Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Teacher Education

Major Professor

Amy Broemmel

Committee Members

Samara Akpovo, Nils Jaekel, Deborah Wooten, Rachelle Savitz


In the United States, family literacy is considered a vital part of a child’s literacy success. Culturally and Linguistically Diverse families, however, are often judged as being incapable of providing literacy support to their children. This is an unfair judgment, as most culturally and linguistically diverse families have some form of literacy lives outside of school.This study explores what leads to literacy success in the lives of three Latinx, Spanish-speaking families in a small city in the southeastern United States. Every focal child in the study is considered a successful reader based on grades and lack of English Language Learner services. It is unique in that the children in this study attend school in contexts with relatively low racial, ethnic, or linguistic diversity, In addition, all students attend school in environments where instruction is only provided in English. The study is qualitative in nature and based on photo elicitation and subsequent interviews. Findings and analyses show that each child in the study has a different “bridge,” created by family literacy events that are in turn informed by the family’s schema, that enable them to use family literacy to achieve literacy success in their academic environments. The bridges varied greatly both between and even within families, and were based on a number of individual family, language, and cultural variables. This paper discusses some of the more common factors and literacy events utilized by these families. It then gives overall implications for research based on these findings.

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