In some models, children and incarcerated parents come together to engage in what is known as interactive literacy activities. Generally, an interactive literacy activity is a regularly held one-hour session in which the incarcerated parent, his or her child, and the childs outside caregiver meet at the facility. A member of the corrections security staff and an instructor are also present at this time. The instructor may record his or her observations of the interaction between parent, child, and caregiver for later reflection and discussion in a family education class.
During this activity period, incarcerated parents and their children can engage in a variety of literacy-building activities, such as reading, talking, and playing alphabet and number games. Puzzles, coloring books and crayons, and other toys might also be available to help engage children who may be shy or somewhat fearful in the unfamiliar surroundings. Parents may also feel shy and unsure about what to do during a visit, so it is helpful to introduce sample activities to the parents and let them become familiar with the materials before their children arrive.
In many cases, it is not possible to bring families together in this way due to security or other issues. Fortunately, there are many ways to connect from a distance. Incarcerated parents may be able to:
I felt real good
about seeing my son and his mother without a table separating us and holding
him without someone saying you cant do that. And it went by too fast for
me, but I was thankful for the little time we spent together and I thank you
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