Family Outreach and Training &
Literacy Services

What are family outreach and training?

Family outreach and training provide parents with the required parent and family literacy services, activities, and trainings needed to improve their English language skills. These services enhance the academic achievement of English learners and immigrant students.

What are family literacy services?

Family literacy services integrate the following:

  • Interactive literacy activities between parent and child
  • Training in parenting activities
  • Literacy training that leads to economic self-sufficiency (e.g., teaching adults to read)
  • Age appropriate education to prepare children for success in school and life experiences

1 "OCTAE."ED, U.S. Department of Education

Examples of family outreach and training and family literacy services at the LEA, campus, or ESC (Fiscal Agent) level:

Family outreach and training and family literacy services specific to English learners may include:

  • Sending out language-appropriate monthly newsletters to families of English learners, with literacy strategies and ideas that could be easily implemented at home.
  • Hosting monthly literacy events at a local library, in a campus library, or in a community center. Partner a community member with the family of an English learner for structured literacy activities, conducted in English or the family's primary language, such as
    • Book club meetings. Meet with the community members prior to the first book club meeting to train them in their role as literacy mentors. Ensure they have a basic understanding of
      • how to select grade-appropriate books
      • the various genres of books
      • the structure of your book club
    • During the book club meetings, provide time for partnerships to
      • select books
      • have shared reading, paired reading, and/or read-alouds
      • respond to the reading, through discussion or written response
    • Consider inviting local authors or librarians to read aloud excerpts from their favorite books during each event.
    • Writing for life. Consider sending a language-appropriate survey to parents of English learners to determine the real-world writing needs (e.g., work applications, college essays, email communication with school staff or community leaders, emails/letters to family members, etc.)
      • Allow each community member to assist the family members with their specific writing needs during scheduled time together.
      • Provide time to write about topics of interest (current events that impact the community or family, upcoming events, etc.), then share and discuss what was written. Discuss possible next steps for the writing (e.g., Should an email be sent to a city leader about the issue addressed? Does the writing address a classroom assignment for the English learner?)
  • Hosting cultural events at a local community center, public library, or other location that is convenient and comfortable for the families in your area. These events could showcase foods, music, dance, and traditions that are important to the families served, allowing LEA staff to develop a better understanding of the community as a whole.
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