Family literacy programs are rapidly growing in the United States. Among the reasons for this growth are the expansion of knowledge about how children learn. We know that extensive learning takes place in the preschool years. Through social interactions in a literacy-rich environment, children acquire knowledge about the conventions and purposes of print and the uses of language in culturally organized activities. Beliefs about the intergenerational transfer of literacy as well as concerns about children’s readiness have also contributed to the development of family literacy programs. Other factors influencing the development of family literacy programs include concerns about children’s difficulties and failure later in school; the need to involve parents and families more directly in programs for young children; concerns with the reading and literacy skills of many parents with low education levels; and evidence supporting the relationship between parental education levels and children’s school success. Intergenerational literacy programs are seen as addressing many of these concerns. The purpose of this book is to advance the work of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers by providing a document summarizing writings and research on family literacy and on topics directly relevant to family literacy programs.
This annotated bibliography has two main parts. Part A covers topics directly related to family literacy programs in the areas of conceptual issues (definitions, models, and overviews of family literacy), studies related to family literacy programs and practices, program descriptions, program development, assessment, evaluation procedures, and curriculum and instruction. Part B includes topics that have implications for family literacy, drawing articles and reports from many disciplines. These related topics included emergent literacy, parent-child interactions, adult literacy, cultural and contextual issues, home and school issues, literacy assessment, and intergenerational programs. In the appendix, the authors also describe other annotated bibliographies and provide a list of resources for individuals interested in learning more about family literacy in particular and literacy in general.