1st Edition

Nourishing Caregiver Collaborations Elevating Home Experiences and Classroom Practices for Collective Care

By Nawal Qarooni Copyright 2024

    In Nourishing Caregiver Collaborations: Elevating Home Experiences and Classroom Practices for Collective Care, Nawal Qarooni invites us to step beyond school-centric, one-off events and practices to create more authentic, engaging collaborations with caregivers. Instead of asking what families can do to support schools, Qarooni asks how schools can identify and celebrate what families already inherently bring to their children’s literacy learning.
    Establishing this work in holistic teaching—a pedagogical mindset that affirms the importance of loving the whole child through compassionate, collective care—Qarooni explores five critical literacy tenets by highlighting opportunities to listen for, honor, connect to, and elevate family strengths while inviting them even further into our shared work and encouraging reflection around: 

    • Recognizing the journey of process,
    • Celebrating the role collaboration plays within the collective
    • Using observational literacy to read the world
    • Advocating for the power of talk to grow ideas and connect with others
    • Giving children choice to make self-directed decisions

    With moments of memoir woven in alongside diverse family examples and classroom stories connected to realistic instructional practices, Qarooni shows how all families contribute meaningfully to their children’s literacy lives. Discover how we can tap into those vast wells to support learning at home and in school while building positive, reciprocal relationships across both settings.
    With an afterword by En Comunidad authors, Carla España and Luz Yadira Herrera, Nourishing Caregiver Collaborations is rooted in the simple truth that we cannot separate knowing our students from knowing their home, communities, and the people that they love. This book offers a toolkit for connecting with families and elevating the intrinsic strengths that reside in every child’s home.

    Foreword by Cornelius Minor

    Introduction: Families Know

    Chapter 1: Celebrating Families’ Intrinsic Knowledge

    Chapter 2: Process: The Journey Is the Learning

    Chapter 3: The Collective: Elevating Community Through Collaboration and Inclusion

    Chapter 4: Observational Literacy: Reading the World

    Chapter 5: Talk: The Power of Oral Conversations to Grow Ideas and Connect Us

    Chapter 6: Choice: Freeing Students to Make Self-Driven Decisions

    Conclusion: Pushing into Practice with Invitations for Shared Literacy Experiences

    Afterword by Carla España and Luz Yadira Herrera


    Nawal Qarooni is an educator, writer, and adjunct professor who supports a holistic approach to literacy instruction and family experiences in schools across the country. Drawing on her work as an inquiry-based leader, mother, and proud daughter of immigrants, Nawal's pedagogy is centered in the rich and authentic learning all families gift their children every day. To learn more about her work, visit nqcliteracy.org or follow her on Instagram @nqarooni and Twitter @NQCLiteracy.

    Nourishing Caregiver Collaborations is the book we all need to fuel our practice and feed our souls. Nawal Qarooni has gifted us with a book that truly celebrates the beautiful connections between home and school. We are invited to center love, honor families and the journey of learning, and make connections beyond the classroom walls with our community. Qarooni’s book is inspiring and necessary and I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book for way too long.

    —Tiffany Jewell, Author of the #1 New York Times-bestselling book This Book Is Anti-Racist, educator and mama

    Nawal’s book is a gift to educators and caregivers alike. Nourishing Caregiver Collaborations is a beautiful reminder and proactive resource to cultivate and sustain family partnerships.

    —Liz Sohyeon Kleinrock, Author of Start Here Start Now: A Guide to Antibias and Antiracist Work in Your School Community

    Nourishing Caregiver Collaborations is a must-read. Nawal’s practical, insightful, reflective, and honest approach beautifully illustrates how we can embrace the power of collective care in our classrooms.

    —Britt Hawthorne, New York Times-bestselling author of Raising Antiracist Children: A Practical Parenting Guide

    Nourishing Caregiver Collaborations is a compelling and thought-provoking book. Nawal Qarooni uses her personal experiences as both a parent and an educator to highlight the value of genuine family engagement in promoting the success of students.

    —Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Ph.D. Professor and author of Advancing Racial Literacies in Teacher Education: Activism for Equity in Digital Spaces, Teachers College, Columbia University

    If educators truly want to embrace families and include them at school, this book offers guidance for building better relationships and challenges biases and misconceptions about what families need and expect for their children.

    —Donalyn Miller, Author and teacher

    A stirring and brilliant call to action for everyone invested in the well-being of young people—educators, parents, and KidLit writers alike. Qarooni provides a framework for how we can better exalt young people in all of their complexity, braiding together their lived experiences from school to home and everything in between. This book gave me so much to think about as both a parent and as a writer and advocate for young people.

    —Jasmine Warga, Author of A Rover’s Story and Other Words for Home

    Through a series of deeply personal family stories intertwined with practical tools for reflection and action, Nawal Qarooni challenges educators to recast our conceptions of family literacy engagement and brings to life what truly centering family, community, and relationships can mean for supporting students’ pursuit of advanced literacy.

    —Jane Fleming, Coauthor of More Mirrors in the Classroom: Using Urban Children’s Literature to Increase Literacy

    This book is both brilliant and artful. Its content, its narrative, and even its gorgeous design bring forward a generous and care-full vision of the relationships between literacy and love, kinship and learning, school and home. What an absolutely stunning treasure.

    —Carla Shalaby, Author of Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom from Young Children at School

    Nourishing Caregiver Collaborations provides a fresh and humanistic perspective into how educators can engage with caregivers in authentic and dynamic ways. This book will warm your educator soul with its beautiful stories and message, inspire you to rethink and reimagine family engagement, and provide practical next steps for application.

    —Dr. Cindy Bak, Assistant Director at the Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING