Evidence-based Family Engagement in Children’s Literacy Via Text Messages
Close to 130 organizations, including school districts, are participating in Ready4K, a text-messaging program designed to engage parents in students’ literacy development. Parents can “opt in” to receive three text messages each week, covering everything from naming emotions to building confidence and staying active through movement. Sent over the course of the week, the text messages offer parents a simple fact about child development, followed by a tip for an activity and then a suggestion for how to continue the learning. On a Monday, for example, parents may receive a text noting that asking children questions throughout the day helps build language skills. Then on Wednesday, they would receive a tip to ask children a silly question in the morning, such as, “If you could ride an animal to school, what animal would you choose? Why?” On Friday, parents would receive an additional suggestion to ask children about one fun thing that happened during their day. The original pilot program was designed by San Francisco Unified School District in partnership with Stanford University Graduate School of Education. The pilot program evolved into the comprehensive family engagementcurriculum run by the California-based company ParentPowered.
Against the backdrop of COVID-19, racial violence, and action for justice and healing, back-to-school is nothing like normal. But as schools reopen—online, in person, or both—Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) is offering a series of webinars that will look at the challenges of the moment.
Countless educational conferences have had to go virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic, but one of the biggest benefits of real-world conferences has been lost: the casual meetings with other educators that often produce new ideas and opportunities. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management and Northeastern University are testing a new video chat service called Minglr that lets online conference-goers bump into each other virtually.