Encourage Learning at Home with Reading, Interactive Notebooks


Face-to-face learning has been suspended for the remainder of the school year, but that doesn’t mean learning will stop for Michigan students. School districts have been tasked with providing remote learning opportunities over the next few months, and parents can play an important role in alleviating learning loss as well.

An easy way to do this is to encourage your student to read.

“Research shows that students who read for pleasure perform better not only in English but also in math, science and history,” says Dr. Kimberly Leverette, Executive Director of Education & Training for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, which administers YouthQuest and TeenQuest. “By prioritizing reading at home now, parents can help prepare their students to succeed once day school resumes.”

To take your student’s reading comprehension to the next level, Leverette recommends creating an interactive reading notebook.

“This is a resource that is readily available for any grade level—kindergarten through high school,” Leverette says. “Oftentimes, we engage with the text without realizing the opportunity to extend and think about more complex ideas.”

According to Leverette, all students need is a book, a notebook and a pencil. With these tools, parents and students can try a number of activities including:

  • Drawing the characters in the book
  • Working on vocabulary words
  • Writing about the various tensions throughout the books
  • Creating a comic strip of the story
  • Making a Venn Diagram to compare characters

Elementary students may work with parents to complete these activities, while middle and high school students may prefer to work independently.

“If we can work with our students on reading and writing through this time, we are making great progress,” Leverette says.

YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.