Parent Pals

The Problem

Katy was challenged by the low literacy levels of students at her school. When she delved into the root causes of the problem, she heard that some of the parents of her learners lacked the time, knowledge, confidence and skills to help their students read. Education was being seen by some members of the community as the sole responsibility of the school, and Katy wanted that to change.

Katy’s Solution

Believing in a school where parents and caregivers are recognised as their child’s primary educator, Katy decided to provide a reading workshop to give parents the confidence and skills to help their child with reading and to provide opportunities for parents to volunteer at school.

She pitched the idea to parents and asked them for Expressions of Interest. With a group of interested parents, Katy facilitated a workshop to teach parents about how students learn to read and how to help them. At the same time, ‘Reading Corners’ were set up around the school where information for teachers and parents was available.

Katy developed a timetable for parent volunteers. Parents were assigned to one class with 4 students per hour. In K-2, it was the students whose literacy levels deemed them ‘at risk’ who were prioritised. The parents worked with the same group of students each week.

Katy’s Impact

6 parents and about 30 K-2 students have been involved in the program so far.

“We had a debriefing session with the parents after the workshop and the first few volunteer sessions. They loved the program and commented on how they were enjoying tracking and celebrating the reading progress of the students they were working with. Students love reading with their Parents Pals and look forward to their special reading time.”

Like the idea?

Katy would love your support for Parent Pals, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to if you want to get in touch with Katy and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.

#WhatChangeLooksLike #ECStories #EduChange

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