Parents play a key role in helping children learn to read and encouraging them to keep reading. PTOs can help by holding family literacy events and providing parents with helpful tools and information. Consider observing Family Literacy Day on Nov. 1 with one of the activities below. For more ideas, visit the National Center for Family Literacy website.

Book Swap
At your next family event, invite students to bring books they have finished reading. Give kids a ticket for each book they donate. At the end of the event, they can take home a different book. Donate any books left over to a children’s hospital or a local nonprofit that serves children.

Family Reading Night
Plan an evening of reading-related activities for families to enjoy together. Include stations where attendees can listen to stories as well as play games and make crafts related to popular children’s book characters. Provide books and some quiet corners where kids and parents can read together. Give each family a bookmark before they leave. For a limited time, everyone who orders a free Family Reading Night kit receives a free copy of Shel Silverstein's book Every Thing On It. Now who doesn't love Shel Silverstein?

Parent Education
Provide parents with printouts that give tips for working with early readers and encouraging reading at home. Invite the school’s reading specialist to speak to parents about common difficulties young readers have and what parents can do to help.

Every Thing On It cover and artwork © 2011 Evil Eye, LLC.