Creating Opportunities for Using Family Funds of Knowledge to Support Literacy Skills

Researchers: Callie Lewry and Sharla Currie 
December 2016

In our community school we are working on improving oral language and literacy skills.
We know the research says that parent engagement is a primary factor in student success; thus, we wanted to explore different ways to create authentic opportunities for caregivers.

The research also points to higher parent engagement in literacy programs when parent
knowledge is recognized. Typically, literacy programs for families are very teacher-directed; we tell them what we want them to do. We rarely ask families what they would like to do, what they do, and what knowledge they have to share. 

We used a community kitchen to develop relationships with families and share knowledge. We worked alongside the families while preparing the meals. Initially, the cooking sessions were meant as a way to bring families in; however, as we were in the process we realized it was providing us with ways to directly help build on family literacy skills.