Clare Family Learning Project   Spring 2016



1. Tusla the Child and Family Agency in Ireland have launched a parenting support website. This is divided into different stages of childhood development. 0-5, 6-12 and 13+ years.


2. New Practitioner's Guide on Digital Storytelling in Family Literacy Angela Mooney and Esther Prins 

This Guide discusses what digital storytelling is and reasons for using it in family literacy.  Examples of family literacy programs using digital storytelling effectively are provided, along with concrete steps for implementation.  The Guide concludes with important considerations for educators and a list of resources.

3. is the website of the International Reading Association. It has a parents section with activities suited to a variety of age groups. There are lesson plans and lots of good quality resources.

4. is the USA Public Broadcasting Service. This website has good apps, games and ebooks for children. 

5. Babies and maths View video series aimed at parents of children 0-3 years. The roots of early math skills begin developing from birth, through babies’ everyday play and interactions with parents and caregivers. These early math skills have a big impact on children’s school readiness—in fact, research has found that a strong set of early math skills predicts both a child’s later math skills and later literacy skills.

6. Posters for bringing attention to mental health issues:

We designed some posters to remind us of the little things that make a big difference to how we feel. Share them with friends and family, or download them to remind you that it's the little things that can help lift your mood. You can order printed poster and postcard packs at HealthPromotion.ie


7. Apps for young children

These two sites give a list of websites showing educational Apps for young Pre-school and Junior-school children:



Note: Many of the better apps recommended are not free but worth the small charge e.g. numberjacks and squeebles apps are linked to the curriculum (UK). 


If you do a search for Apps on this site, you get 7 app recommendations, including 100 Words for baby FREE, The Three Little Pigs story, Icky Mr Fox

• Some other examples of free apps:

Go to Google Play Store and try an app from the list below:

PicArt for kids

Toddler coloring book FREE

Abc Kid’s abc Letters Special

Toddler 123 Counting

Fishing for kids (Matching patterns)

Numbugs Reading quest



8.  The impact of family literacy programmes on children's literacy skills and the home literacy environment. Executive Summary. Jon Swain, Olga Cara, John Vorhaus, Jenny Litster. November 2015 National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy (NRDC) UK.


9. The impact of family learning programmes on raising the literacy and numeracy levels of children and adults. 2012. (Wales)


10. Family Literacy and Global Literature

Parents as Partners in the Common Core Kim S. Truesdell andPixita del Prado Hill

Article first published online: 3 FEB 2015 DOI: 10.1002/trtr.1337

The Reading Teacher International Literacy Association

Volume 68, Issue 6, pages 430–434, March 2015


This Teaching Tip will explain an initiative, Global Book Hour, that engages families in a global literature read aloud. GBH integrates social studies, the visual and performing arts, healthy eating, and vocabulary development as children travel the world through high quality global children's literature. The program is a non-traditional, rich literacy experience, and has multiple, strong community partners that include a grocery store and a laundromat. Because many of the children who attend GBH are immigrants and refugees, an added benefit of the read aloud and discussions is helping the children identify with characters in the story. Though this program is located in the community, it can be easily replicated in a school setting. In this article, the program is described, connections to the Common Core State Standards are identified, and suggestions for starting a GBH are included.



11. Young children’s initiation into family literacy practices in the digital age

Jackie Marsh Peter Hannon Margaret Lewis Louise Ritchie University of Sheffield, UK

Jackie Marsh, School of Education, University of Sheffield, 388 Glossop Road, Sheffield S10 2JA, UK. Email:


This article reports a study that explored young children’s digital literacy in the home. The aim of the study was to identify the range of digital literacy practices in which children are engaged in the home and to explore how these are embedded into family life and involve family members. Four children, two girls and two boys aged between 2 and 4 years, were the focus for study. Parents were co-researchers in the study in that they made written observations on children’s activities and captured practices using a digital camera and a digital camcorder over the period of 1 month. They took part in a series of interviews during the study in which they reflected on this data and were asked about related practices. Findings suggest that children were immersed in a range of multimedia, multimodal practices which involved extensive engagement with other family members who scaffolded their learning and delighted in the children’s technological capabilities. The article suggests that, in the light of socio-cultural developments in the new media age, a change in focus from ‘family literacy’ to ‘family digital literacy’ is required.


12. Five Lessons Learned About District Leadership for Family Engagment

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) opens a window of opportunity for school district leaders to take bold steps and bring transformative change in family engagement. ESSA requires the establishment of Statewide Family Engagement in Education programs, and sets aside funds for evidence-based family engagement activities in schools and districts. How can districts utilize the new funds to improve student outcomes? What steps can educators and district leaders take to ensure that full advantage is taken of these funds? Michele Brooks, former assistant superintendent of family and student engagement for Boston Public Schools, provides insights in her thought-provoking new blog post, Five Lessons Learned About District Leadership for Family Engagement.

The five lessons Brooks shares on district leadership for family engagement include:

• Districts benefit from having clear goals and objectives;

• Family engagement efforts must utilize student data to link family engagement strategies to grade-level fundamental skills and learning goals;

• At the school level, it is important to develop strong engagement practice with school leaders;

• Small wins are important for sustainability; and

• For districts to effectively engage parents throughout their children's school years, they must shift the lens through which the district views family engagement at different levels of a child's education.

Read more...     Harvard Family Research Project