Educating parents of preschoolers on the importance of phonological awareness
Research in early reading development indicates that phonological awareness is a key predictor of future reading achievement. Children’s awareness of the sounds within spoken language, particularly the awareness that words comprise one or more sounds, has been shown to have a direct relationship with success in beginning to read. Unfortunately, some children enter kindergarten in School District #20 Kootenay-Columbia lacking the experiences with language that lead to the development of phonological awareness. This project presents a 5-week parent education and training course containing current, evidence-based, information about phonological awareness development in preschool children, ages 3-5. Additionally, a validated screening tool (Get Ready to Read) is included in the training to provide parents a way to identify risk factors for early reading development difficulties, and to effectively communicate with teachers. The course aims to equip parents with knowledge that will help prepare their children to learn to read and to enhance parent-teacher relationships, since knowledgeable parents are better able to communicate with their preschoolers’ teachers. Moreover, parents’ education in early reading skills is valuable support for their young readers, making possible an easier transition into formal reading instruction.