Head Start parents' perceptions of family literacy activities
The purpose of this convergent parallel mixed method research design was to investigate family literacy activities reported by parents of Head Start children. In addition, the study explored the use of Family Literacy Book Bags by involving parents in shared reading and home-based literacy activities. Parents of Head Start children at a center in North Texas were invited to participate through distribution of a flyer. Fifteen parents signed consent forms and completed the Family Background form and the Survey of Family Literacy Activities. Participants chose a Family Literacy Book Bag that contained an age appropriate children’s book in English and Spanish, instructions and materials for a literacy activity, and a Parent Reflection form. Focus group sessions were scheduled for the following week. Twelve parents discussed their perceptions of the Family Literacy Book Bags in one of three focus group sessions.
The quantitative data were collected from the Family Background surveys and the Surveys of Family Literacy Activities. The qualitative data were collected from the Parent Reflection forms and the focus group sessions. The quantitative data were interpreted using a descriptive research design and the qualitative data were interpreted using a case study research design. Head Start parents reported high levels of participation with children in reading activities, language awareness activities, responses to print, interest in letters, and writing activities. Qualitative results indicated that parents appreciated the books and activities, learned about their children’s interests, and promoted literacy strategies at home.