Family Literacy Programs bring hope through learning English

As the year comes to an end it is great to look back at all of our accomplishments from both our hardworking students and our staff that has guided them along the way. This year our Family Literacy program served 244 students in Modesto and Riverbank neighborhoods. That is 244 adult students who managed to juggle life, a job, being a parent, and improving themselves by attending our classes. Students in our program came to us because they need to improve their English language skills. A few are here to have the opportunity to get a promotion or a better job, and others do it because they want to be more involved in their children’s education and don’t have the language skills to do it. All of our students set three goals in the beginning of the year which helped our staff customize their instructional plan to cater to our student needs. Some of the goals include; learning the alphabet, sharing a book with their child, helping their children with homework, and learning how to fill out a job application.
Maria Pando, mother of five, shares that she has completed a great accomplishment with us this year. She has been in our program for a few years in hopes to gain the knowledge needed to be involved in her children’s school. She started off volunteering in the classroom and attending PTA meetings, and this year she has taken part in the school site council. She is grateful to have the confidence and skill to participate in the school site council meetings and set a good example for her kids. Many students like Maria have met goals that have been life changing thanks to our services including the 31 of our students that reported getting a job this year.
In addition to teaching our adult students English, we also served 125 of their children ages 3-12. These are the children who don’t really get that extra help at home with their homework, not because their parents don’t want to, but because they just don’t have the language skills to do it. Our childcare staff work with the children on colors, numbers, alphabet recognition, and even Spanish to English translation. The older children also work on developing their math and spelling, and completing their homework. A total of 82% of the children had gains in at least one area of their assessment test. Our goal is to help them be prepared for school when they start, and not be behind once they are enrolled in school. One of our students shared with us that her four-year-old son had no interest in practicing with her the alphabet, shapes and colors, and only wanted to watch TV or play with his toys. After completing the year with us he now finds learning fun and is more excited about starting school in the fall.