Cozy reading: A literacy initiative in the early years

Literacy teaching is rich and varied. Teachers make many decisions at to how to teach literacy: what texts to use, what language to emphasize, what materials to include, what experiences to foster, and how to deliver instruction so students become confident and competent users of language.

Sylvia Clare’s school has a “cozy reading” program in place where parent volunteers come to the class for about 1 hour. During their 1 hour visit they take small groups of about 4-5 students into a cozy space located outside of the classroom. With comfy chairs snuggled in a nook of the school the parent reads a picture book or 2 to the students.

This is a simple program that does so much:

  • Exposes students to parents’ reading and demonstrating a love for reading.
  • Provides additional read aloud experiences for students. Every child receives small group read aloud time with an adult, while the classroom teachers remain in the classroom working with small groups on a number of projects.
  • Brings the parent community into the school in a way that is focused on learning.
  • Has children connect with parents of students in the class.
  • A nice way to foster relationships between parents and teachers that is also helpful to teachers’ work

I (yiola) really enjoy the cozy reading program. Being back in the early years classroom reminds me of how complex the environment is: 25 young children excited, active, and curious. The balance between learning and management is simply amazing… even walking the children out the room to the cozy reading nook makes me smile… because I say to the children “Okay let’s walk down the hall nicely so we are safe” and as soon as we exit the classroom door the children skip and run down the hallway!


Sylvia Clare in the Cozy Reading nook.
Sylvia Clare in the Cozy Reading nook.


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