Libraries Improving Family Literacy

Removing economic and cultural barriers. Improving literacy skills and promoting healthy choices. Breaking inter-generational cycles of low literacy.

These are what the winners of the 2011 Better World Books/National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) Libraries and Families Award are accomplishing. And thanks to the national recognition, each winner will receive $10,000 to expand upon its success.

Here’s a little more info about each program. Contact NCFL if you’re a library with programming serving families. They’d love to hear from you, and your experiences can help inform additional opportunities and spark ideas!

Dallas, TX:

The Every Child Ready to Read Dallas program, supported by the Friends of the Dallas Public Library, serves families with children newborn to 6 years old. More than 80 percent of the participants are Hispanic or African-American.

Workshops are conducted in libraries, community centers or schools to engage parent and child in hands-on interactive, literacy-based activities. After attending the workshop, 83 percent of families engage in more literacy activities at home.

The grant will bring workshops into the homes of the families who are unable to attend by creating home instructional DVDs in English and Spanish.

Queens, NY:

The Queens Library Family Literacy Program is an intensive program that has strong collaborative partnerships with museums, faith-based organizations, schools and other community-based organizations. The Queens program serves one of the nation’s most ethnically diverse counties. As a result, large majority of families see increased adult literacy skills, improved listening and academic skills for children, additional reading in the home, and even more time spent exercising.

The Queens program plans to use the award funding to help participants publish a cookbook and produce a newscast that will assist parents and children in building critical literacy skills together and making healthy choices.

San Diego, CA:

READ/San Diego, the adult and family literacy program of the San Diego Public Library, serves low-literate English-speaking parents, grandparents or caregivers with at least one child under age 5. It provides them with one-on-one literacy training for themselves, introducing families to the services of the public library, teaching parents how to read to their children and ensure they are ready for school. Free children’s books also are provided to help families create at-home libraries. A large majority of parents in the program are achieving their literacy goals, and children are entering school much more prepared.

The grant will allow the library to increase the volume of books it can circulate in the community, and to offer better activities to increase involvement

How have libraries played a positive role in your life? Comment below!

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