A quality family literacy program is built on a model that emphasizes
the strengths of families, affirms the infl uence of parents on their
children’s learning, and empowers all generations to learn.
Ask yourself how these statements apply to your program.
Our family literacy program/agency…
See Appendix C.i.
on family literacy
- has conducted an initial community needs assessment that gave us the
background information we needed to be able to consider a variety of family
literacy program models and choose the best one for this community.
- has made informed decisions by researching the various family literacy
program models currently practised in Ontario (categorized according to who
participates in the program and the nature of their participation), as follows:
- Children and Parents Together
- Focus on Parents
- Distribution of Family Literacy Resources
- Activities for the General Public
- has talked to practitioners and administrators at agencies that implement the
programs that interest us, noted the highlights and challenges, and read their
reports to gain further insight into specific delivery issues.
- has met with everyone at our agency who would be involved in offering a
family literacy program to carefully evaluate our own capabilities with regard
to specific program models. We considered:
- how the different models would fit with our agency’s mission.
- our staff’s prior knowledge, training and experience, their available time and
their levels of interest in the various program models.
- the support our volunteers might be able to provide.
- whether we have appropriate space and resources for the requirements of
the different program models.
- how we could budget or raise the funds we would need, to be able to afford
to offer the family literacy program model of our choice.
- has met with representative families who might participate in a family
literacy program to discuss aspects of different program models that we are
considering and get their opinions about our plans. We did this by:
- meeting informally with parents who attend other programs.
- conducting focus groups to get oral feedback on specific issues.
- asking them to complete a written survey (with assistance if required).
- has introduced family literacy gradually, prior to starting up an entirely new
program based on a particular model. We did this by:
- developing family literacy components in the existing programs we offer.
- offering workshops on topics of interest to families.
- raising more public awareness about family literacy by holding special events
for the community, such as on Family Literacy Day.
- partnering with other existing programs.
- has identified factors that affect our ability to offer a program over a long
enough time period and with enough intensity to achieve measurable
participant outcomes (if that is a realistic goal for our agency).4
- has approached potential collaborative partners to discuss working together
to deliver different components of a program model that we could not offer on
- has developed our vision of the ideal program we would like to be able to offer
families in our community.
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