University of Pittsburgh School of Education

Story Sacks Parent Letter

Sample letter to be sent to parents prior to beginning the story sack program.

Dear Parents,

Beginning next week, your student will be bringing home our Story Sacks. These sacks are designed to foster enjoyment of children's literature and to nurture lifelong reading habits. We encourage your partnership in reading by sharing these stories and your responses together.

During this semester, the sacks will rotate among the children. Your child will bring home a sack once a week. Please return the sack the following Monday after you have helped your child recheck all of the contents on the inside sack contents list. In this way, every child will have a chance to take home a sack once a week.

Since your child may choose to read all or only some of the books included, please try to set aside a special reading time. Children love to make choices about their reading and may ask a parent to read aloud, to read along with them, or to listen to them read alone.

A blank journal is also included for students' and parents' written comments and illustrations about meaningful characters or preferred story parts. Check the inside cover of the journal for parent and child response ideas. Or you may choose to respond in another way.

To encourage your child to respond to the stories orally, you may consider asking, "Which character seems most like (a favorite stuffed animal or toy)? Why?" You may ask your child to pretend that you're a friend who has never heard the story before and to tell you as much of the story as s/he can remember. Or your child may want to role-play a scene from the story, perhaps "talking" in the characters' voices.

Whatever activities you choose, make this a relaxed and enjoyable experience in reading, from parent read-alouds to rereading your child's favorite parts.

We thank you for your support and hope you enjoy our Story Sacks!

Your Partners in Reading at _______________________________