Finding a Comprehensive Family & Community Engagement Solution

By Craig Shurick, Principal at Vaughn Elementary in Gig Harbor, WA

Craig Shurick After reviewing research on high-performing schools, one of the top indicators of an improving school is “family involvement in their student’s learning.” At our school, Vaughn Elementary, in Gig Harbor Washington, that was a key element in turning around and sustaining marked literacy improvement. Click here to read about Gig Harbor’s family engagement success.

As our world becomes more complex, family involvement is increasingly critical to a child’s literacy success. Today, 35% of American children begin kindergarten without the basic language skills they will need to learn to read. By focusing on the inherent strengths of families and communities, “Read and Rise” offers a flexible, multi-tiered approach to family and community engagement that is anchored in building text-rich environments at home for all children.

As a Principal, I have witnessed this program bring parents, students, and communities together through family-centered Book Fair events by focusing on two main goals:

1.   Turning students into avid readers.
2.   Engaging family members in their children’s reading development.

Read and Rise does a tremendous job of helping schools promote literacy. I believe this is an exceptional program that really works.

Read and Rise Take-Home Resources
Designed to engage individual families in their homes, the Read and Rise program offers a proactive strategy to reach families directly. Individual take-home books and supportive resources help parents break through any language and literacy barriers in their efforts to support their children’s literacy development.

Read and Rise Professional Development
An inspiring series of in-depth and engaging training sessions for facilitators conducted by Family Literacy Specialists from Scholastic. Participants are introduced to the Read and Rise program and trained to best use its simple and effective curriculum and take-home resources.

Read and Rise Comprehensive Family & Community Engagement Solution
The comprehensive program provides take-home resources for all families, as well as professional development training led by a Scholastic Literacy Specialist and all the resources and tools necessary to effectively implement the complete Read and Rise program. It can be customized to meet individual needs and the number of families served. This sustainable program helps expand and strengthen a school district’s capacity to reach more families within their school and in the community.

Read and Rise is a sustainable and systematic literacy engagement program designed to bring families, schools, and communities together to support children’s literacy development, while celebrating the positive impact of family culture and tradition.

Scholastic created the comprehensive Read and Rise program as part of their dedication to all families and schools to help them build the capacity they need to instill a culture of reading and learning in children. Through Read and Rise, Scholastic is committed to ensuring that all children have the opportunity to meet and exceed the educational challenges of the 21st Century. This unique, multi-dimensional program includes:

  • Research-based curricula built on best educational practices
  • Family workshops to engage families in how best to support literacy development at home
  • Take-home reading materials for every student
  • Partnerships and resources to help build a text-rich home environment
  • English and Spanish materials

This month’s e-news features another article, where we highlighted Highlands Elementary for their recent success with Read and Rise. Click here to watch a video example of how yet one more school undertook the assets of this program to better the literary skills of their student body.

Click here to learn more about Read and Rise, a research-tested family involvement solution.

Craig Shurick served as a Principal for 25 years, in elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Washington State. The last six years he served in Washington State as a school improvement facilitator, working with over 200 Principals in an effort to successfully turn around low-performing schools. He also devotes his time to work in collaboration with the Association of Washington School Principals.
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