As part of the SPELL Project, the Colorado State Library researched best practices in reaching low-income parents of children birth through three with early literacy awareness and training.
In addition to researching organizations nationally, we also sent out a survey on several listservs over a two-week period to learn about examples of practices, programs and partnerships with other agencies that have been found to be successful (or not successful) in engaging and supporting parents in their role in building early literacy.
In the third study phase, we surveyed parents of young children that use libraries in four low-income communities across the state to ascertain their patterns of and barriers to library use, methods of information gathering on parenting, early literacy knowledge and practice, and demographic information.
We reviewed peer-reviewed articles, books, conference proceedings and other literature to learn about successful and not so successful ways of reaching low-income parents in an effort to positively change their behavior.
For our last phase of research, the SPELL team conducted focus groups with low-income parents of children ages birth through three for our final research phase. Using a protocol designed from the information learned in the first three phases, five focus groups were conducted in the same four communities in which we surveyed parents.