Children whose parents frequently read with them in their first year of school are still showing the benefit when they are 15. This PISA study examined the long-term impact of parental support on literacy and found, discounting social differences, children with early support remained ahead in reading, with resuolts showing a strong link between teenage reading skills and early parental help. Analysis of PISA data "based on teenagers in 14 developed countries, found that active parental involvement at the beginning of school was a significant trigger for developing children's reading skills that would carry through until they were teenagers. On average, teenagers whose parents had helped with reading at the beginning of school were six months ahead in reading levels at the age of 15."
The report stated "that parents did not have to be particularly well-educated themselves for this impact to be achieved. What was important was that parents read books regularly with their children - such as several times a week - and that they talked about what they were reading together."
A summary of the results of this study are published in the OECD PISA In Focus 10 newsletter at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/4/1/49012097.pdf.
Teacher librarians in primary schools should be utilising results from studies such as these to connect with parents of those students entering Kindergarten in Term 1 of 2012. Such findings can be used to encourage a strong relationship between the TL and school library and Kindy kids (and their parents) at the very beginning of the school year. Consider writing a short column in your school's first newsletter of the year to parents about the importance of reading being reinforced at school and the home and promote the idea of the TL building a strong partnership with parents to support student acheivement.