://www.storylineonline.net/) – Find free videos of narrators reading children’s books aloud. Great for children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.
- Do2Learn (https://do2learn.com/) – Access free pages with social skills and behavioral regulation activities and guidance, through songs and games, communication cards, and academic material, to name a few.
- Squiggle Park (https://www.squigglepark.com//) – Access reading skill building activities for ages 3 to 8+ or access Dreamscape for grades 2 to 8.
- Typing Club (https://www.typingclub.com/ ) – Learn to type for free.
Websites for Instructors
- Adobe Spark (https://spark.adobe.com/) – Create pre-recorded videos that are up to 10 minutes long. Videos can include photos and video clips or record a story being read.
- Boeing & Discover Education Future U (https://www.boeingfutureu.com/) – Use this website to find tools to inspire students to collaborate and problem-solve. Go on virtual field trips to explore new places. Geared to students who are grades 6 to 12.
- National Center for Families Learning – 30 Days of Families Learning Together (http://30days.familieslearning.org/) – Engage in a month’s worth of family literacy activities that help families imagine, play, and learn together. Instructors can help families go through the slides together through the website on the computer or phone.
Websites for Families
- Audible (https://stories.audible.com/start-listen) – Stream stories for free while schools are closed due to Covid-19. Stories are in up to six different languages.
- Dial a Story (https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/services/dial-a-story.jsp) – Listen to a story by phone anytime of the day. Available in 16 languages.
- Epic! (https://www.getepic.com/) – Access instantly free digital books for children 12 and under. Subscription required for parents, but a 30-day free trial period is available.
- Family time Machine (http://www.familytimemachine.com/) – Go to this website and parents and children can imagine and learn together.
- Free Library of Philadelphia (https://www.freelibrary.org/) – Access free digital books and, if needed, apply for online for a library card.
- International Children’s Digital Library (http://en.childrenslibrary.org/) – NEW Explore this collection of digital of books that represent historical and contemporary books from around the world.
- Open Culture (http://www.openculture.com/2016/08/enter-an-archive-of-6000-historicalchildrens-books-all-digitized-and-free-to-read-online.html) – Discover 6,000 historical children’s books, all digitized and free to read online.
- Unite for Literacy (https://www.uniteforliteracy.com/) – Look through the large collection of books that are either narrated or for the family to read together. The books can be narrated in over 40+ languages.
- Wonderopolis (https://wonderopolis.org/) – Explore the wonder of the day. Each day a new question is posted, and the answer is explored in a number of ways.
- Wow in the World Podcasts (https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510321/wow-in-the-world) – Join two hosts as they guide curious kids and their grown-ups on a journey into the wonders of the world around them.
Additional ILA Resources of museums, zoos, and other fun sites
- Animals & Zoos – Access information about various zoos and learn about animals and view live animal cams. A few examples include:
- Atlantic Zoo Panda Cam (https://zooatlanta.org/panda-cam/)
- Houston Zoo Live Animal Cams (https://www.houstonzoo.org/explore/webcams/)
- San Diego Zoo (https://kids.sandiegozoo.org/videos)
- Wolf Conservation Center (https://nywolf.org/meet-our-wolves/webcams/)
- Cornell Lab Ornithology (https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/) – A virtual window into the natural world of birds. Includes live video cams and video highlights of barred owls, red-tailed hawks, and other birds.
- British Museum (https://www.britishmuseum.org/learn/schools/ages-7-11) – Engage and experience the unique collection through resources, sessions and gallery visits.
- Exploratorium (https://www.exploratorium.edu/) – NEW Learn about science, art, and human perception by exploring the huge collection of online experiences and teaching resources.
- How Stuff Works (https://www.howstuffworks.com/) – NEW Allow your curiosity to run wild on this website that answers questions about topics, such as cars, culture, entertainment, science, technology, money, and more.
- NASA Kids Club (https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/index.html) – Play games and learn about NASA. Features of this site may or may not work on a phone or tablet.
- National Geographic Kids (https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/) – Learn about fun and interesting topics, including animals, earth day, heroes, homework help, and fun quizzes.
- National Geographic Resources for Families (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/family/in-the-news/coronavirus.html) – Find parenting articles, study tips, science experiments, videos, and more.
- National Park Service Virtual Tours – a few examples:
- Yellowstone National Park (https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/virtualtours.htm)
- Gettysburg (https://www.nps.gov/gett/planyourvisit/national-cemetery-virtualtour.htm)
- Klondike Gold Rush (https://www.nps.gov/klgo/learn/photosmultimedia/virtualtours.htm)
- Statue of Liberty (https://www.nps.gov/stli/learn/photosmultimedia/virtualtour.htm)
- P.E. with Joe daily workouts (https://youtu.be/K6r99N3kXME) – Engage in fun, daily live and video-recorded workouts with a fitness trainer.
- Smithsonian Kids (https://www.si.edu/kids) – Find fun stuff for kids, including activities and games and animal cams of zoo animals.
- Spy Museum (https://www.spymuseum.org/education-programs/spy-resources/) – Learn about spy stuff (more for the instructor).