Family Literacy Curriculum


Best of the Web: Family Literacy

Personal Identification
Understanding the School System
Parents As Teachers
    Reading With Children
    Homework Tips
    Libraries and Other Outside Learning Opportunities
    Technology and Online Activities for Parents and Children
    Emergency Preparedness and Safety
    Various Resources
Preparing for Your Child's Academic Success
Multilingual and Multicultural Materials

Other Collections of Links
Lesson Plans

Personal Identification

See Best of the Web: Getting Started
See Best of the Web: Time and Weather

Personal Identification and Information:
Beginning level activity for the classroom:
Beginning level personal information form:

Families and Introductions:
Online listening exercise:

Arlington County Public Schools Information
Names & addresses of APS schools:
APS Student Handbook :
Registration & enrollment information, links to many forms:

Randall's ESL Listening Lab:
Self Introductions:
Talking about Families:
Getting to Know You:
Likes and Dislikes:

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Understanding the School System

Oregon Even Start Lesson Plans:
This will take you to the lesson plan index. One lesson is to help parents prepare for parent-teacher conferences. Click on the links to view and print lesson plan and handouts in Microsoft Word.

Most of the following links will take you information about Arlington County Public Schools (APS) :

Getting Ready for School
APS Intake Center
Preparing Your Family for School

Programs of Studies and School Reports
Grades 1-12

General School Information
School Calendars
Middle School Grading System

Demographics and Scores
Cafeteria Menus
Boundary Information
Bus Routes

School Rules
Code of Conduct

Parent Involvement
Conferences and Parent Involvement
National Education Association: Getting Involved in Your Child's Education:

Photographs of Personnel at Specific APS Schools
Gunston Middle School:
The Barrett Elementary School: http://www.Arlington.k12.VA.US/schools/barrett/index.html
Randolph Elementary School: http://www.Arlington.k12.VA.US/schools/randolph/info/index.html

National Education Association: School Health Information:

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Parents As Teachers

    Reading With Children
    Homework Tips
    Libraries and Other Outside Learning Opportunities
    Technology and On-line Activities for Parents and Children
    Emergency Preparedness and Safety
    Various Resources

Reading With Children

Oregon Even Start Lesson Plans:
This will take you to the lesson plan index. Click on the links for the first lesson "The Gingerbread Man" to view and print lesson plan and handouts. Adapt lesson to parent-only programs (lesson has children joining parents at the end, but can easily be adapted so parents continue the activity at home with their children). Lesson "Family Traditions" also fits into this unit.

PBS Parents: Reading and Language
Great visuals and content, easy to navigate. Parents click on the age group of their child, then choose from 2 sections: information about how children develop their listening, tealking, reading, and writing skills, and ideas for parents to do with their children to support and encourage these skills. Lots of activities are provided.

Online Books and Stories:

Children's Reading Room:

Stories from Around the World:
Children's stories from around the world, written and illustrated by children who are learning English. Stories are available in English and in the original language.

Bedtime Story
A large collection of online, beautifully illustrated stories for children age 6 and up. Click on Enter and go to the Story Index. Scroll through the selections, organized by theme.

Children's Books Online
A large collection of online children's books, with original illustrations and text page. A fast connection is recommended, as you go through page by page. Many books also available in Spanish, French, Polish, Farsi, Russian, Italian, German, Romanian, Chinese, Greek, Finnish, Swedish, Maori, and Dutch. When reading a book in a language besides English, it first shows you the original in English, with other language options to click on. When you click a little window pops up with the text in that language.

Story Place: The Children's Digital Library
For each interesting theme, there is an online story (Flash Player required), a related online activity, ideas and instructions for a take-home activity, a list of further related reading, and a page for parents with activity ideas (crafts, further reading, finger plays...). First choose English or Spanish, then Pre-school or Elementary Stories.

Lil' Fingers
A collection of online animated storybooks for pre-schoolers and young children. Requires Flash Media Player.

Tips, Guides and Reference Materials for Teachers and/or Parents:
Read Aloud Virginia:
A Parent's Guide to Reading Basics:
Ten Ways to Improve Reading Skills:,1120,21-24428,00.html
Parent Tips for Reading Aloud:
Why Reading Aloud Works:
Why Reading Aloud is Beneficial:
Why to Read Above Grade Level:
Ten Tips for Reading Aloud:
A Child Becomes A Reader: Birth to Preschool:
A Child Becomes a Reader: Kindergarten Through Grade 3:
Reading is Fundamental Home Page:
Reading is Fundamental Tips:
Ideas and Activities for Developing Phonological Awareness Skills:
Teach A Child To Read:
Reading A-Z:
The Partnership for Reading:

Better Kid Care Program: Information for Parents
Publications for parents. Click on Parents Count and Family Time-Work Time for a series of short publications with support for parents balancing work and family time, articles, ways to spend time with children, and healthy snack ideas. Many issues available in Spanish as well. Click on Reading Wizards to readtips on parents and children reading together. Most files in PDF format .

The Learning Ladder II (for family child care providers, children and their families)
An excellent site with 5 learning modules designed for family child care providers, children, and their families. Parents can work through these alone or with a tutor or teacher (especially the first 3 modules, on literacy and play). Lots of visuals, clear presentation, built in vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar support, self-test opportunities, and lots of great content.

Providing a Literacy Rich Home Environment

Arlington Summer Reading Lists and Activities:

Randall's ESL Listening Lab
Reading Time:

Parents' Book Report Form (html or PDF)

Child Development
Time 4 Reading:

Parent Brochures:
For brochures on all kinds of topics related to helping one's child learn to read, click on Parent
Brochures link.

Parents and Children Together Online:
A wealth of online poems and stories organized by age group, with illustrations, designed to be read
together by parents and children online. Some in other languages as well. Click on Parents and
Children Together Online link. For brochures on all kinds of topics related to helping one's child learn
to read, click on Parent Brochures link.

Sebastian Swan:
A series of online books for children, with photographs, from a British site (some differences in
language and references to British school/grade system).

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Homework Tips

Study Habits:

Help Your Child Ace His Next Spelling Test:,1120,21-21084,00.html

Ten Ways to Help Your Kids Do Well in Math:,1120,21-24427,00.html

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Libraries and Other Outside Learning Opportunities

Arlington County Public Libraries

Helping Your Child Use the Library

Using the Public Library
Complete lesson plan on using the library. Great visuals and materials included. Some specific to Newport Beach, CA, but most can be used anywhere. Site requires free registration.


Out and About:

Smithsonian Institution:
Information about museums, events, and exhibitions.

The National Zoo:
Photographs, hours, location, and other information about the zoo.

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Technology and Online Activities for Parents and Children

Computers Conversation Questions:
Parent/Child Activities:
Online Games:

Free online jigsaw puzzles. Members can also upload pictures and make and share their own puzzles.

Links to many sites for children--parents can choose sites by child's age and activity type. Free
registration required.

See also Online Books section under Reading With Children above.

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Keeping Children Safe and Healthy/Emergency Preparedness

McGruff's Child Safety Center:

Emergency Preparedness:
Click on Home Guide to Emergency Preparedness

Red Cross Disaster Supply Kit:

VA Dept. of Emergency Management (Preparing for Disaster):
Very comprehensive site. Factsheets on preparing for different kinds of disasters.

Talking with Kids (about tough topics):

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Various Resources

City Family Magazine
City family is an online magazine for immigrant families and other working families.

Homemade Books With and/or For Children
Reading is FUNdamental:
Whole Family:

Concept to Classroom: A Series of Workshops
Concept to Classroom is an online series of free, professional development workshops covering important and timely topics in education.

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Preparing for Your Child's Academic Success

Arlington Public School (APS) Links:

School Testing
American School Counselor Association "Helping children overcome test anxiety."

Interactive SOL test practice:

PBS Test-taking Tips:

Test Time: Strategies for Students, Parents, and Teachers:

Petersons SAT Prep Center:

US Department of Education Test-taking Tips:

High School Graduation
Virginia Assessment:

Virginia Guidelines for LEP Students participation in SOL tests:

Virginia Graduation Requirements:

Virginia Graduation Requirements:

College and Careers
Arlington Employment Center

The College Board:

Virginia College Quest:

US News and World Report America’s Best Colleges 2006:

US Department of Education Preparing Your Child for College:

Parent Involvement
National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education:

School Choice
The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers:

Virginia School Report Card:


The ASPIRA Association, Inc. is a national nonprofit organization focused on the education and leadership development of Puerto Rican and other Latino youth.

Learning Two Languages: Questions Parents Ask:

If Your Child Learns in Two Languages:

The American School Counselor Association: The Role of the School Counselor"

Multilingual and Multicultural Materials

Cultural Orientation Resource Center:

International Children's Digital Library:
Find children's books in a wide variety of languages and read them online!

Bilingual Books:
Find and order Spanish-English books.

An online and telephone resource available in English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong. To access concise written information about family issues, click on Family on the right. To access the same information by phone, see instructions on the left side of the page.

Planned Parenthood Info in Spanish:

Excellent Book in English or Spanish
Raising Nuestros Ninos: Bringing up Latino Children in a Bicultural World
Criando a Nuestros Ninos: Educando a Ninos Latinos en un Mundo Bicultural
Excellent book available in English and Spanish. An excellent recommendation for parents, or to have on hand in a lending library.

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Other Collections of Links

VA Resource Center Favorite Links:
Reading is FUNdamental:
Lincs Midwest:
Fairfax Library and link to MotherRead/FatherRead:
National Parent Information Network:
American Library Association's Great Websites for Kids:
Literacy Center Play and Learn:
Children's Book Council:
Partnership for Reading:
Helping Your Child with Homework:
Ready Web:
National Parent Information Network:
Reading Rockets:
Reading Is Fundamental- Online Activities:
National Education Association Reading Information:

Lesson Plans

Oregon Even Start Lesson Plans:
Great lesson plans and resources for parents and children.

Oregon Even Start Resource Page:
Handouts and resources, some in Spanish (MS Word format).


Family Literacy Even Start Lesson Plans

10 lesson plans in MS Word format.

Fairfax County Family Literacy Curriculum
Contains excellent lesson plans and handouts for mixed-level ESL classes (PDF format).

Tobacco Lesson Plans
Scroll down and click on links to online lessons for different English levels.

Learning Activities: Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention
Learning Activities:
(designed for use with teens)

Latino Adult Education Services
These modules complete with materials were designed for Latin American families; they can be adapted for more general use.

Parenting in the United States:
Women's Changing Roles:

Men's Changing Roles:

Children's Changing Roles:

Parents' Involvement in Education:

Teenagers' Access to Higher Education:

Parents: The Anti-Drug (Activities)

Classroom activities designed for children & teens, but may give adult ed teachers useful information and ideas.


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Arlington Education and Employment Program
2801 Clarendon Blvd., Room 218, Arlington, VA 22201