I recently had a problem with my phone and had to get it serviced. For about two hours, I was without a phone, and by the thirty-minute mark, I was already feeling anxious. Besides the not-being-connected feeling, I had also forgotten to bring a book along. So I was forced to either watch TV or stare at other people (as this particular waiting room had no magazines, newspapers, or books). This experience demonstrated to me what it may be like to be without the ability to read.
Pages & Chapters’ focus is to support literacy through teacher and family engagement. By empowering teachers, we are able to help them engage with families to break down barriers that may hold a child back from reading. For some families, this may be time or skills. For others, this may be access to books.
The Open Books program is a guide for individuals on teaching reading fundamentals. Through the course of six 1-hour programs, Open Books covers the foundations of reading. The program allows for maximum flexibility—all sessions can be held within the same week, same month, or throughout the year. As parents’ lives are increasingly busy, it is important to have a program that allows for the greatest potential of participation.
What I like about the Open Books program is that its approach aligns with findings from research. One study found increased literacy within families who participated in school activities. This study specifically looked at low-income students and families—the same population the Open Books program aims to serve.
My parents were very influential in my reading development. I remember my mother spending hours with my younger brother and me reading Dr. Seuss and other books. My father further spurred my interest in reading by coding a literacy program on our Apple II computer. Their investment made me realize how important it must be to read, which inspired and motivated me to read more. This is what Open Books does — provides parents with tools and resources to bring a love of literacy into the home.
My increased focus on reading has increased my vocabulary and made me more confident when I read in front of a group, among other things. The Open Books program can be useful in doing the same for both a child and their parent. If you know of someone who might benefit from this program, please direct them to our site where you can find resources that are available at no cost.
Written by Darin Challacombe. Darin serves on the Pages & Chapters Board of Directors.