Bridges to Literacy: Children, Families, and Schools

In increasingly technological economies around the world, workers need to be able to read and write complex material. Yet demographic changes - emigration resulting in minorities with language and cultures different from those of the dominant group, some without family traditions of literacy; poverty persisting from generation to generation - mean more impediments to full literacy. Bridges to Literacy reviews the progress that has been made in developing school- and community-based programmes to help beginning students surmount the difficulties. The authors, leading researchers and practitioners, describe and analyze programmes which have been studied over a period of years. They aim to offer sufficient detail to enable a broad audience to understand how each promising project has been implemented, and how it has solved the problems of programme delivery, communication and collaboration with parents and teachers. An introduction sets the programmes in broad context; two concluding chapters and an epilogue draw together the main lessons they teach us and outline the challenges for future programme developers. People from a number of different backgrounds have been involved in studying and promoting the acquisition of literacy. But there has been little dialogue across disciplinary boundaries. This book chronicles the construction of new bridges not only among schools, communities and families, but also among developmental and cognitive psychologists, education researchers, early childhood educators and library scientists.