Developed over a decade ago by BookSpring, the Parent Book Club is a unique, hands-on, parent-focused modeling curriculum that provides a unique structure for parent engagement, support, and improving both the number of books in the home and the frequency of reading with low-income families.

Parent BookClub Mom & ChildIn the original model, Parent Book Clubs meet once a week for six weeks. Parents of pre-K and Kindergarten students receive read-aloud instruction and practice, a free book each week, and take-home materials to help them extend their child’s interest and understanding of each story.

  • Parents read to their children at the end of each meeting, immediately after practicing the story, when their confidence level is at its highest.
  • Parents receive incentives to visit their local library.
  • Parents get to know a school staff person who encourages them to stay involved even after the BookClub is over.
  • Upon completion, families get to take home 6 “forever books” for their children.

The original model was shown to increase number of books in the home, frequency of reading aloud together, and increase use of the library and the internet to access a variety of reading materials.  The model can be adapted to shorter sessions and one time workshops, and is also since COVID being offered online.

Contact Idali Reyes, the Early Childhood Coordinator, for information about getting the Parent Book Club at your school, library, or community center, at (512) 472-1791 x 101.

The Parent Book Club Trainer of Trainers (three-hour workshop)

Early Childhood Centers, Daycares, Libraries, and Community Center Directors: Are you looking for an enjoyable way to engage parents while providing them with real knowledge and skills? Look no further!

This course offers experienced book club facilitators sharing best practices. The workshop also offers a full curriculum and a sample set of books. Attendees will leave prepared to help parents understand the importance of their role as their child’s first teacher.

This course is being offered periodically at our Central Austin location and can be booked at your site on a negotiated fee basis.  Includes a written curriculum for the six week model program.

What people are saying about the BookSpring Parent Book Club

We asked parents what was the most important thing they learned from Book Club. Here are some of their responses:

“I learned that I need to read every day to help my children in school and in life.” – Maria, Cepeda Book Club
“I learned to invite my daughters to participate in the reading and to let them choose books that interested them.” – Denise, Jordan Elementary Book Club
“I learned how to ask questions about a story and that reading with my child is fun and important.” – Deysi, Jordan Elementary Book Club
“Reading is important to do every day with my children and that children learn from a very early age.” – Evelin, Cepeda Book Club

Parents filled out surveys in Weeks 1 and 6 of Book Club and over 50% of surveyed participates stated increases in the following reading behaviors:

  • Use a special voice to show your child that the story is dramatic, suspenseful, humorous, playful, or sad.
  • Let my child to help me tell the story and talk about how the story is like his or her life.
  • Ask questions about what may happen next.
  • Use the book to teach something new to my child.

A Testimonial

Mari is a very active student and mother. She is always enthusiastic about participating in the various on-site services we offer. Her older son, Diego, had started at the age of 2 and now her younger son, Gabriel, was also enrolled. Like many of our parents, she expressed joy over all the learning her children were doing. I asked what she enjoyed most for her and she talked about her children. So, I asked once more and said “Mari, it gives me such joy that you recognize gains in your children’s learning, but what about you? What about Mari? What have you gained for yourself?” She blushed a little and smiled really big. I think she might have felt a little shy about what she was about to share. She said, “For me, I really enjoy the Parent BookClub with Lili. It is such a lovely experience. No one read to me as a child. When she reads the books, I find myself sitting there getting lost in what she’s reading, as though she’s reading it to me. Se me hace que eso me hizo falta de nina.”

I was filled with a mix of emotions as I listened to her. Lili and BookSpring were fulfilling something in Mari’s life that she might not have even realized she’d been missing. And it further confirmed for her the importance of reading with her own children.

The Parent BookClub is such a meaningful part of our program. Thank you for offering your phenomenal program to our families.

Parents With Books

Parents with Books is designed both to engage a parent in their children’s learning; and to engage the family with formal and informal learning experiences in the community. BookSpring offers a variety of events and technical support as part of our Go program to improve their parent engagement efforts through books, reading, and reading aloud activities.

Parents reading during Parent Book Club at Uphaus Elementary
During BookSpring’s Parent Book Club, parents gain confidence, motivation and skills necessary to share books with their children on a regular basis.

Here are some helpful resources for Texas early childhood professionals regarding the new Parent Engagement strategies and how early literacy programs and activities can support these efforts. For more information on how BookSpring can help, contact us at (512) 472-1791 x 101

  1. Draft of High-Quality Prekindergarten Family Engagement Strategies (Texas Education Agency)
    Work in progress outlining the details of how to implement and assess a parent engagement strategy in early childhood programs.
  2. 84th Legislative Session Final Bill Report 2015-2016
    Complete Report
  3. HB 4 – only – text – Summary of House bill 4 only – including Family engagement portion
  4. Austin Public Library – Storytime Connection
    Babies are born learning. Learn how you can help nurture your child’s success! Explore activities and videos to learn more about how to make a BIG difference in your child’s life. Just a few simple, daily activities can stimulate learning every day.
  5. Talk Read Sing is a national program that promotes reading aloud in families.  They have a number of free resources available for download in English and Spanish.
  6. Start with The Arts a national program that uses drama, dance, visual art, and music activities to support early literacy skills at home.  This free handbook for parents and caregivers is available to download in both Spanish and English.  In addition, a full curriculum for Pre-K through Grade 3 is available for educators.
  7. NAEYC Family Engagement Principles – From the Early childhood arena – Six guiding principles for working with parents and families.
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