|literacy.ca||Volume 5, No. 4, Winter 2004|
PRINTS Helps Parents Foster Early Learning
The PRINTS Family Literacy Network grew out of the idea that parents and teachers can work together to provide children with the best possible opportunities for literacy development. PRINTS stands for Parents Roles INteracting with Teacher Support. Begun at the MacMorran Community Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland, the PRINTS model encourages parents and other caregivers to engage very young children in literacy-promoting activities at home. Through the 12-week program, participants learn to use talking, reading, play, drawing and scribbling, and print materials in the environment (such as street signs and food packaging) as a springboard to encourage literacy skills.
From its modest beginnings, the PRINTS model
has now spread across Canada to communities
in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and
Manitoba. The PRINTS Family Literacy Network
publishes a twice-yearly newsletter, runs trainthe-
trainer workshops, and has a number of
print and video resources for parents and
facilitators. The Regina Learning Centre, which
works with many aboriginal learners, is
developing an aboriginal supplement to the
PRINTS model. And a new family literacy
Weaving Literacy into Family and Community Life
In 2000, the partnership of the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs (FRP Canada) and the Movement for Canadian Literacy (MCL) created a series of resource guides entitled Weaving Literacy into Family and Community Life. Although family resource programs were receptive to promote literacy in their programs, they also requested more direct support and information in order to make connections and partnerships with literacy agencies in their communities. As a result, a new project by MCL and FRP Canada is now preparing training based on the Weaving Literacy materials. The goal is to support family resource programs and literacy organizations to integrate literacy initiatives into their communities.
The project will conduct training events on a regional level in 'teams' that include representatives from both literacy and family support projects. After initial training, the project will support ongoing collaboration as the teams develop their literacy action plans. Aboriginal literacy and Francophone literacy needs are integral to this project that is aiming to keep training close to the community level.
Applications have now been received from family resource programs. Successful applicants will be asked to find a literacy partner from their community to attend the training. Stay tuned for updates as this project unfolds. For more information, contact Janice MacAulay at tel: 613-237-7667 (ext. 222) or email: email@example.com or Suzanne Smythe at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Bonnie Soroke at: email@example.com.
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