Using stories to promote parental engagement
Posted by Gemma Niebieszczanski
10 Jan 2017
This term we continue to explore the National Literacy Trust Network’s overarching focus for this academic year – creative, engaging and practical ways to develop and enhance parental and community engagement in school.
Themed around three focus areas – Our Books, Our Stories and Our Place – Network resources aim to use these three vehicles as bridges to build greater links with our parents and communities to help support pupils’ literacy development.
Visit Our Books for a wealth of ideas to support the celebration of books as treasures.
Our attention, this term, turns to the power of story to build community and develop literacy skills. We know that childhood is heavily influenced by the social, technological, economic and cultural context of the child and family (Read On. Get On. 2016), which is why story is such a powerful, universal and inclusive tool. We all have a story to tell.
"There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.” Ursula K. Le Guin
Stories, of course, have huge educational value; they develop language and communication skills; provide sources of inspiration and creativity; model structures for writing and help children explore morals, issues, dilemmas…we could go on. But stories also build community. They can be a powerful vehicle for expression, connection, empathy and belonging.
Network members can explore the following resources to bring stories alive in schools:
- Family History Book Workshop: encourage parents and pupils to work together to create their own special family history book. Detailed instructions and guidance provided.
- The Story Collectors’ Toolkit: our toolkit contains a host of creative ideas and activities to support your school community in collecting and sharing its own family stories.
- The Storytellers’ Top Ten: 10 practical ideas to help support and celebrate the retelling of favourite stories and encourage the invention of new stories across the school community.
- Library Outreach: a showcase of library projects and strategies from our members that have been successful in increasing parental engagement.
- The Diary Writer’s Toolkit: our new toolkit contains ideas and activities to support your school in reading and writing diaries, blogs and memoirs including family stories from a range of different communities and contexts.
- The Life Story Collector's Top Ten: 10 practical ideas to help support teachers and students collect and record personal and family stories and autobiography across the school community.
- Our Life Stories Interview Template: a downloadable template for pupils to record the life stories of parents and other family members.
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Blogs by the same author
- Building bridges with books in Blog by Gemma Niebieszczanski
- Inspiration for the new school year from the National Literacy Trust Network in Blog by Gemma Niebieszczanski