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Resource roundup: Evidence-based strategies to cultivate early literacy skills as schools reopen

Resource roundup: Early literacy in school reopening
Photo by Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action.

By Sara Mitrano
April 26, 2021

Despite the severe disruptions to schooling caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, early childhood educators remain fervently dedicated to cultivating students’ literacy skills. As a growing number of students return to in-person learning, educators and families can draw on these early literacy resources and events from the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) network and the What Works Clearinghouse.

The REL Midwest Early Childhood Education Research Alliance has conducted research and produced a number of resources to support early childhood literacy instruction and development.

REL Southeast has developed a portfolio of resources to assist both families in supporting young children’s reading at home and educators in selecting, implementing, and evaluating effective early literacy practices and interventions.

REL West’s Joyful Reading webinar series and related video provide research-based guidance to strengthen and enhance interactive readalouds in the classroom or at home.

  • In March 2021, REL West hosted a webinar in its four-part Joyful Reading webinar series, designed to help prekindergarten–grade 1 educators learn a routine for storybook reading, explore ideas for creating school-to-home connections, and extend storybook reading to creative expression activities. This webinar featured research-based guidance to help teachers learn about moving from a joyful reading routine to creative expression activities.
  • In the video Interactive Readalouds: Learning from Books Together, a skilled facilitator models the readaloud process and shares tips for asking effective questions for both on-the-surface and deeper-dive discussions of books. The video draws on recommendations from the What Works Clearinghouse, and a companion readaloud lesson planning template [239 KB PDF icon] is also available.

The What Works Clearinghouse has several educator practice guides related to early childhood literacy development and instruction.

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Author information

Sara Mitrano Staff Picture

Sara Mitrano

Research Associate | REL Midwest


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