This toolkit helps families learn how to effectively advocate for children’s literacy needs and the use of evidence-based literacy practices in school and early childhood settings.

You will learn:

  • How and what to advocate for
  • Tips for communicating about children’s literacy needs
  • What to do when advocacy is difficult

This toolkit includes:

  • Online Tutorial
  • Research Briefs & Infographics
  • Resources for Parents & Families

Online Tutorial

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

Supplemental Materials

Download and print these infographics with ideas or questions linked to the tutorial.

Advocating for My Child’s Literacy Needs

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.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Advocacy
Route to Reading: Set Your Destination

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.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Advocacy
Route to Reading: Get Another Quote

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.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Advocacy

Why Advocacy is Important

Embrace your role as an advocate and learn how to work with your child’s school toward common goals.

Big Ideas

  • 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.
Partnering With Your Child’s School

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.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Partnerships
PEATC

Use this Student Language and Literacy Profile guide to introduce your child to new teachers, related services providers, administrators, and others.

Topic: Advocacy, Reading Disabilities

Parent Network of Western New Work

This informational sheet includes tips for communicating at a meeting and written communication and six skills to be an effective advocate.

Topic: Advocacy

Parent Network of Western New Work

This informational sheet includes tips for communicating at a meeting and written communication and six skills to be an effective advocate.

Topic: Advocacy

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.

Big Ideas

  • 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.
Education Week

Some of the most important pre-literacy skills begin in infancy. This timeline shows examples of the milestones children meet on their path to fluent reading.

Topic: Advocacy, Beginning Reading

National Center on Intensive Interventions and Rhode Island Parent Information Network

This infographic provides an overview of intensive intervention.

Topic: Interventions

California MATRIX Parent Information and Resource Center

This information sheet suggests questions about interventions, making progress, and assessments you might ask your child's school before, during, or after an IEP meeting.

Topic: Dyslexia, Advocacy

ASHA, CASE, CEC, CLD, Decoding Dyslexia, DLD, IDA, LDA, NASOSE, NASP, NCLD

This document outlines joint principles that have been developed in partnership by a group of organizations.

Topic: Advocacy

REL Southeast

Read this infographic to learn common assessment terms used in reading.

Topic: Screening

The Center on Standards & Assessment Implementation

This update provides information to parents on how to interpret three common types of assessment their child takes: classroom, district and school interim, and state annual assessments.

Topic: Assessments

The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk

This document distills the latest research findings into 10 easy-to-follow recommendations that states, school districts, and schools can use to improve reading intervention. Also included is a list of research evidence supporting the recommendations.

Topic: Reading Disabilities, Interventions

The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk

This informational sheet outlines five considerations for literacy practices for struggling readers.

Topic: Advocacy

Meadows Center for the Prevention of Educational Risk

This informational sheet outlines five considerations for literacy practices for struggling readers.

Topic: Advocacy

The Right to Read Project

Part two of a guide to reading advocacy.

Topic: Advocacy

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Talking to the doctor is the first step toward getting help for your child if you are concerned about his or her development (how your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, or moves).

Topic: Advocacy

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Talking to the doctor is the first step toward getting help for your child if you are concerned about his or her development (how your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, or moves).

Topic: Advocacy

What to Do When Advocacy is Difficult

Learn strategies for when advocating becomes difficult.

Big Ideas

  • 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.
CADRE

This brochure offers specific communication skills that may be helpful to parents as they develop and maintain partnerships with their child's school.

Topic: Advocacy, Reading Disabilities

Understood.org

Here are 10 stay-calm phrases you can use to redirect conversation and defuse tense situations.

Topic: Advocacy

Understood.org

This fact sheet overviews the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.

Topic: Advocacy

Center for Parent Information & Resources

This webpage overviews the federal regulations for IDEA 2004 section Subpart E called Procedural Safeguards.

Topic: Advocacy, Reading Disabilities

Center for Parent Information & Resources

This webpage overviews the federal regulations for IDEA 2004 section Subpart E called Procedural Safeguards.

Topic: Advocacy, Reading Disabilities

The Center for Parent Information & Resources

The Center for Parent Information and Resources offers this guide as a road map to help bring stakeholders together, suggests strategies to help them engage in dialogue, and discusses best practices to help them work together to benefit the local community.

Topic: Advocacy


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