Literacy is an ongoing problem in West Michigan and 13 on your side is doing what we can to help, with 13 Reads Week.

Julie Ray is a reading specialist with Muskegon Public Schools and has some tips for parents to enhance what happens in the classroom at home. 

Read to and with your child

  • 20 min/day (research)
  • Human connection/enjoyable
  • Make it fun, engaging
  • Find a comfortable spot
  • Increases motivation
  • During dinner, in the car, doctor's office
  • Let them see you read
  • Think aloud

Talk with your child about their stories

  • Increases comprehension/understanding
  • Oral language development
  • Shows that reading is more than just figuring out words
  • Ask questions: 5 Ws, characters, events, favorite part, make predictions, What did you learn? Always ask why?
  • Make connections

Retell the story together

  • Increases comprehension/understanding
  • Use illustrations to help retell, connect pictures to text
  • Use puppets/props - make it fun?
  • Sequence the retell - reinforce that stories have a beginning, middle and end

Read familiar books over and over

  • Increases engagement/motivation
  • Become more confident, feel like a real reader, fun
  • Learn something new each time
  • Fluency
  • Praise them for all attempts

Practice fluency

  • Smooth, accurate, expressive
  • Leads to better comprehension
  • Listen to a fluent reader by Echo reading (I read, you read) and Choral reading (read together)

Attend family literacy events

  • Become familiar with school programs, tools and techniques for helping at home
  • Parent toolkits

Use resources

  • Local library/bookstore (provides variety, more books)
  • Online:, World Book Online, Storyline Online 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our reader AND the one-and-only ... !!! Celebrate her birthday by watching her read 'The Hula-Hoopin' Queen' by Thelma Godin and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Watch here: