Book Bridges was adapted from an intergenerational literacy program model developed by Goldsmith and Handel (1990) for a community college in the United States. While the Goldsmith and Handel program is based on the use of children¹s literature, Book Bridges includes a writing component. The theoretical framework underlying Book Bridges is that the construction of meaning is the main goal of literacy instruction. To this end, Book Bridges:
In addition to reading and writing with their children, participants are encouraged to share these important principles with their children. Having seen literacy acquisition behaviours and strategies modeled and promoted within a social context, participants are urged to emulate the modeled behaviours and support their children¹s literacy development at home.
Once the conceptual framework for Book Bridges was established, the task was to find a home for the program. A representative from the Junior League, the executive director of Bookmates, and I, as the chair of Bookmates, visited a number of sites. Ultimately an agreement was reached with the Immigrant Women¹s Employment Counseling Services who provided classroom space and referred clients to the program. The Junior League contributed funding for the instructor¹s salary, the children¹s literature selections used in the program, transportation and babysitting costs for the participants, snacks for break time, and University release time for the writer to evaluate the program (Zakaluk, 1991).
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