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Interactive Literacy (ILA)

What Are Interactive Literacy Activities?


The Interactive Literacy Activities (ILA) component of Even Start is unique. Although most education programs for children acknowledge the value of parental involvement in their children’s acquisition of literacy, few actually bring parents and children together for interactive literacy activities.

ILA is Research-Based

There is significant research that demonstrates the value of the ILA component in family literacy. Here are some research-based principles that support the implementation of Interactive Literacy Activities:
  • Parents have a significant impact on the language and literacy development of their children (Dickinson & Tabor, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1995; 1999).
  • Children’s development and school achievement is highly correlated with the amount of time they spend with their parents. (Jacobs, 2004; Pianta, 2004; Powell, 2004)
  • The more time that parents spend interacting with their children, the better the chance that their children will have higher vocabulary and IQ test scores at age three (Hart & Risley, 1999).
  • Frequent parent-child book reading benefits children’s language and literacy development (Bus, van Ijzendoorn & Pelligrini, 1995; Lonigan & Whitehurst, 1998).


"The purpose of Even Start interactive Literacy Activities is to provide a time to increase and facilitate meaningful parent child interactions focused primarily on language and literacy development in a high-quality learning environment where they can learn and play together." (Jacobs, 2004, p. 197)