Facilitating Biliteracy Development Through Culturally Efficacious Parental Engagement


Individual Presentation

First Presenter's Institution

Georgia Southern University

Second Presenter's Institution

Texas Southern University

Third Presenter's Institution


Fourth Presenter's Institution


Fifth Presenter's Institution



Ballroom E

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Family & Community


By developing support, leadership, and advocacy, in addition to working with parents to bridge the literacy divide among family members and between the home and school, a sense of community for youth at risk, teachers, and family can be established.

Brief Program Description

This presentation will focus on data from an engagement literacy program. Presenters will address how the use of non-traditional home engagement and culturally efficacious practices led to the empowerment of culturally and linguistically diverse families.


Classroom teachers are not the only teachers of literacy. Although teachers may do all they can to provide successful early literacy education for their students, continued success is "dependent upon people and factors outside the classroom and beyond their control" (Hannon, 1998, p.123). The role of parents and other adult caregivers is crucial. Neuman (1997) claims that "engaging parents and children in mutual activities that include book reading, but are not limited to it, may constitute the richest potential for supporting children's early literacy development" (p. 119). Classroom teachers, therefore, need to ensure that the literacy curriculum is open to home-school partnerships.

Parent involvement means more than getting parents into school. This type of limited involvement is often available to parents who are not in full-time employment and involves only a small percentage of the children's parents. Hannon (1998) believes that work with parents should be focused more on home literacy than classroom literacy, and that teachers who do not make an active attempt to involve parents are engaging in a type of "parental exclusion" which fails to take account of the true nature of early literacy learning. The subject of family literacy has become a topic of national attention (Purcell-Gates, 2000).

In this presentation, presenters will address how the use of non-traditional home engagement and culturally efficacious practices led to the empowerment of culturally and linguistically diverse families.


A review of research reveals the following:

  • Literacy activities conducted at home can positively influence development in the areas of oral language, vocabulary, print awareness, comprehension, and children's values related to reading (Steward & Goff, 2004).
  • Schools that have unusually high success rates with struggling readers have high levels of family and community involvement. These schools make "superhuman efforts to reach out to parents and surrogate parents and involve them" (Cunningham & Allington, 1999, p. 265).
  • Urban teachers who rated their parents as interested and involved made 10 to 15 more teacher-initiated contacts than teachers who reported that their parents were uninterested (Snow, et al., 1991)
  • Correlational studies have recognized the importance of such factors as the uses of print in the home, the number of books in the home, and the frequency of parent-child book reading. Studies have also identified that specific home practices are more predictive than socioeconomic status of academic achievement (Purcell-Gates, 2000).
  • There have been numerous studies of the effects of parents hearing their school-age children read at home, most of which have demonstrated positive outcomes (Hannon, 1998).
  • When parental involvement programs involved real reading and included enjoyable and easy-to-use activities that provided a connection between school and home, children reported reading more often at home in their free time with adults (Morrow & Young, 1997).
  • Home-based rereading of books increased students' motivation and promoted parent involvement (Koskinen et al, 2000).
  • When following a program of paired reading with parents, children's reading accuracy and reading rates increased (Fiala & Sheridan, 2003).
  • In summary, it is important to remember that parents are more likely to become involved when their child's teacher is willing to initiate a home-school literacy partnership. Parents may need new knowledge and skills to work effectively with their children and teachers need to support parents by consistently communicating in a variety of ways. "If parents feel welcomed and secure in their child's classroom, then they become more receptive to family literacy activities that will reinforce, strengthen, and support their child's academic development and success" (Stegelin, 2003, p. 31).

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Summer Pannell is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development in the College of Education at Georgia Southern University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Delta State University, a Master of Education degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Union University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Mississippi.

Dr. Pannell has worked extensively with families and children/students in high-poverty, high-minority schools. In the public education system, she served in such roles as teacher, bus driver, coach, athletic director, instructional facilitator, assistant principal, and principal. As a principal, Dr. Pannell received national recognition for her school closing achievement gaps. She served on collaborative committees with the Mississippi Department of Education and Mississippi State University to assist in development of the Mississippi Principal Evaluation System and Mississippi Statewide Teacher Appraisal Rubric. Dr. Pannell also served on various district-level strategic planning committees and developed a New Teacher Induction Program. She holds principal and superintendent certification in the state of Texas as well as administrator certification in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Florida. Dr. Pannell also holds a Certified Athletic Administrator certification through the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

Dr. Pannell has published articles and presented at various national conferences on educator preparation program evaluation on program evaluation and literacy instruction of African American students. Her primary research interests include educator preparation, school turnaround, and the effect of poverty in schools.

Dr. Ingrid Haynes serves as Department Chair and an Associate Professor in Department of Curriculum and Instruction for Texas Southern University. Dr. Haynes received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with emphasis in TESOL for the University of Mississippi, her Masters of Education in Reading from Texas Southern University and her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Texas Southern University.

Dr. Haynes' research interests include areas related to literacy and language development. She has presented and published numerous articles on the above topics. She has also co-authored the book entitled " A Recipe for Hands-On Activities for teaching Phonemic Awareness in the Primary Grades" – a wonderful book that provides teachers and parents with activities for improving phonemic awareness and phonics.

Keyword Descriptors

Literacy, Parent Involvement, School Leadership, Teaching and Learning, Literacy Education

Presentation Year


Start Date

3-6-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

3-6-2018 9:45 AM

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Mar 6th, 8:30 AM Mar 6th, 9:45 AM

Facilitating Biliteracy Development Through Culturally Efficacious Parental Engagement

Ballroom E

This presentation will focus on data from an engagement literacy program. Presenters will address how the use of non-traditional home engagement and culturally efficacious practices led to the empowerment of culturally and linguistically diverse families.