Parent Resources

The Importance of Regular Reading

This is a fantastic visual of the impact of regular reading shared by Perry Public Schools.


Supporting Your Child's Reading

Parents are a VITAL part of the support team for your child's reading success.   Most teachers have the expectation that their students will read every night, and we count on parents to monitor, encourage, and direct their students' independent reading.   Here are some important tips:

Know your teacher's expectations
Is your child expected to read every night?  For how long?  Is there a reading log or other reading requirement?

Support home reading habits
Make a regular time of day for reading and have a comfortable, quiet place for your child to read. 

Consider adjusting bed time to expect your child to be in bed by an earlier time for in-bed reading but consider rewarding them with a later time for lights-out if they are reading. 

Consider placing a nightstand or small bookcase in your child's room where library books, magazines, comic books, or other reading materials will be easily visible and accessible.

Add a nightlamp or wall lamp for good lighting.

Be sure to regularly ask your child about what he or she is reading.  Just letting them share what they are reading is enormously rewarding for kids.  This lets your child know you're interested and care about what they are reading.  And it allows them to share their reading adventures with you!   This also aids in comprehension when they recall events and discuss them.

Help your child complete any required reading logs and review these each week.

Books, books, books!  Take any opportunity you can to bring books into your home.  Ask your school library staff when your child can exchange books outside their normal class visit.  Visit the public library and help your child get his very own library card.  Check thrift stores, yard sales, or the Bookstore downtown for great deals on used books.  Visit Barnes and Noble and just spend some time letting your child browse the children's area and explore new books.  Anything you can do to model that books are important to YOU will translate to books becoming more important to your child.  This is a fun, worthwhile investment of time that will benefit your child his entire life!

Support your school library!   For most students, the school library is the primary (if not only) source of books for independent reading.  Encourage your principal and PTA to support your school library to have staffing to keep your library doors open during the school day and to make sure your school has the latest and most exciting new books for your kids!  Make sure you communicate that your school's library is important to you and to your child on surveys and questionaires.   All CUSD library book budgets come from school site funding and donations.  Some schools direct funding to keep their library doors open most of the day - others don't.  Some school sites have new book budgets, other sites don't.  It's up to parents to make sure the library at your school is a priority, so that your kids have great books at their fingertips - and plenty of opportunities to revisit the library during the week to exchange books for new reads.

Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader
Ask if your child is particpating in Accelerated Reader (AR). This is a program designed to encourage regular reading practice and assists teachers in monitoring reading comprehension and progress. Each student is usually given a STAR Reading assessment to determine his/her personal reading level. This helps the teacher determine the ZPD for your child. The ZPD is the recommended reading range for Accelerated Reader books. Students should be allowed to select any age-appropriate book within his/her ZPD. After the student completes the book, they will take a short AR quiz to confirm that they read and understood the book. The quiz also provides additional data for the teacher to help in monitoring student reading progress.

There are some important ways we hope parents will support Accelerated Reader!
Know your child's ZPD. Your child's teacher can provide this to you.

Help your child locate books in his ZPD. You can use AR Bookfinder (a free site) to look up any book and find if it is an AR book and what the book's ATOS (reading) level is. Make sure the ATOS level falls within your child's ZPD. AR Bookfinder is excellent when picking books at the public library, from your home bookshelf, or when making a wishlist for new books to purchase for your child.

You can also locate books in your child's ZPD at their school library. Visit the CUSD Destiny page for a link to all our school library catalogs. Locate your school site. Under Reading Programs, select Accelerated Reader. Under AR Level, enter your child's ZPD range. Click on Keyword (or other search form) to search. You can review library titles and create a list of books for your child to checkout from the library.

Monitor AR progress with Home Connect. Home Connect is a student and parent portal you can access from anywhere and review your child's AR progress. Visit the Home Connect site and login with your child's AR login (your child will usually know this, or your teacher can share this with you). Once you are in Home Connect, note the % correct. This measures comprehension. If the % is below 85%, your child may need to read more carefully or choose an easier book or two until comprehension is more effective. Also notice the number of points. This measures the amount of reading your child is doing. You'll also see the ATOS Book Level. This is the average book level of books your child has read this trimester. It should ideally be within their ZPD. NOW, be sure to click on View My Bookshelf and explore your child's Bookshelf. Have him give you a tour and show you his three favorite books. IMPORTANT NOTE: Click on the Email Setup link at the top of Home Connect to sign up for email alerts. Everytime your child takes an AR quiz, you'll receive an email notice with information about the book and how he did. This is a GREAT way to monitor AR results and to cheer your child on. Be sure to mention you saw they took a quiz and ask about the book! They will love to share their reading with you and will appreciate that you care about their reading success!!

By the way, you'll find links to AR Bookfinder, the library catalog, and Home Connect on your school's Library page.  Check it out!