We were so excited to find two great websites full of free activities for helping parents develop children’s reading levels. Both sites are available in English and Spanish (one is available in French and German too!), and both are 100% free.
The first webpage, Compact for Reading, is an initiative of the US Department of Education. Under the slogan “Connecting schools and homes to help children read,” the site goes on to offer four different level at home reading kits for kindergarten, first, second and third grade levels. According to the site, the School-Home Links Reading Kits are a collection of research-based activities designed to help families reinforce the reading and language arts skills that their children are learning at school.”
Sounds like a great idea to me, and I love the fact that the program also involves a pact between parents and schools working together to get kids reading in English and Spanish. Parent-child shared reading is one of the key factors in achieving early literacy, so any initiative which supports this goal is in high demand. Of course, the kits are geared toward US elementary school curriculum, but the activities are applicable for kids learning to read in English and Spanish all over the world.
The second free website, ReadToday.net (via Reading Tub), is run by the non-profit Literacy Center Education Network and contains emergent literacy activities in English, Spanish, French and German. This site is full of printable worksheets for practicing letters, numbers, colors, shapes and basic words. ReadToday.net addresses the specific needs of bilingual families by asking the important question, “What if every parent had the tools to teach their own children to read in a comfortable and supportive home environment? Not only would this give children a head start in life, it would enable every child to master basic skills in a first language before being dropped into a second language learning environment.”
What if every bilingual child did have the advantage of shared parent-child reading in both their languages at home before starting school? At Bilingual Readers our goal is to provide parents with the necessary materials to make this happen. Starting in October, we’ll be offering bilingual Spanish/English books, games and other activities for parents and their children aged 0-6 to enjoy together. In the meantime, stay tuned for more relevant articles and keep on reading!