The Early Years Family Literacy Programs and the Literacy Skills of Young Children
A meta-analysis of the impacts of effective home and parent programs on the literacy skills of young children indicate that these interventions improve oral language and general cognitive development —
— both are key contributors to literacy achievement
National Early Literacy Panel, 2008
Meaningful Differences Averages for measures of parent and child language and test scores Families 13 Professional 23 Working-class 6 Welfare____ Measures and scores Parent Child Parent Child Parent Child Pretest score 41 31 14 IQ score at age 3 117 107 79 Recorded vocabulary size 2,176 1,116 1,498 749 974 525 Average utterances per hour 487 310 301 223 176 168 Average different words per hour 382 297 251 216 167 149 (Hart & Risley, 1995)
“ Taken together, we estimate that at least half of the black-white gap that exists at the end of twelfth grade can be attributed to the gap that already existed at the beginning of first grade. The remainder of the gap seems to emerge during the school years.”
from M. Phillips, et al (2000) analyzed several achievement gap related surveys in an attempt to describe age related changes in the Black-White gap as children move through the grades (NCES)
The Adolescent Years Challenges for Learners & Teachers
School Structures: Departmentalization
Shift from self-contained to departmental classes
Shift in role of the teacher
Responsibility for large numbers of students
Unlikely to differentiate instruction
These factors affect learning for ALL students.
May be exacerbated for children at risk for failure.
The Adolescent Years Key Areas for Home/School Collaboration
During the adolescent years, Family Literacy Programs work best when Home and School share a common understanding and vision for —
Supporting motivation and engagement
Understanding and meeting instructional demands
Providing quality intervention
Some Characteristics of Effective Family Literacy Programs
Focus on ongoing family literacy practices
Promote parents’ literacy skills
Equip parents to support children’s literacy development
Respect participants’ languages and cultures
Actively involve participants in overall planning and conduct of meetings, etc.
Make accommodations for logistical needs (scheduling, childcare, location, etc.)
Focus on child and family “well being”
The Power & Potential of Family Literacy Programs
Responds to a growing awareness of the need for schools, families, and communities to work together
Is increasingly valued as a key component of educational programs
Is an important part of a growing body of research designed to inform & improve literacy education policy and practice
Family Literacy Programs play a key role in closing the achievement gap.