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If educators expect more children to be successful in literacy experiences at school, then they must strive to form lasting partnerships with parents (Fried, 2001). The educators working with the after-school and summer literacy program actively sought to form partnerships with family members at a small rural elementary school in a southern state. By collaborating with mothers and relatives of children at this low-income, African-American school we learned about the commitment and caring of families. Family members participating in the program explained they began to spend more time on literacy activities at home and were excited about reading with their children. These family members became better at (a) asking open-ended response questions, (b) encouraging children to tell what they think, and (c) reading with expression.

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