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Raising Readers Video Series

January 26, 2012


Raising Readers YouTube Video Series for Parents

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

by Laurie Elish-Piper

“Daniel is having a hard time with reading, how can I help him?” asked Betsy, his mother.  Tilly reported, “Shanika’s teacher said I need to read with her at home, but I don’t know how I am supposed to do that.”  Jonathan, father of Emily, an eighth-grade student, explained, “She hates to read. She’s in middle school so I worry it’s too late. Is there anything I can do?”

Raising Readers image

I am often asked these types of questions in my role as a university Literacy Clinic Director. Because we work with K-12 students who struggle with reading and writing, the parents we encounter are often worried and frustrated about what they can do to help their children grow as readers and writers.

In response to the many questions posed by parents about how they can support their children’s reading and writing development, the Northern Illinois University Literacy Clinic has created a series of free YouTube videos to share with parents. The “Raising Readers” video series is currently available in English and offers simple research-based strategies that parents can use to support their children’s reading and writing development at home.

The videos in the “Raising Readers” series are short (two to four minutes each), easy to understand, and demonstrated with real families. They can be shared directly with parents at conferences, at open houses, on school district websites, and by sharing the YouTube Channel address in newsletters and other school publications. The videos are all available on the Northern Illinois University Literacy Clinic YouTube Channel.

During 2012 the NIU Literacy Clinic will be developing a video series, “Criando Lectores,” for Spanish-speaking parents.

For more information about the NIU Literacy Clinic and the “Raising Readers” series, including free informational handouts for parents in both English and Spanish, please visit the website at

Laurie Elish-Piper, Ph.D. is Interim Department Chair, Presidential Teaching Professor, and Literacy Clinic Director in the Department of Literacy Education at Northern Illinois University,

The “Raising Readers” series contains 12 videos (shown below) focused on these topics:
• Building the Reading Habit

• Promoting a Love of Reading (Grades K-5)

• Promoting a Love of Reading (Grades 6-12)

• Phonemic Awareness

• Phonics

• Fluency

• Vocabulary

• Comprehension Strategies

• Comprehension of Fiction

• Comprehension of Informational Texts

• Writing (Grades K-2)

• Helping Your Child with Writing (Grades 3-5)

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