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Back to School: Tips to Encourage Kids to Practice Reading, Writing

Writing with a pencil.

Across the state and country, students and their parents are preparing for the return of the school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts at NC State offer tips to help ease the transition for parents and caregivers.

There are fun ways to help children get ready for reading and writing in school this year, said Crystal Lee, an assistant professor of English language arts education in the NC State College of Education.

Through her work as director of the Literacy and Community Initiative, a partnership between the College of Education and NC State’s Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, she works with community organizations to encourage writing, community engagement and leadership among historically and currently underserved students.

She offered a few tips for encouraging reading and writing for children in grades 6-12:

  • Develop routines for reading and writing. Lee said it’s important for children to read and write every day, whether during a structured time or in creative ways.

Parents can help students develop those habits at home. Parents should find books that interest their children, especially options that incorporate diverse perspectives and cultures.

For writing, younger children can start a diary of what they’re doing, learning and seeing. Older students can engage with structured writing prompts to develop formal and creative writing habits.

  • Connect local issues with global issues. Lee said by encouraging children to read about world events, parents can help them understand that what they are experiencing is connected with the outside world.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that has impact on children and families all around the world. What other issues are there? How can children also be global citizens? Involve children in learning and engaging with current issues to develop social responsibility from a young age.

This post was originally published in NC State News.