Katrina Morse and Elizabeth Stilwell, Family Reading Partnership’s Interim Co-Directors, attended the National Head Start Association’s Annual Conference on Family Engagement in early December. Through a generous donation, all 2,000 conference participants received Family Reading Partnership’s book, At Home with Books, at the conference’s opening ceremony. How amazing to think of all those books making their way to Head Start programs around the country!
Elizabeth and Katrina presented workshops on supporting families in creating read-aloud routines and the crucial role that families have in connecting their children to a life-long love of books and reading. As author and illustrator, Katrina was a featured presenter, and participants were introduced to the book as not only a warm and appealing story for children, but as a strong tool for family engagement to support reading at home. Conference participants also had opportunities to meet Katrina and have their books signed, making the gift of the book even more special. It is our hope to one day place this book into the hands, homes, and hearts of the one million children in Head Start, because we believe that all children should have the opportunity to grow up “at home with books.”
The highlight of the conference was National Head Start Association’s announcement of a formal partnership with Family Reading Partnership to sponsor an At Home with Books Read-Aloud Campaign for national read-aloud month in March 2016. At Home with Books and its main characters, the Bear Family, will be featured in the campaign. The book will also be available in Spanish. Family Reading Partnership will develop activities and incentives that will be shared throughout the month to encourage and support read-aloud at home, as Head Start programs across the country are invited to join this #Read-Aloud Revolution!
Stay tuned for more news about this exciting national partnership! We can’t wait to see the impact on children and families!