Research Proposal

LTCY 536 Alice Frankowski

Essential Question

How to involve parents from low income and racially diverse families in their child's literacy education through the use of after school events.

Focusing on the following:

  • Factors that motivate parents to attend
  • Factors that prevent parents from attending (attitude, time, transportation...)

Literature Review

Results have consistently shown that parent involvement has a positive impact on student's literacy acquisition. Educators struggle with defining what "parent involvement" looks like, recognizing that involvement changes within each household. This study focuses on parent involvement through after school literacy events. The goal is to gauge how relevant, helpful, and fun these events are.

Studies have shown that parents from low income and racially diverse or bilingual homes feel they cannot participate in their child's education due to their lack of language development or cultural differences. Will creating culturally diverse and sensitive literacy events promote attendance?

Other contributing factors of parent attendance are the students themselves. As students become older they, take on the role of dictating their parents involvement within their literacy education.

The overall lack of research prevents educators from truly knowing the impact that out of school literacy events have on our students education.


  • One year case study with data collected during the 2015-2016 school year
  • Data will be gathered at 16-20 Literacy Events hosted by eight elementary buildings in the Harlem School District
  • Title I Funding requires each school to host at least two literacy events
  • Gather information through the use of observations, interviews, surveys, and focus groups

Data Collection

  • Online Survey to be taken by parents that attended Literacy Events
  • Online Survey to be taken by parents that did not attend Literacy Events
  • Open-Ended survey to be given to Reading Specialists and teachers that organize the literacy events at each elementary school
  • Semi-Structured Interviews to be conducted at Events
  • Focus group with BPAC (Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee)

*From each event itineraries or event schedules will be collected and coded. Other data such as event time, date, location, and attendance will also be collected

Harlem Literacy Events

Study Implications

I have found that little research has been conducted on bridging the gap of literacy at home and school through the use of literacy events. Parents often feel overwhelmed with Common Core initiatives and literacy practices. By providing parents an outlet to voice concerns, and a fun environment to teach basic literacy practices such as questioning, summarizing, picture walks, book discussion, and more parents begin to take control of their child's education.