Lighting up Learning Family Style

Looking for parental involvement ideas? Look no further. This post include five simple ideas that your parents will love.

School can and should be fun, and it should be a place where everyone is included in the process and welcome regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or level of education. Our school district's motto speaks to this, "Every Child by Name and by Need to Graduation", and educating our children takes a village.  Here are a few ideas from my fellow contributors that you might consider to help improve the home-school-community connection.


Deniece at This Little Piggy Reads shared this, "I teach in a school that is 8 years old (not the building, it is a former Jr. High School from the 80’s), and we have had a tough time establishing a supportive and involved parent base. Re-Zoning played a major factor in this hardship. I've been teaching at this school since it opened, and I feel as if in the last couple of years we've finally established yearly events. I am on the parent involvement committee, and we were BLOWN AWAY by the success of two events we began three years ago – Muffins for Mom and Donuts for Dad. Muffins for Mom is an event that takes place the week prior to Mother’s Day. We invite Mothers, Aunties, Grandmothers and Great-Grandmothers to enjoy a pre-wrapped muffin with their child 30 minutes before school begins. Honestly, you can’t find parking that morning!! Donuts for Dad is just as crowded. We normally host this event around March Madness. You would be surprised how many parents show up. We send home a flyer with an attached note requesting a headcount. Then, we gather up each family and take a picture. Mom’s picture has the kids sitting on a bench, holding flowers and the Dad’s picture has the kids on the basketball court holding a basketball. We upload them to Walgreens – add a cute border and give it as their gift for attending. The parents just love it!!"

FANCY TEA PARTY: Sharing Ways to Get Fancy with Writing

Em at Curious Firsties shares, "Our families were invited this year to attend a “Fancy Tea Party” where they had the opportunity to listen to their child’s “how to” writing.  Each first grader made themselves fancy using dressy clothes, elegant jewelry, top hats, canes, and decorative scarves!  Then they wrote about it.  To prepare for the tea party students participated in an "Ooh La La Beauty Spa."  This included nail painting, upscale hair bows, mustaches (drawn or stickers) and (sticker felt) bow ties. Here's a glimpse of our fun. We have had a few other writing celebrations this year too, and you can check them out here.


Wendy from Read With Me ABC held Book Fair Bingo, and she described it as, "In our elementary school, families are invited to attend Book Fair Bingo early in the school year.  They transform the cafeteria into a giant bingo hall.  In the lobby nearby, the Book Fair is set up with fancy decorations and is open for shopping.  Parents can order a pizza for their family, play bingo, and win gift certificates for free books.  It's a fun-filled night for everyone!"


Emily from The Reading Tutor/OG has had lots of fun with Mystery Readers. Each week, she's enjoyed hosting a weekly Mystery Reader. Having a Mystery Reader join her class on Fridays was one of the fun ways she would wrap up the week. Beth Newingham, a teacher blogger for Scholastic, shared her ideas for how to set it up in your classroom very easily. You can access the link to those directions [here] Emily posted a sign up list at Open House night in September with all of the Friday dates. When it was a parent’s turn, they would email a small list of clues about themselves ranging from general to specific. Each day she would read a clue to build anticipation for our guest’s arrival. By Friday, the kids would be brimming with excitement trying to figure out who was coming to read! Sign ups were not just limited to parents, so that made things interesting. Close friends or relatives came as well. She especially loved when her Dad came to be the Mystery Reader right before Christmas to read a beloved story of hers as a little girl. She hopes you’ll consider arranging Mystery Readers in your class too!

Dr. Seuss Middle School Style

The last event is for our Middle School readers.  After all, you do parental involvement activities too, and this one is sure to keep things fun.  Lauren from Teacher Mom of Three shares the details of Dr. Seuss Middle School Style

Back in 2002, I was our middle school’s Literacy Resource Teacher where I worked with struggling and gifted students in reading across the content areas. Along with my media specialist and my Lunch Bunch students, we planned a Family Literacy Night to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  We invited entire families and made sure to have interesting activities for younger siblings.

We held our event on a Friday night from 7 to 9 p.m.  Parents and students selected two out of five stations to visit for the first half of the evening. Some of our stations included a retired teacher reading ghost stories, Dr. Seuss picture books read by our middle school students, make a Seuss bookmark and hat, a Poetry Slam where our students read their original poems, and a read-aloud of The Hobbit by one of our language arts teachers who was dressed as Gandalf.  During the second half of our celebration, we had a Read-In, collected gently used books and school supplies for a local women’s shelter, and ate birthday cake and drank punch in the cafeteria.  A good time was had by all, and we met our goal of not only celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday, but also of celebrating reading as a community!

Wow, I don't know about you, but I sure have enjoyed the exchange of ideas the past two days.  I can't wait to share a few of these with the staff at my school, and I hope you found a few you might put into action too.  Then, set the lights and grab the cameras so you can capture the excitement and share it.  Have a great weekend readers, and until next time, happy reading!

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Looking for parental involvement ideas? Look no further. This post include five simple ideas that your parents will love.


  1. You can find the resources to host mystery readers in your class at this link:
    Emily, The Reading Tutor/OG

  2. Such a great round-up of ideas. Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. So excited to have a list of so many good ideas. This is going to be super helpful when I plan reading events!

  4. We used to have a PK4 teacher who was actually an art teacher whose job had been cut and she only had 1 year until retirement - she landed in PK4. She would dress up for holidays and big events at our school. I LoVeD her wearing her Cat-in-the-Hat costume and so did her kiddos. I begged her to come over and read to my 3rd Graders. She obliged and I read to her kiddos as well. I wish I could have seen my 3rd Graders' faces when she entered the room. She said they were silent. haha

  5. I too am thrilled with all of the great ideas. I am anxious to share these with my principal and see what might well with our schedule yet this year and for next.