TLC’s Family Literacy 360 program is in response to requests from the community to bring together children and their parents to develop literacy skills. The objective is to break the intergenerational cycle of low literacy and teach parents that they are their child’s first teacher and that they can be successful at it. The curriculum includes school/teacher learning/homework skills; health, wellness, nutrition; family finance, community; transportation; and computer skills.
This innovative program, which will start in Hilton Head in mid-January and in Bluffton in mid-March, is generously funded by the Family Dollar Literacy Foundation, Beaufort County Human Service Alliance, and First Nonprofit Foundation.
The program is designed to increase the stability of the family through interaction, mentoring and shared experiences and effort. There are multiple objectives:
- To increase the use of English and reading in the home, letting parents practice being a teacher to their children
- Practicing effective two-way, constructive communication and collaboration
- Improving overall literacy
- To create trust between, and understanding of, the challenges facing children and parents
- Helping make families sustainable!
For the parents, the program is designed to provide first time and drop out adult students with the skills and confidence to enter a more formal, rigorous Adult Basic Education Program. Each class will have four segments for adults, all with the goal of preparing and advancing the adult’s literacy competencies. Adult material will compliment a similar topic being presented in parallel to their children. The content will intersect so that when the families are together, they will all contribute/collaborate, each having new material.
- Adults will learn about the complexity of their child’s world and its impact on identity, interpersonal communication and computers, i.e. addressing capabilities and perils of technology on children)
- Developing scope and sequence skills and competencies with a functional, family oriented domain, i.e. teacher interaction, helping with homework, wellness, nutrition, safety, community
- The child and adult working together including games and methods addressing interpersonal topics
- Both adult and child can gain esteem by adding new elements of the lesson and topic
Parents will be given books to read at home to their child! Joe – what do you think about a “Click here to donate books to family’s home libraries” We could work on how to do that after Xmas but it could be a way to start our 1,000 children’s book drive – your idea!
For the children the program is designed to improve their literacy; increase their self-esteem and communication; and finally to participate in healthy, learning-based activities with their parents and siblings. Components are designed to make the K-6 school experience more comfortable and enjoyable for the child.
- Tutors will work with the child’s teachers to coordinate appropriate elements addressing vocabulary, speaking, reading, and writing as associated with current concepts in their K-6 program
- Developing scope and sequence skills and competencies within a functional, family oriented domain, i.e. teacher interaction, helping with homework, wellness, nutrition, safety, community
- Create confidence within the student, empowering them to become more active in their community
- The parent and child are working together including reading to one another, games and addressing interpersonal topics
- The parent and child can gain self-esteem by learning together
The program will lay a foundation for effective parent support in teaching, homework assistance, and help create a home environment conducive to learning!
Our partners are The Deep Well Project of Hilton Head and Self Help of Bluffton. These nonprofit partners serve the poor and disadvantaged members of the community with shelter, food, clothing and assistance to pay utility bills. More importantly, they serve families. BUT they don’t teach families to speak English or read and write! TLC’s Family Literacy 360 Program can take the family to a level of success that can lighten the burden on these organizations and our community!
USC-Beaufort’s Department of Education is developing curriculum, creating metrics and providing tutors. USC Columbia’s Institute for Families in Society will follow the family and help them use their learned skills to be more active in the community.
It is very clear that family literacy programs work! The concept of family literacy is firmly rooted in a substantial research base from several disciplines, including adult literacy, emergent literacy, child development, and systems analysis. Family literacy programs benefit the children, parents, families as units and the larger society.
For more information on Family Literacy 360 contact Pam Wall at 843-815-6616 or Mike Powers at 843-681-6655.