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How do you involve parents in their students’ reading practice?

By Ken Stoflet, Communications Specialist

How do you involve parents in their students’ reading practice?

The answer might not be so simple. We asked our Renaissance Royals community this question and received a ton of great responses. From sending home research highlighting the benefits of reading to writing-based projects, there are a ton of great ways to involve parents in their students’ reading practice. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites! Check it out!

A few recommendations

  • “With our SFA program, the students have to read to their parents 20 minutes each night. The students have to write a brief comment about what they read. The parent has to sign off that this was done and the student brings it back to school the next day.” – Dvawn

  • “I provide parents research and data on the value of reading. I don’t make them sign reading logs, but I involve them in all of our reading celebrations so I can remind them of the need for their participation.” – Lloyd

  • “I encourage them to sign up for Renaissance Home Connect! When they are ‘in the know,’ they are more likely to be supportive. I have a huge classroom library and ask my students every afternoon, ‘Do you have a book to read tonight?’ They are always welcome to borrow from me.” – Renee

  • “I have the parents complete a novel study project. The students choose a book to read with their parents, then the parents and child write short books back and forth to each other about the original book they chose.” – Jayme

  • “Parents are always informed. I send a weekly newsletter home to state the reading skill we will be working on for the week. I also try to keep parents active with checking their child’s Renaissance Accelerated Reader® goal and their certification level. This helps drive reading fluency and comprehension.” – Melissa

  • “Students are provided with books daily and on weekends. I send messages to parents to encourage their child to read daily. I also send research-based literature expressing the importance of reading and the impact it has on a child’s overall academics now and long-term.” – Cynthia

  • “One of the hardest things to do is to get students to read during the summer. I send home different book lists such as the 2X2 list or the Texas Bluebonnet list. At our school district in August, students turn in summer reading logs and we have a ceremony for the top readers of each grade level.” – Michelle

Making it stick

In an earlier blog post, we highlighted the importance of keeping students engaged during summer. Perhaps the biggest component of this is involvement from parents. Not only do parents need to be involved in their students’ reading practice throughout the school year, but they also need to be during the summer months. It is truly a year-round exercise.

Share your suggestions

How do you keep parents involved in their students’ reading practice? What about during the summer months? Do you plan on trying any of these suggestions? Tell us in the comments below, post on our Facebook, or tweet us at @RenLearnUS!

And if you haven’t had the chance to explore our summer student activities, take a look! Each week through the end of August, we’re highlighting different math and reading activities for students.

Ken Stoflet, Communications Specialist
Ken Stoflet, Communications Specialist
Ken Stoflet is the communications specialist at Renaissance. He has been with the company since 2015 and can be found crafting anything from a press release to a tweet. In his spare time, Ken enjoys spending time with his friends, lifting, and making trips to the Frozen Tundra to cheer on the Green Bay Packers.


  1. Alecia Walkuski says:

    We introduce summer reading to our incoming high school freshmen and their parents at orientation. We even have a local bookseller present to sell copies of books from the required list to facilitate the process. Parents really enjoy the ease of learning about the program and accessing the books all at once.

  2. Matthew Wick says:

    I send home the home connect paper so that parents can log on and see their student’s daily AR quiz score. They always know how their child is doing on AR quizzes!

  3. Lisa Capon says:

    Nice article

  4. Laura says:

    Keep reading emails from the teacher and local celebrities during the summer.

  5. Sandra Cunningham says:

    We have multiple book giveaways with donated books at Parent Conference and events so the students and parents are part of the process. The we hand out strategies, quick games ideas and simple questions charts they can use with their students.

  6. Ami K. Edwards says:

    Great ideas!

  7. Rita Platt says:

    I just did an entire webinar called, “Want Readers? Engage the Community!” It is here:

  8. Jody Steinhaus says:

    Ongoing communication about the importance and expectations of reading practice at home. Building partnerships between home and school is a crucial component to student success.

  9. Lloyd Goldberg says:

    I offer a suggested book list and the reward kids for emailing me a book report when the school year starts.

  10. P R says:

    Appalachian State University has a program in which students are encouraged to read during the summer. They give us a form to give to our students. When the students bring the filled out form back at the beginning of the next school year, they receive a prize from the university.

    I also send home a printed off list of summer reading activities and reading websites for extra practice to maintain skills to the upcoming 3rd graders.

  11. Lee says:

    Awesome ideas. Thanks for sharing

  12. Heidi says:

    We kick off summer with a community event at a local mall. We have activities and book give aways.

  13. Renee Graham says:

    I continue to communicate thru the summer via Twitter, Seesaw, Instagram and email with tips and reminders.

  14. Christina says:

    We open our school library once a week during the summer. We encourage the parents to walk over with their kids.

  15. Karen Tuthill-Jones says:

    What about high-school age students? We have enough trouble getting parents engaged during the school year, let alone over the summer.

  16. Donna Nichols says:

    This is my first year as a media coordinator but I am going to post on our school FB page about summer reading logs, book suggestions and invite parent comments and interactions.

  17. Nancy Jackson says:

    We use Home Connect, sending reports home at the beginning of the year. Next year, I might send a reminder home at the end of the summer to remind parents to check this. I talked to my principal about having students come and test occasionally, but we couldn’t get this going. I may push this a little more!

  18. Sarah says:

    We partner with the local library, since they have a summer reading program that is engaging and rewarding. The head librarian comes to the school and does grade level assemblies telling the kids about the program and special library activities (Magician on Saturday, prizes for books read, etc). Then each child takes home the schedule, a library card application, and a Summer Reading Application. In addition they brought the flyer from Barnes and Nobles telling the kids if they read enough books they would be able to select a free book form a special section of the store. The kids were super excited.

  19. Melissa Robles says:

    Our district has a Bright Summer Reading program in which parents can encourage students to read throughout the summer. Students have a reading log they use to track their progress. At the beginning of the school year students who submit their reading logs receive an incentive for their hard work!

  20. Katy says:

    Great ideas! I am not teaching summer school this year, but I shared some books with one of the teachers who is, and is working with my former students.

  21. Renee says:

    These are all great ideas! Thanks for using my idea.

  22. Carly says:

    We used to do summer reading logs and rewarded students who returned them to school at the start of the year. Since then we’ve had a change of administration and the new principal has yet to approve a summer reading program. We did pick up a free account with Sumdog for math, which the students are so excited. It allows them to connect with their friends and earn rewards while keeping their math skills sharp.

  23. Laura says:

    I can’t wait to try some of these ideas. I do a weekly newsletter to parents, but I feel like it’s not as effective as some of the other ideas on the blog might be.

  24. Dvawn Maza says:

    We have read and respond assignments.

  25. Angela Domond says:

    We just had a Barnes and Noble bookfair to keep off summer reading.

  26. David Keech says:

    Great ideas! I am sharing these with teachers I know that are involved with summer school this year.

  27. Margarita Ortiz says:

    Our librarian contributes greatly with our parents so our students are reading not only during the school year but also during summer school. She helps create this reading logs that help us monitor their reading and their grades in those particular quizzes. Also, all teacher have a different ways of tracking their reading goals per 6 weeks. I have a chart located in my classroom where all my students have to meet 100% of their reading goal.

  28. I encourage my students to read during the summer and enjoy local book clubs and library promotions. Most of them love to visit the library and are excited about reading. I talk to my parents about the importance of reading throughout the summer to maintain reading skills and to develop a lifelong habit of reading each day for fun.

  29. Andrea says:

    We open our school library on Wednesday mornings during the summer and teachers volunteer to man the computers for AT testing.

  30. Dana says:

    We use a daily log for parents/students to fill out and initial. Teachers write score and initial for parents to see.

  31. Pam Fochs says:

    Our system has a summer “Stay Smart” program 3 times a week at different times to accommodate various work schedules of parents. AR and AM work time with adults is offered. Storytime has been introduced this year so that the younger siblings can see how important it is to read.

  32. Christine Fuller says:

    It’s pretty easy in Kinder. Since I use the Remind app, parents text me with any questions about AR.

  33. sarina bellomo says:

    Setting goals and encouraging students and parents to meet reading goals, and then celebrating their successes is a key component to motivating students to read.

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