This tutorial includes a self-advocacy and family track. In the family track, parents and family members will learn why advocacy is important, how to advocate for their child’s literacy needs, and what to do when advocacy is difficult, all in an interactive online experience. In the self-advocacy track, students will learn about self-empowerment, understanding their learning challenge, and advocating for themselves.
Approximate tutorial length per track: 30 minutes
Download and print these infographics with ideas or questions linked to the tutorial.
A literacy advocate supports or speaks out for someone else’s educational needs or rights in reading, writing, and language. As a family member, you know your child best. You have seen your child’s literacy skills progress over time. You can embrace your role as an advocate and learn how to work together with your child’s school toward common goals.
Advocacy comes in many forms and can be done in a variety of ways. Whatever path you choose, have a navigation system to follow and forecast your child’s literacy growth.
You and the school rely on each other to meet the literacy needs of your child. So, working together can solve conflicts early. Knowing where to turn when you need information or support can help too.
Why Advocacy is Important
Embrace your role as an advocate and learn how to work with your child’s school toward common goals.
- Understanding what advocacy is prepares you for being a strong advocate for your child’s literacy needs.
- Establishing a strong family-school partnership opens doors for advocacy and encourages your child’s success.
- Advocacy can occur on an individual basis, such as advocating for the specific needs of your own child, or at the group level, such as advocating for a group of students with similar needs.
You and the school share responsibility for your child’s language and literacy learning. Collaborate with your school to make decisions about your child’s literacy education right from the start. Your child benefits when you and the school work together to support her literacy development. Working together promotes faster development and catches trouble spots early.
How to Advocate for Your Child’s Literacy Needs
Learn multiple ways to advocate for your child’s literacy needs and be better prepared to work with your child’s school to ensure his or her needs are met.
- Advocacy comes in many forms and can be done in a variety ways.
- To advocate well for your child’s literacy needs, it helps to have a strong understanding of how children learn to read.
- Knowing more about evidence-based practices and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) can equip you for more productive and targeted conversations with school staff about your child’s literacy learning.
What to Do When Advocacy is Difficult
Learn strategies for when advocating becomes difficult.
- It is common to feel uneasy being an advocate for your child’s literacy needs.
- Disagreements are a natural part of working together.
- You and the school rely on each other to meet the literacy needs of your child.
The research reported here is funded by awards to the National Center on Improving Literacy from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, in partnership with the Office of Special Education Programs (Award #: S283D160003). The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of OESE, OSEP, or the U.S. Department of Education. Copyright © 2021 National Center on Improving Literacy. https://improvingliterarcy.org