asian father reading with his two sons, family engagement resources

Our Favorite Family Engagement Resources

Throughout the last two years, families have learned first-hand what it takes to keep a child engaged in reading and education. Some of the challenges faced are new, and specific to the current state of affairs; other challenges, while perhaps not new are now compounded in an already tough learning environment.

With winter break fast approaching, First Book has worked diligently with our partners and our Network to create resources to help strengthen the connection between learning at home and at school. These tools can support families focused on reading and social and emotional learning, as well as creating opportunities to see behavioral challenges in a different light. All resources are available for free to both educators and parents/caregivers.

Educators who work in Title I schools and programs serving kids in need are encouraged to join First Book’s Network for free. The Network gives educators access to discounted or free books, free downloadable resources, and opportunities from our partners to further engage your classroom. If you’re already a member, share the Network with your colleagues, to bring educational equity and resources to even more children across the United States.

Opportunity Mindset Tips

In partnership with Mind in the Making at the Bezos Family Foundation

In collaboration with Ellen Galinsky and Erin Ramsey of Mind in the Making at the Bezos Family Foundation, First Book has created a series of skill-building tip sheets to help educators and families turn challenging moments into learning opportunities.

Designed for children ages 4-8, a new Opportunity Mindset tip sheet in English and Spanish will be launched each week for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year. Every week addresses a specific behavioral FAQ submitted by a First Book member or the families they serve. Educators and parents/caregivers can download the free skill-building documents directly from our website or you can sign up to receive them in your inbox weekly. Those who opted into the series will also receive a short-form version of the tips, perfect for sending to parents/caregivers via ClassDojo, text, or email.

To help frame the narrative and how best to use these research-based strategies, we recommend watching the webinar playback we hosted with Ellen Galinsky to kick off our work together.

Big Heart Guides & Quizzes

In partnership with Big Heart World

Earlier this year, First Book began partnering with Big Heart World to provide relevant book lists for parents and educators to help them explore emotions with children. Each month, a new theme is launched and shared with the Big Heart community to help families discuss social and emotional learning topics like identity and belonging, empathy, problem-solving, and more. You can explore our First Book Picks for each theme and purchase through the Marketplace (for eligible educators only) or through Bookshop* to further support First Book.

In addition to the book lists, Big Heart World also creates new, monthly guides for families filled with free activities, interactive games, engagement ideas, and quizzes. These guides are available in both English and Spanish.

At-Home Read Alouds, Bilingual Books & More

Available on First Book’s Marketplace

Anytime is a great time for reading, but the winter is an extra wonderful time of year to cuddle up in a cozy corner with a book. To help you continue sharing with parents and caregivers about the important role they play in helping kids become avid readers, we’re highlighting three sections on the Marketplace we think are particularly helpful. Sometimes, it just comes down to finding the perfect book for families to read together all winter long.

  • Reading aloud isn’t only for little kids! That’s why we created our Favorite Read Alouds section, featuring our favorites for Preschool, Elementary School, and Middle School listeners.
  • Do you serve students who speak Spanish at home? Explore our Spanish Language and Bilingual Books section to find stories to send home and get the whole family reading.
  • What’s sure to make you feel cozy? Reading about winter in the winter! Check out our selection of Winter books for everything snow, sledding, and more.

Educators are encouraged to register for the network (for free) to access our extensive collections. Anyone can snag their favorite reads from Bookshop* and explore our curated lists.

* 10% of your purchase directly supports First Book.