LVCC’s Family Literacy programs began in 2011 with one class at Parkside Elementary. Since then, it has grown to five classes at four schools in the winter of 2016. There are also three “moms” classes at Parkside.
Plans are underway to expand the Children and Parents Reading Together program to serve up to ten Head Start schools in Collier County. The program, run in conjunction with Collier County Public Schools’ Head Start, will serve four-year-old children each week in up to ten schools throughout the coming school year. The key element in the program is to work with both the child and the parent to encourage and foster the use of English and reading, not only in the classroom, but also in the home. The goal is to fully engage the parents in their children’s education. Everyone will agree that a child’s education begins in the home. Teachers encourage parents and students to participate in the program, and many take advantage of the opportunity.
Typically, volunteer tutors go to the school and meet with the parents or guardians for 30 minutes and read the children’s book that they will later read with the child. The child then joins their parent and tutor. Together they will read the book for about an hour, including enjoying some fun activities that reinforce what was read. At the end of the lesson, the family takes the book home and the parents reads to the child before going to bed.
At the end of an eight week session, a child has accumulated his or her own small library of eight books. Since English is not the first language for 24% of our Collier County students, and significantly more of the Head Start students, this program is critical to their future.
For more information on these programs or to become a child tutor and volunteer, contact LVCC.