Level Up with Literacy

The State Support Team 1 Literacy Newsletter

This bi-monthly digital newsletter from State Support Team 1 is designed to provide you with timely literacy information and resources aligned to Ohio's Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement to help you meet your goal of providing a high-quality education to all learners.
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Making Connections: MTSS & Families

In the February issue of Level Up with Literacy, we explored using an MTSS framework to launch your literacy efforts.

This month, consider how an MTSS framework can be used to support your family and community engagement efforts by building strong relationships with families and community partners, and ensuring everyone has access to the language and literacy continuum.

"Parental involvement in their child’s literacy practices is a more powerful force than other family background variables, such as social class, family size, and level of parental education."

- National Literacy Trust

Getting started: How Schools Can Use a Multi-Tiered System of Support for Family Engagement offers advice for developing a strong home-school collaboration to improve student outcomes.

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April Strand: Family & Community Partnerships

Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement encourages schools to build strong relationships with families to create holistic and sustainable support systems for learners from birth through graduation.

Language and literacy support for families offered by schools and communities should:

  • Provide all families opportunities to be active supporters of their children’s language and literacy development
  • Promote enjoyable language and literacy interactions at home
  • Provide clear, timely understanding for families about their children’s progress
  • Equip families with the developmentally-appropriate literacy strategies and resources they need
  • Promote literacy in families’ home languages
  • Incorporate the interests and cultures of children and their families
  • Communicate high learning expectations for all children

This month, we focus on the Family Partnerships strand of Ohio's Theory of Action, and offer resources that help to support language and literacy development through collaboration between school and home.

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Systems-wide Supports

Free Rubric: Family Engagement in Early Literacy

Building leadership teams can measure and evaluate their family engagement efforts with the free Family Engagement Rubric and its accompanying guidebook from the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center. Regular use of the tool will help you track progress and focus future plans.

Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT)

The APTT model helps to expand opportunities for teachers and families to collaborate to help build strong relationships that contribute to literacy achievement. With this approach, schools take responsibility for this relationship and empower families to make positive, measurable contributions to their child's growth and success.
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Instructional Supports

International Children’s Digital Library

With over 4,600 books in 59 different languages, the International Children's Digital Library gives families the opportunity to share books together in their home language. The database is searchable by language, age, genre, and more.

Healthy Communication on Teams with Families: A Reflection Tool

Analyze your family communication processes, gain perspective on current practices, and determine areas for growth with this free, succinct reflection tool from the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center.

Assistive Technology: A Family-centered Approach

Assistive Technology (AT) AT can be a tool, system, or device to support access to literacy. OCALI's module "A Family-centered Approach to Assistive Technology in Early Childhood" provides guiding principles and collaborative approaches to AT access for early learners.

Note: You will need to set up an account for access, but the content is free to view.

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Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center

The Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center at the Ohio State University, supports the development and academic achievement of children by providing resources to educators and families to help build effective-family-school partnerships.

Watch this 2-minute video to learn more about available services >>

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The Ohio Department of Education is offering all content from the 2021 Ohio Literacy Academy for educators to access as their time allows. View the on-demand presentations and download the pre- and post- activities to support your professional learning goals. Access the materials >>

Virtual Family & Community Engagement

Presented by SST 1 | April 22 & May 13

Develop family and community engagement frameworks, learn how to align them to your school improvement efforts, and gather tools for monitoring and evaluating your engagement progress.

Join us >>

Adolescent Literacy Leaders Network

Presented by SST 1 | May 19

Explore the practices that address the six essential domains of adolescent literacy instruction, and investigate the complex nature of building and advancing literacy skills across all disciplines. Register today >>

Adolescent Literacy Sessions

Now - May 13

Ohio's Literacy Specialists and Literacy Leads are hosting virtual professional learning sessions about a variety of adolescent literacy topics through the end of the school year.

See the full list >>

Family and Community Toolbox


The resources ODE makes available to families and caregivers are selected to build upon the natural learning opportunities that support early language and literacy development as children move through their typical day. Share these resources with your families >>
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Contact State Support Team Region 1

Please feel free to reach out if you have questions or need guidance on instruction, increasing educator capacity, or any other literacy-related topic.

There are no copyright restrictions on this document; however, please cite and credit the source when copying all or part of this document. This document was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Award #H027A200111, CFDA 84.027A, awarded to the Ohio Department of Education). The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and no official endorsement by the Department should be inferred.