NIU Literacy Clinic improves ‘Raising Readers’ video series to support parents teaching at home

Photo of a young girl in a library pointing to a book“What can I do at home to help my child with reading and writing?”

Laurie Elish-Piper, a Presidential Teaching Professor in Literacy Education, director of the NIU Literacy Clinic and co-director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literacy, says that this is by far one of the most common questions posed to clinic faculty and staff.

So common is the question, in fact, that it has inspired the clinic to develop a free video series, “Raising Readers,” which parents can use to support their children’s reading and writing development at home.

The “Raising Readers” video series offers simple research-based strategies that parents can use to support their children’s reading and writing development at home.

Each video maintains a focus on a specific topic, such as building love for reading or helping one’s child with writing. The completed series includes a dozen videos in English.

Titles of the videos in the series are:

  • Helping Your Child with Writing
  • Comprehension of Informational Texts
  • Promoting a Love of Reading for Teens
  • Building the Reading Habit
  • Promoting a Love of Reading for Younger Children
  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonics
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension Strategies
  • Comprehension of Fiction
  • Writing

All are now available on the Literacy Clinic’s YouTube channel.

“Raising Readers” is the beginning of a three-part phase for the Literacy Clinic. The series’ next focus is to create a video series in Spanish, titled “Criando Lectores.”

The clinic also plans to develop a series that acts as an aid to teachers about effective reading instruction and motivational strategies. Like “Raising Readers,” the video series will be accessible at no cost on YouTube.

“When families and schools work together to support children’s literacy, children tend to make better progress and to develop a more positive attitude toward reading and writing,” Elish-Piper says. “Literacy is essential for success in school and in life, and I hope that viewers will share the ‘Raising Readers’ series with friends, colleagues and extended family members so the ideas will spread and positively impact students across Illinois and the country.”

Established more than 40 years ago, the clinic provides reading support services for K-12 students, high-quality practicum experiences for graduate students in reading and continuing education and professional development for reading specialists.

A sliding fee scale and scholarships ensure that no client is denied services due to the inability to pay.

The clinic also supports courses leading to the reading teacher endorsement and the Type 10 K-12 Reading Specialist Certification through the Illinois State Board of Education. Located at 3100 Sycamore Road in DeKalb, the clinic offers after-school and summer programming; hours vary each semester.

For more information, call (815) 753-1416.

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