By Erica Schmidt, MSSW Intern
A mother’s literacy level is one of the most significant predictors of a child’s future success in school, and family literacy is one service that works to overcome that reality and increases literacy rates throughout Central Texas. Many family literacy programs exist throughout Central Texas, and the Literacy Coalition is working to gain a better understanding of them one-by-one.
A pre-analysis of seven of the larger LCCT family literacy providers revealed that these organizations strongly believe there is great need for program support in Central Texas. For that reason, we have been conducting a needs assessment with all family literacy providers over the past weeks.
Some of what we are looking at includes populations served, program content, best practices, availability of resources, challenges, as well as establishing a standard definition of family literacy through our five-county area. We are also curious to hear about the interest of providers to participate in the expansion of literacy services in Central Texas. All of this is important for providers and us to know as we build community capacities to ensure the success of family literacy programs.
So what is family literacy exactly? Family literacy programs are most effective when they deliver services through a holistic approach that empowers families by educating the children and parents together. Family literacy fosters an ability and readiness of families to interact with printed materials of any kind. The hope is that families not only feel confident in their literacy ability but that they promote it throughout their children’s lives.