Resource Library

Reading at Home

Show your child that your family cares about books and reading and has fun with it, too!

  1. Learn what subjects interest your child. Then bring home library books or subscribe to magazines based on his/her interests.
  2. Play games that are related to reading. Games such as Scrabble and Bingo allow your child to work on spelling skills while having fun.
  3. Extend positive reading experiences. If your child enjoyed a book about UFOs, rent or stream a movie about the subject.
  4. Start a book club with your child. Read his/her assigned books and talk about them together.
  5. Model any reading for pleasure. Let your child see you reading. Talk about the book or article with enthusiasm.

Downloadable Resources

Helpful Links

“A Parent’s Guide to Phonics”

This brief article can prime you (or refresh you) on what phonics are, and what your child might be learning in System 44.

Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF)

RIF develops and delivers children and family literacy programs that help prepare young children for reading and motivate school-age children to read. Find easy-to-follow monthly calendars with activities to do with the young readers in your household.

RIF: ¡Leamos en familia!

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) provides a bilingual website that is designed to help families read, sing, and share stories together at home.


Free Reading provides free resources in foundational reading skills for teachers and parents alike.

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)

NLS is a free national library program of Braille and recorded materials for blind and physically handicapped children and adults.

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

Discover the best books published each year for teens! YALSA's book awards and selected booklists honor the best books for young adults.

Page by Page Books

Page by Page Books features hundreds of classic books to read for free online.

Reading for Information

At the end of a long, busy day, homework might be the last thing on your child’s mind. Help create an atmosphere for success by showing that you care that it gets done.

  1. Help your child stay organized by keeping track of due dates on a family calendar.
  2. Read—and reread—directions with your child. Often, homework confusion comes from not following instructions carefully.
  3. Limit or get rid of distractions. Studying is most effective with the TV, music, and phone turned off.
  4. Ask to read your child’s research papers. He or she will appreciate that you care.
  5. Create a comfortable spot for doing homework in your home. Make sure it’s stocked with pens, paper, a computer, and other necessary supplies.

Downloadable Resources

Helpful Links

Created for parent-teacher organizations (PTOs), this site includes grade-by-grade guides to school, homework help, printable activities, a Q&A forum, and more.

Family Education Network

This website covers academics, life, and entertainment for children up to age 18. The site also includes many articles written specifically for parent education. In addition, there is an active message board where parents share advice.

Internet Public Library (IPL)

IPL volunteers have answered more than 100,000 student research questions. Also, students will find assistance on research projects on many topics.


This free reference site connects students with dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases and maps, and other online resources.

Yahoo! Study Zone

This browsable, searchable directory of Internet sites for kids is a useful tool for research projects and other homework assignments.

Merriam-Webster’s Word Central

This Merriam-Webster site features a student dictionary, interactive word games, and homework help.

Learner’s Dictionary

Merriam-Webster also features an American English Dictionary for English language learners. The online dictionary offers help with word usage, and also features a grammar glossary.

826 Valencia

826 Valencia’s mission is to tutor and support students age 6-18 in their efforts to write and become passionate about literary arts. This gallery contains student-generated reporting in a newspaper called the Valencia Bay-farer.

Reading and Technology

Technology can be a powerful tool in your child’s education. The Internet, audiobooks, and eBooks can allow your child to have fun while practicing reading, writing, and listening skills.

  1. Encourage your child to correspond with friends and family members who live far away through email.
  2. Play an audiobook during a long car trip. It’ll be entertaining, and the narrator will provide your child with a model of fluent reading.
  3. Scan the Internet with your child for the latest information about his favorite sports and entertainment stars.
  4. Work with your child to start a family blog. You can write entries together.
  5. Introduce your child to eBooks. This new format will help engage and motivate her to read.

Downloadable Resources

Helpful Links

The Children’s Poetry Archive

This site collects poems for children and most have their authors reading them aloud. Reading rhymes fosters an ability to predict and therefore recognize syllables. Hearing poems read fluently models good reading for your child. And poetry inspires a love of language for everyone in the family.

Common Sense Media

This website gives parent-focused reviews of the media kids and teens love. From movies to websites and games, you'll find information that will help you make good media choices with your child, in addition to tips for parents on Internet safety and bullying.

OnGuard Online

This comprehensive site informs through articles, quizzes, and games. Get the latest information on the many positive and negative aspects of exploring online.

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg offers more than 36,000 ebooks—in various languages—which can be downloaded to a PC, Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Android, or other portable device.

Kids Learn to Blog

This site, created by an educator in San Francisco, California, offers blogging information and lessons for kids under 13, as well as parents and teachers.

KIDS Learn Out Loud

KIDS Learn Out Loud is a directory of audio and video content for kids and teens. You’ll find reviews of the latest audiobooks, as well as many free learning resources, MP3 audiobook downloads, and podcasts.

Yahoo! Kids

This searchable directory of kid-friendly Internet sites provides links to stories about celebrities, athletes, movies, games, and more.

NASA Kids’ Club

NASA Kids’ Club has engaging games, visuals, and educational activities. The subject matter is math, science, and technology-based. It is aligned to standards and is written at a K–4 Grade level.

Radio Rookies Podcast

Radio Rookies is a New York Public Radio initiative that provides teenagers with the tools and training to create radio stories about themselves, their communities and their world. Radio Rookies conducts workshops in predominantly under-resourced neighborhoods, training young people to use words and sounds to tell true stories. The podcasts are examples of memoir or feature-style journalism.

Reading Success at School

Even though your own life is busy, keeping track of your child’s school life is critical to his or her success. Stay informed of what your child’s school has to offer, and take advantage of it.

  1. Read the school website. Many teachers post important information for parents on the site.
  2. Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep and eats a nutritious breakfast. It will help him stay alert during the day.
  3. Encourage your child to get involved with teams and clubs. It will help build her confidence and appeal to colleges.
  4. If your child is struggling with a class, don’t wait—call the teacher and discuss it.
  5. Be aware of graduation requirements. Make sure your child is on track.

Downloadable Resources

Helpful Links

National PTA

“The Parents’ Guide to Student Success” is an article developed in response to the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics that more than 40 states have adopted.

U.S. Department of Education Parents Channel

This comprehensive site produced by the U.S. government contains information on extending learning at home, finding after-school care, accommodating special needs, considering college, and many more topics.

U.S. Department of Education en español

Come to this portal for information in Spanish. The U.S. Department of Education has articles, videos, and weblinks in Spanish that will help you help your child succeed in school.

National Center for Learning Disabilities

Parents of children with learning disabilities will find support and guidance here in the form of articles on parenting issues and also advocating for your child at school.

Education Northwest

This group has published, in English and in Spanish, “What Do Parents Need to Know?” an article explaining what parents need to do to best prepare their children for success with the Common Core State Standards.

Scholastic: Writing with Writers

This site allows children to work with authors, editors, and illustrators in free online workshops designed to guide them in developing their writing skills. Children read helpful tips for developing story ideas.

The Learning Community

The Learning Community is a nonprofit organization devoted to helping parents help their children succeed in school, and includes reading tips and test prep information, as well as social issues.

Curriki brings free learning resources to teachers, students, and families around the world. Find many classic texts for free, as well as information about phonics and the Common Core standards.

Council of Chief State School Offices

This site provides tools and best practices for understanding and implementing Common Core standards, including information and roadmaps for parents.

Motivating Your Child to Read

Your emotional support means everything to your child. Even when your child acts out or tests your limits, he or she is looking to you for guidance, love, and acceptance.

  1. Find out what your child is passionate about. Support her interests and help her select reading materials based on them.
  2. Compliment your child. Recognize any effort he has put into reading or studying.
  3. Cook meals together. It’ll be fun—and a great opportunity to build a healthy relationship, while doing some reading for information together.
  4. Ask your child for advice. She’ll enjoy the role reversal and it’ll show that you value her opinion.
  5. Work on being happy in your own life. You’ll be a role model for your child.

Downloadable Resources

Helpful Links

Book Adventure

Book Adventure is a free reading motivation program for children in grades K–8. Children create their own book lists from thousands of titles, take multiple-choice quizzes on the books they've read, and earn points and prizes for their literary achievements.

Boston Public Library: Teen Lounge

This site connects teens to online tutoring programs, book lists, a section called "What Other Teens Are Reading" and practice tests for the state's standardized exams.

The Lexile Framework for Reading: Find a Book

Find a book that matches your child’s reading level at the Lexile Framework for Reading website.

Read Write Think

Read Write Think features many interactive activities to get kids excited about reading and writing, such as a “Comic Creator” that invites students to compose their own comic strips.

¡Colorín Colorado!

Offered in English and Spanish, this website provides parents with information on how to help their children become more successful students.

Reading Rockets

This website contains information for parents and educators on teaching reluctant readers to read.

PBS Kids: Share a Story

This national literacy campaign is designed to inspire adults to help millions of children develop language and literacy skills through daily activities, including book reading, drawing, storytelling, rhyming, and singing.


StoryCorps, an oral history project, provides all Americans the chance to record and preserve the stories of their lives. Many of the best stories are shared with a radio audience on National Public Radio. Others are published in book collections. These podcasts offer children the chance to listen to stories about growing up, and fall in love with stories (and reading!)

Scholastic Summer Challenge

Motivate your child to read over the summer with Scholastic’s Summer Challenge. The site offers fun booklists, a log to keep track of progress, and even digital rewards.


This website offers many helpful articles for parents of children with reading disabilities. These articles include topics such as setting academic goals and maintaining reading skills over the summer break.

The Children’s Choices Book List

This project, created jointly between the International Reading Association and the Children’s Book Council, presents books chosen by teams of children and is a trusted source of book recommendations used by teachers, librarians, parents, and children.

Podcasts from the International Reading Association

Podcasts about motivating children to read and phonics are just two of the subjects of these podcasts hosted by the International Reading Association.


What is READ 180?

READ 180 is a multimedia program that is designed to meet the needs of students whose reading achievement is below grade level. The program blends instruction from the teacher with innovative computer software that tracks each student's progress and customizes instruction to meet a student's needs.

What happens during a READ 180 session?

Each READ 180 session begins with the whole class working together with the teacher. Then, the class breaks up into three small groups that take turns working independently on computers, working together with the teacher, and reading independently in a quiet area of the room. At the end of each class session, the whole class comes together again with the teacher for a brief wrap-up. To learn more about the READ 180 instructional model and materials and about what students do at each work station, go to the READ 180 Classroom page.

What skills do students develop using READ 180?

READ 180 is designed to help students develop and improve their skills in the following areas:

  • Phonics: The lowest-level students in READ 180 get instruction in how to “decode” text by understanding how letters and spelling patterns stand for sounds in the English language.
  • Fluency: Fluency is the ability to read smoothly, accurately, and with confidence and expression. READ 180 students develop fluency through repeated readings of texts on the computer and teacher-guided reading and instruction. Audiobooks and narrated online readings model fluent reading for listeners.
  • Reading Comprehension: Students in READ 180 learn, practice, and are tested on a variety of skills and strategies (such as finding main ideas, summarizing the important parts of a text, and understanding causes and effects) that help readers better understand and remember what they read.
  • Vocabulary
  • Spelling
  • Writing
  • Global Perspectives: READ 180 readings focus on diverse people and cultures both within and outside of the United States.
  • College and Career Readiness Skills

How was READ 180 developed?

Research for READ 180 began in 1985, when Dr. Ted Hasselbring of Vanderbilt University developed breakthrough software that used each student's performance data to customize a path of reading instruction. Research continued through the 1990s as it was put to the test in Florida's Orange County public school system.

What are the benefits of READ 180?

Students would gradually experience success and become readers. Data from schools across the country show that many READ 180 students frequently improve their reading levels by 2–5 years of growth as measured by Lexile®*. In addition, READ 180 has been proven to:

  • Improve performance on state test results
  • Reduce the dropout rate
  • Improve reading achievement for African Americans
  • Improve reading achievement for English language learners
  • Improve reading achievement for students who receive Special Education services
  • To learn more about the benefits of READ 180, go to the READ 180 Works page.

What is a Lexile measure?

A Lexile measure is a unit of measurement that is used to indicate the difficulty of text, such as a book. The Lexile measure is shown as a number with an "L" after it. Higher Lexile measures represent a higher level of reading ability while lower Lexile measures represent a lower level of reading ability. Lexile text measures are based on word frequency and sentence length. All independent reading books and eReads in READ 180 are assigned a Lexile measure based on their level of difficulty. Software passages are also leveled. Students are assigned to the appropriate level in the software based on their SRI score, which measures their reading level.

How is a READ 180 student's reading level determined?

Each student takes a placement test called the HMH Reading Inventory. The test uses the Lexile Framework® for Reading to measure how well the student understands the reading material on the test.* Based on the test results (the student's SRI score), the student is placed into the appropriate level on the READ 180 Software and guided to choose books and materials at an appropriate level during independent reading time.

How do Special Education students benefit from READ 180?

READ 180 assesses and teaches to the specific needs of your child. To learn more, go to the Special Education page.

How do English Language Learners benefit from READ 180?

READ 180 offers second language support in the following languages: Cantonese, Hmong, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, and Spanish. READ 180 anchor videos (included with every workshop in the rBook and every topic on the software) help students to form background knowledge and mental models of unfamiliar topics. To learn more about how READ 180 supports ELLs, go to the English Language Learners page.

*LEXILE and LEXILE FRAMEWORK are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of MetaMetrics, Inc.