Partnerships for Literacy: A research-based family engagement program for elementary schools

Partnerships for Literacy red logo with a book

Partnerships for Literacy© is a program designed to be implemented by a local elementary school team using an implementation guide developed by The Ohio State University. It is a systematic approach to family and community engagement in early literacy that is sustained over time, goal oriented, and develops the capacity of both educators and families. Learn more about the program and access a free copy of the implementation guide below. Materials are also available in other languages (upon request) so that a representative set of families can participate on a Partnerships for Literacy team at your school. Many of the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce’s State Support Team offices have a coach trained to support high-quality implementation of Partnerships for Literacy in Ohio schools. However, schools can use the guide on their own as well.

“This program has brought my staff together. The teachers were so committed to this project. I am genuinely proud of the efforts my team has made.”

—LaDawn Mims, Principal, Dayton Ohio

Here are the steps in the program

  1. Prepare your school – 4 focused discussions with an existing leadership team
  2. Build a team with school and family representatives
  3. Inventory your practices (using the tool provided)
  4. Create/Redesign action steps
  5. Implement and track
  6. Review and re-inventory, Celebrate successes
  7. Sustain the program, embedding it into your local school policies and practices

Results you can expect

The intended result is improved home and school supports and resources for language and literacy development for young students through:

  • the implementation of a locally developed plan, aligned with the school’s reading plan and linking to community resources,
  • a sustainable, representative, family-teacher team that is linked to the school’s building leadership team and focused on the needs of all families through family and community engagement practices, and
  • teachers who practice more effective strategies for partnering with families.

Pilot data from 16 schools that used the implementation guide in collaboration with a skilled coach between 2019-2022 demonstrated that the Partnerships for Literacy program can lead to improvements in the quantity and quality of supports for family engagement in early literacy.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time helping with the parent engagement committee.
This was a great way to incorporate viewpoints from both a teacher, parent, and administration positions.”

—Liana Wensink, Parent, Sandusky Ohio

“This work has given us important insight into the parent perspective
regarding how to best communicate student progress in a timely, meaningful, and understandable way.”

—Kristi Molter, Elementary Principal, Swanton Ohio

A Presentation from the Developer

In the 13 minute video below, you can listen to Partnerships for Literacy developer Dr. Barbara Boone talk about how the Partnerships for Literacy process builds systemic family engagement practices, and research on home-based literacy supports.

What coaches say about Partnerships for Literacy

21 schools around the state of Ohio have implemented the Partnerships for Literacy program. In the 13 minute video below, you can hear 2 coaches talking about their school’s team, action steps, and results with Partnerships for Literacy co-author, Dr. Meredith Wellman.

Impact Reports with School Examples

Partnerships for Literacy 2021
Partnerships for Literacy 2020
Partnerships for Literacy 2019