New York State PTA every child one voice

New York State PTA

One Wembley Court
Albany, NY 12205
Phone: 518.452.8808
Toll Free: 1.877.569.7782
Fax: 518.452.8105


Parents As Reading Partners - 20 Tips

20 Tips for Parents As Reading Partners

You are encouraged to read at least 15 minutes every day with your child. Here are some tips to help you become successful at reading together while making it an enjoyable experience for you (the parent or any adult) and your child.

Establish the right climate


Home Library
  • Make reading a pleasant experience.
  • Build a home library. Children love to reread their favorite books. Give books as gifts. Subscribe to a children’s magazine in your child’s name.
  • Work with your child on projects that involve reading: cooking, model building, arts and crafts.
  • Read to your child as often as possible. Discuss the story and ask a question or two about what you’ve read to encourage good listening habits.
  • Success is important. In selecting a book, choose any page and have your child read it aloud. If your child makes fewer than five errors, the book is at his or her reading level.
  • Listen to their questions and stories. Give them time to put their ideas into words.
  • Talk and sing with your children.

Create excitement

Parent and Child Reading
  • Make a story come alive by using a finger or sock puppet and have the puppet retell the story.
  • Start reading or telling a story and stop before it is finished. Have your child finish the story.
  • Read with expression. There are very few children who would rather watch TV than hear a good story read with feeling and enthusiasm by someone they love.
  • Dramatize a story you have read with your child, each taking different parts.
  • Share your childhood through storytelling. Children love to hear stories about their family’s background.

Offer positive comments

2 Thumbs Up
  • Build self-respect and morale by praising whenever your child reads. There is a difference between encouragement and pressure. Each child needs to experience success.
  • Say things like:
    • That’s really nice.
    • I like the way you did this.
    • That’s quite an improvement.
    • Thank you for sharing this paper with me.
    • Let’s send this to grandma and grandpa.
    • That’s an interesting point of view.
    • You really outdid yourself today.
    • Very creative.
  • Make sure your child has well-balanced meals and adequate rest. How a child feels affects his or her attitude.
  • Be genuinely interested in the work your child brings home. Your interest will make your child want to do better in school.

Develop vocabulary

3 Girls
  • Introduce the fun of language to babies through nursery rhymes and lullabies.
  • Have your child dictate a short story to you. Children love to tell stories. Help your child read it back to you. Then see if he or she can read it alone.
  • Develop vocabulary by having your child give the opposite of words such as black, uncle, open, stand, etc.
  • Choose TV programs with your child. View TV with your child. Talk about TV programs.
Source: NYS PTA PARP Toolkit

PARP Chairs and others can use this Toolkit as a source of information. Sections 1-4 give examples of how to run a PARP program at your school. Section 5 includes a list of different resources for all to use.

Please consider holding a PARP program at your school! The more you as a PTA encourage reading, the more successful our children will be now and in the future. If you are already are hosting a PARP program, look through the Toolkit for new ideas to add this year.

If you want to start one, the Toolkit has ideas to get you started along with details and examples on the various components. Any questions, please contact

We hope you will host a PARP program at your school this year!