An Affiliate of the West Virginia Adult Basic Education Program

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Literacy Program

Even Start Program

West Virginia Standards & Performance Indicators

Four Components of Family Literacy Programs

West Virginia Adult Basic Education Program




4. Parent Time

  1. Adult Education
  2. Children's Education
  3. Parent and Child Together (PACT - Interactive Literacy Activities) Time
  4. Parent Time

A strong and effective Parent Time is a key ingredient in successful family literacy programs. This component:

  • Provides information on effective life skills, issues critical in the lives of families, literacy and child development, parenting skills, and work-readiness
  • Connects parents with a wide array of community resources
  • Provides parents with opportunities to network and develop mutual support systems with others in the program

StudentA significant portion of the new information provided for parents addresses children's growth and development and their relation to cognitive processes. Often the child's instructor facilitates Parent Time sessions. These teachers not only know about child growth and development, but their knowledge of children in the program is particularly helpful in guiding instruction. Providing information through traditional classroom instruction is one way topics are approached; however, observing the early childhood teachers is another. Often parents ask, "How do they [the early childhood teachers] get children to do that?" An analysis of teacher behavior, observed during PACT - Interactive Literacy Activities Time, can take place in Parent Time. If parents decide they want to experiment with newly discovered behaviors-seeking change with positive results-staff members play a supporting role, one which encourages and affirms. The ultimate goal is to strengthen parents to do the best parenting job possible.

A healthy parent must first be a healthy person. During Parent Time, parents learn to access many resources within the larger community. Often the help that is needed is there, but accessing it may be the problem. "Help" may range from eyeglasses and good nutrition to mental health services. Individually and in a group, parents work on the development of personal and social skills. As they strengthen skills, confidence develops, and expectations for themselves and their children change. Within this healthy, knowledge-based and comfortable atmosphere, parents find learning enjoyable.

Parent Time is a good place for parents to connect and bond, offering the opportunity to both give and receive support. Parents practice goal-setting and problem-solving strategies to realize those goals and begin to see themselves as change agents. Welfare reform demands that parents become self-reliant and employed. The barriers that keep parents from becoming successful often seem insurmountable. Family literacy helps parents remove those barriers. Parent Time offers solutions and support. The teacher is able to offer caring and encouragement parents need to stay in the program and to succeed.

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