Chapter 1 Family Literacy section one: what is family literacy?

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Family Literacy in ABLE

Adult Basic and Literary Education (ABLE), operated with state and federal funds, offers classes to adults who want to improve their basic reading, writing, and math skills and who want to prepare for their GED. Some ABLE programs have expanded to include family literacy activities.

Sponsored by ABLE in Sandusky, the ACT Program (Adult and Child Together) offers free summer learning camps. Adults and children (ages 6-11) enroll in one of the following: Computer Camp allows experience with basic word processing and calculation; Math Camp provides hands-on activities in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; Science Camp introduces simple concepts through discovery activities; Food Camp stresses good eating habits and healthy snacks; and English Speaking Camp focuses on practical conversation for home, meals, and shopping.
Washington Local ABLE in Toledo offers a Kindergarten Readiness Program for 4- and 5-year-olds and their parents. The free classes are offered once each semester with 90- minute sessions on six consecutive Saturdays. The series is designed to introduce children to a school environment and help them prepare for kindergarten. The program focuses on small and large motor control, math and reading readiness, and social development. As a part of each class, the child selects an activity to complete with his or her parent. Parents complete a kindergarten readiness survey at the first and last meeting in order to monitor their children's progress in school readiness. Parents also enjoy the time they spend with their children. The classes provide an opportunity to see how their children interact with other children and adults.
Family Literacy in Head Start

Head Start and Early Start

Head Start and Early Head Start are comprehensive child development programs for children from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and their families. They are child-focused programs and have the overall goal of increasing the school readiness of young children in low-income families. The Head Start grantee and delegate agencies provide a range of individualized services in the areas of education and early childhood development; medical, dental, and mental health; nutrition; and parent involvement. In addition, the entire range of Head Start services is responsive and appropriate to each child's and family's developmental, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage and experience.

Administered by the Department of Job and Family Services, the Head Start Program has provided comprehensive child-development services to low-income families since 1964. Since 1984, a special emphasis has been placed on promoting literacy and basic education for the parents and children in the program. Since 1992, the Head Start Family Literacy Initiative has called upon every grantee to recognize family literacy as a priority. Head Start’s Promotion of Family Literacy serves three basic roles:

(1) Increasing the Head Start families’ access to materials, activities, and services essential to family literacy development (e.g., acquiring children’s books for the home, and promoting family participation in a story hour for young children at a neighborhood center);

(2) Supporting parents in the role of being their child’s first teacher by providing the encouragement and specific direction to Head Start families; and

(3) Assisting parents as adult learners to recognize and address their own literacy needs.


Adapted from Promoting Family Literacy Through Head Start, published by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families.

For more information on Head Start visit

or the National Head Start Association

Books, paper, pencils, backpacks, and Bookmobiles are some of the services, items, and materials that are used as tools to promote literacy in the Council on Rural Service Programs’ Head Start classrooms. Many activities support the literacy focus. Librarians read to the children in some classrooms throughout an eight-county service area, and the Bookmobile makes a regular monthly stop at others. On field trips to local libraries, the children listen to stories and select books to take back to the classroom. Dictated follow-ups are another part of the field trip experience. Favorite classroom recipes are often written on large sheets of paper and posted nearby the activity area to enhance the cooking experience.

As part of the Reading is Fundamental (RIF) Program, children take books home several times throughout the year. Every classroom has a quiet area with a wide variety of books. Carpet, bean bag chairs, and pillows invite the young reader. Books are also often found in other areas of the classroom, e.g., about trucks in the block and truck area, phone and recipe books in the dramatic play and housekeeping areas. The listening center contains a tape recorder, headphones, and books with corresponding tapes. Reading to the children is part of the everyday routine and takes place at circle time as well as spontaneous times throughout the day. Writing centers encourage the children to use paper and pencils to begin the first steps towards writing. Other materials in the writing center include markers, tablets, rulers, stamp pads and stamps, hole punchers, hole reinforcements, old typewriters, letter and number stencils, and an abundance of paper. Children take home a writing backpack filled with materials such as paper, pencils, markers, glue, staplers, scissors, yarn, old magazines, and so forth. The backpacks contain a letter to parents suggesting ideas for working with their children on a project. Teachers encourage parents to offer feedback about the family projects. The children share the stories and books that are the result. Some classrooms have established a lending library. Teachers often invite guest readers to the classrooms so children hear and see other people reading. Some of the guests have been the mayor, the fire chief, the D.A.R.E. officer, and a large number of parents. The Head Start home visitor encourages parents to read to their children and visit the local library. For additional information, contact:

Council on Rural Service Programs

Central Office

Miami County

201 RM Davis Parkway Suite B

Piqua, Ohio 45356

Phone: 937.778.5220
Fax: 937.778.8970


RSVP & Gateway Programs

Darke County

116 East 3rd.

Greenville, Ohio 45331
Phone: 937.548.8002
Fax: 937.548.2664

Chapter 2

Who's Doing Family Literacy
The agencies and organizations in this annotated "directory of directories" provide services that enable family literacy programs to function smoothly. Some are family literacy providers and funders like Even Start and Parents As Teachers. Some contribute information for a single component of a program like the national standards developed by Equipped For the Future or the training in collaboration developed by For the Common Good.
The lists may be used in many ways. In addition to containing information on family literacy programming, the lists may suggest potential collaborators who serve similar populations or have similar service goals. Other organizations like Special Education Centers may offer specialized professional training for a family literacy staff. The majority of the agencies in this chapter have websites that you can explore for more information or to get current contact information. The web addresses are included as part of the information about the agency.
The chapter is divided into two sections: "National" and "Ohio."

Note: If you have information, especially at the local level, to add to future supplements of The Family Literacy Resource Notebook, please contact The Ohio Literacy Resource Center 1 800  765 2897; Research I Bldg., 1100 Summit St., PO Box 5190, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242;

U.S. Government Offices
U.S. Dept. Of Education

The home page of the vast site for the U.S. DOE with links to vocational and adult education; information about legislation, statistics, grants, budgets, research reports, evaluation, and noteworthy practices can be found here.

600 Independence Ave., SW

Washington, DC 20202 7240

Office of Vocational and Adult Education

Phone: (202) 205 5451, Fax: (202) 205 8748
The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE)

This office includes program offices that provide financial assistance to state and local educational agencies for maintenance and improvement of both public and private preschool, elementary, and secondary education. For more information about any of these programs, see

Even Start

Even Start is a federally-funded family literacy program administered by states to improve the educational opportunities of low-income families.

For more information, see

Even Start Family Literacy Program

Visit the archived text of the 1998 National Evaluation of the Even Start Family Literacy Program.

600 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202

Phone: (202) 260-0991, Fax: (202) 260-7764

Head Start

Head Start and Early Head Start are comprehensive child development programs for children from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and their families.

For more information about the Head Start Program visit

Title I Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

This program provides financial assistance through State educational agencies (SEAs) to local educational agencies (LEAs) and public schools with high numbers or percentages of poor children to help ensure that all children meet challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards.

For more information on Title I Part A go to
Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI)

The OERI functions of research, statistics, best practices and models has been incorporated into The Institute of Education Sciences (IES); however, information archived before 11/5/02 can be found on this site.

U.S. Department of Education

555 New Jersey Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20208
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Programs

Concerned with identification and early intervention, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Programs provides support for individuals, parents, and school districts in the areas of special and vocational education and research.

U.S. Department of Education

600 Independence Ave, SW

Switzer Building, Room 4613

Washington, DC 20202

Partnership for Family Involvement in Education

The Partnership for Family Involvement in Education addresses issues, provides information, expands professional development, and offers opportunities for sharing and networking.

U.S. Dept. of Education Information Resource Center
U.S. Dept. of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor site contains information on job training, employment, and the labor market.

200 Constitution Ave., NW, Rm. N5637

Washington, DC 20210

Office of Research and Demonstration

Phone: (202) 219 7674, Fax: (202) 219 5455
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services

Administration for Children and Families

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a federal agency funding state, territory, local, and tribal organizations to provide family assistance (welfare), child support, child care, Head Start, child welfare, and other programs relating to children and families.
Child Care Bureau

The Child Care Bureau enhances the quality, affordability and availability of child care for all families.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Administration for Children and Families

Office of Public Affairs

370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW

Washington, DC 20202

Head Start Bureau

Head Start promotes the economic and social well-being of low-income, refugee, and migrant families and those with disabilities through integrated services across agency boundaries.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Administration for Children and Families

Office of Public Affairs

370 L’Enfant Promenade, SW

Washington, D.C. 20202
The following nongovernmental organizations and agencies are more resources for family literacy.

These are national foundations that provide grants to adult and family literacy programs.

Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

The Barbara Bush Foundation supports the development of family literacy programs in which parents and children can read and learn together.

1002 Wisconsin Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20007

Phone: (202) 338-2006, Fax: (202) 337-6754
Dollar General Literacy Foundation

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation, which is dedicated to the advancement of literacy, provides grants to non-profit organization in their market areas.

P.O. Box 1064

Goodlettsville, TN 37072-1064

(615) 855-5201
John S. And James L. Knight Foundation

The Knight Foundation offers grants in three categories: journalism, communities served by their newspapers, and a venture fund.

2 South Biscayne Blvd., Ste. 3800

Miami, FL 33131

Phone: (305) 980 2600, Fax: (305) 908 2698

Kiwanis International Headquarters

A community service organization, Kiwanis supports projects benefiting children and young adults.

Program Development Division

3636 Woodview Trace

Indianapolis, IN 46268

(800) 879 4769

Staples Foundation for Learning

The Staples Foundation funds community grassroots organization and maintains charity partnerships with national organizations to provide educational and growth opportunities.

500 Staples Drive, 4 West
Framingham, MA 01702
Starbucks Foundation

The Starbucks Foundation funds programs that promote youth leadership through the power of literacy and respect for diversity in communities where Starbuck employees live and work.

P.O. Box 3824

Seattle, WA 98134

Phone: (206) 748 8602, Fax: (206) 447 3028
Target Foundation

The Target Foundation provides grants to support education in areas served by Target stores.
United Way of America, Inc.

The National United Way acts as a go-between for philanthropic corporations and government, works to activate community resources, and supports welfare-to-work transition.

701 North Fairfax

Alexandria, VA 22314 2045

Phone: (703) 836 7112, Fax: (703) 683 7840

The Wallace Foundation

Formerly the Reader’s Digest Foundation, the Wallace Foundation encourages learning and enrichment through educational leadership, student achievement, after-school learning, and participation in arts and culture.

Two Park Place Ave.

New York, NY 10016

Work Phone: (212) 251 9800, Fax: (212) 679 6990

Special Needs

These agencies provide information and resources for families who have members with special needs.

American Foundation for the Blind

Since 1921, the American Foundation for the Blind—to which Helen Keller devoted her life—has been eliminating barriers that prevent the ten million Americans who are blind or visually impaired from reaching their potential.

(800) 232-5463
International Dyslexia Association

(Formerly Orton Dyslexia Society)

The International Dyslexia Association provides information to help individuals, families, and communities and facilitates an online forum for discussion.

8600 LaSalle Rd., Ste. 382

Baltimore, MD 21286

Phone: (800) 222 3123, Fax: (410) 321 5069
Learning Disabilities Association of America

Both professionals and families benefit from the research, advocacy, teacher training, and information about disabilities disseminated by the Learning Disabilities Association of America.

4156 Library Road

Pittsburgh, PA 15234

Phone: (412) 341 1515

National Adult Literacy & Learning Disabilities Center

The National Adult Literacy & Learning Disabilities Center’s project Bridges to Practice can be found on the National LINCS site. The Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities and WETA, the PBS station in Washington, D.C. sponsors LD Online with information for parents, kids, teachers, and professionals.

LD Online

2775 South Quincy Street

Arlington, VA 22206
National Association of Developmental Disabilities Councils (NADDC)

The National Association of Developmental Disabilities Councils supports councils and provides a consumer and family-centered system of services.

1234 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 103

Washington, DC 20005
National Center for Learning Disabilities

To accomplish their mission of proving opportunities for people with disabilities to succeed in school, work, and life, the National Center for Learning Disabilities advocates to protect and strengthen their rights, posts information for parents and professionals, and supports research in effective learning techniques.

381 Park Avenue South, Suite 1420

New York, NY 10016

(888) 575-7373, Fax: (212) 545-9665
The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)

NICHCY is a central source of information on: disabilities for infants, toddlers, children, youth; IDEA and No Child Left Behind legislation; statistics; and researched-based educational practices.

P.O. Box 1492

Washington, DC 20013 1492

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped works directly with cooperating libraries to provide such services as free Braille transcription and accessibility to music scores and instructional music.

Library of Congress

1291 Taylor Street, NW

Washington, DC 20542


Contains information on current issues and provides site guides and resources.

815 16th St., NW

Washington, DC 20006

Phone: (202) 637-5000, Fax: (202) 637-5058
Center on Education and Work

The Center on Education and Work enhances the quality of career-related learning for individuals in schools, colleges, and the workplace.

School of Education

University of Wisconsin  Madison

1025 West Johnson St., Rm. 964

Madison, Wisconsin 53706 1796

Work phone: (608) 263 3696, Alternative phone: (800) 446 0399

Fax: (608) 262 9197

AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engage more than 50,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.

1201 New York Ave., NW

Washington, DC 20525

(202) 606-5000
TTY: (202) 565-2799
Corporation for National Service

The Corporation for National Service, including SeniorCorps and AmeriCorps, provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to participate in community service.

1201 New York Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20525


CEGA Services, Inc.

Contact Center, Inc.

CEGA Services, Inc. consult on criminal justice and human services nationally and internationally.

P.O. Box 81826

3900 Industrial Ave., N

Lincoln, NE 68501

Phone: (402) 464 0602, Fax: (402) 464 5931
Correctional Education Association (CEA)

CEA is a professional organization for educators and administrators who provide services to students in a correctional setting.

8025 Laurel Lakes Court

Laurel, MI 20702
American Bar Association

The American Bar Association site includes information on law education, initiatives to improve legal services, and resources for the public.

740 l5th St., NW, 11th Fl.

Washington, DC 20005

(202) 662 1024, Fax: (202) 662 1032

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protect health and safety by providing information, health promotion and education, and disease control.

4770 Buford Highway, MS K  57

Atlanta, GA 30341 3724

(404) 488 4744, Fax: (404) 488 4727

National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health is the steward of medical and behavioral research for the Nation. It is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Bldg. 31, Rm. l0A31

Bethesda, MD 20892 3100

(301) 496 6631, Fax: (301) 402 4945

National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education

The National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education fosters home-school-community relationships by advocating for the participation of parents in their children’s education.

3929 Old Lee Highway, Suite 91-A
Fairfax, VA 22030-2401
(703) 359-8973, Fax: 703-359-0972
National PTA

A national non-profit child advocacy agency, National PTA encourages parent and public involvement in schools and assists parents develop skills in raising children.

330 N. Wabash, Suite 2100

Chicago, IL 60611 3690

(312) 670 6782, Fax: (312) 670 6783

Parents as Teachers

The goals of the Parents as Teachers program are:

  • Increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve parenting practices

  • Provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues

  • Prevent child abuse and neglect

  • Increase children's school readiness and school success

Parents as Teachers is a national model, but at the same time is a local program. PAT fits as a component of larger programs such as Even Start, Head Start, and family resource centers, or it can be the early childhood cornerstone for programs that ultimately grow into a broader array of family education and support offerings.

To find PAT programs in your area, click on "Find a Program" on their website.

(314)- -432-4330, Fax (314) 432-8963


Parent Information and Resource Centers (PIRC)

PIRCs work closely with parents, educators and community organizations to strengthen partnerships so that children can reach high academic standards.

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