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Head Start Families Sharing Literature

Author(s): Connie R. Green | Sharen W. Halsall

Journal: Early Childhood Research & Practice
ISSN 1524-5039

Volume: 6;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: Parent-Child Relationships | Young Children | Reading | Head Start

The purpose of this research was to ascertain the types of books read by Head Start families to their children, conditions for reading aloud at home, perceived benefits of reading aloud, and children’s responses to books. Data were collected from parent interviews and reading logs. Participants included 14 children and families from four Head Start classrooms located in two states. Researchers conducted content analysis and frequency counts of the data. Researchers used qualitative research methods to explore the ways books were used at home and children's responses to reading aloud. Systematic review of both parent reading logs and parent interviews led to common patterns and frequencies of responses. Findings indicate that Head Start families read to their children mostly in the bedroom at night. Mothers were the primary readers, sharing mainly books that were not challenging in terms of language and concepts. Children responded to the books by relating them to their own experiences, noticing details in pictures, asking questions, labeling, reading emergently, and enacting stories. Recommendations include encouraging families to read many times during the day, supporting a variety of responses, and accessing high-quality children’s literature.
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