Family literacy programs set goals to raise literacy levels of individuals within family units. Embedding the learning standards can enhance the level of family literacy functioning. It is critical to the success of family literacy in incarcerated settings that these standards be incorporated into its design and delivery. By so doing, incarcerated adults will be better prepared as parents and individuals to tackle the economic, social, and familial challenges and realities existing today. This, in turn, provides the tools for parents to be their childrens primary and most influential teacher and to prepare their children for later success in school.
It should be cautioned, however, that adult learners goals may not include mastery of all the learning standards at one time. For all adults, the reality is study interrupted by lifes demands (family, work, health issues, etc.), followed by more study. Incarcerated adults in family literacy programs are no different. They may choose to master only one or two of the learning standards. This may be, however, the beginning of a continuing effort to address other learning standards. Later, during transition, they may enter another adult education program, further enhancing their skills by tackling another learning standard. Or, they may enter an employment training program, again strengthening their skills.
Teachers and counselors can help adult learners and their children by utilizing a family literacy context. Learners goals can be achieved by creatively using the critical educational processes: instructional planning, curriculum development, classroom management, peer review, and assessment. With thoughtful planning, teachers can create parent-child literacy activities that:
PLANNING PARENT-CHILD LITERACY ACTIVITIES
The learning standards are a starting point in any educational endeavor. This particular document focuses the benefits of family literacy on adults in facilities, so the information as it relates to learning standards in this guide is geared toward adults. (For more information on children, please reference the K-12 and Pre-K resource guides.) From this point, educators can examine instructional practice, share what they do each day, work in collaboration with other teachers and students, and grow in their understanding of their craft. Educators planning family literacy programs in incarcerated settings, in particular, face both tremendous challenges and wonderful opportunities.
commented that they thought they had to spend a lot of money on toys and books,
but now they knew about the library or using household items to play with their
children. One father stated that he thought all a parent needed to do was to
buy his son food and toys. He now understood the importance of reading and
playing with his son.
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