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Family Literacy Resources

Coordinators' Resources


P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Curriculum Guide
"Parental Adults Reading, Encouraging, Nurturing, Teaching, Supporting" Curriculum Guide is meant for any organization that provides parenting education to adults with low levels of English literacy. This innovative and engaging curriculum uses quality children’s picture books as instructional texts for adult learners. Lessons are designed to be used either with groups or in one-to-one tutoring. The P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Program Guide has now been revised with valuable input from coordinators of several California State Library sponsored family literacy projects. The number of lessons has increased, “home books” and “home reading activity reports” have been added, and greater emphasis has been placed on writing as an adult literacy activity. Handouts and videos have been updated and increased in number. New, wonderful and useful children's books have been added to the Comprehensive List of Books. Written by Jane Curtis, M.A., 2005.

Fathers As Teachers: Helping, Encouraging, Reading, Supporting. The FATHERS PROGRAM GUIDE is designed for providing parenting education to inmates. This innovative and engaging program uses quality children's picture books as instructional texts for inmates. The FATHERS PROGRAM GUIDE addresses parenting education from the perspective of family literacy. Fathers and father figures are seen as the first and most important teachers of the children in their lives. The FATHERS PROGRAM helps these men function as effective teachers by showing them how to use children's picture books as basic tools to do that teaching. In this revised edition, a book list featuring girls and mother figures enables you to create a M.O. T. H. E. R. S. PROGRAM (Mothers Our Teachers: Helping, Encouraging, Reading, Supporting) using this same guide. Through carefully selected children's picture books, with quality illustrations and high discussion value, 13 lessons address a variety of issues important to fathers and father figures. Inmates practice reading aloud the children's books, in addition to discussing the parenting issues illustrated in them. Written by Jane Curtis, M.A. Available by contacting us at California State Library,



Parents Action for Children

First 5 California

Start Early, Finish Strong

A Compact for Reading

A checklist of skills and knowledge of family literacy

The Family Literacy Resource Notebook from the Ohio Literacy Resource Center has a very nice chapter on evaluation with a very useful collection of checklists. Click here for an online version of the notebook. Click on Table of Contents and then select whichever chapter(s) you are interested in. The checklists for Evaluation are in Chapter 11.

Best Tips

These answers came in response to the question "What are the best tips you have to give people beginning a new family literacy program?" on the NIFL family lit listserv:

From Dave Page: Frontier College, Canada

  1. Spend a lot of time reading with children, getting to know children's books and how to choose and share them with children.
  2. Visit lots of kindergarten and pre-school programs, and use the best practices in your program.
  3. Establish a good team of colleagues (staff, parents, volunteers) and avoid hierarchy.
  4. Use music, movement, crafts and children's books
  5. Avoid Disney books
  6. Keep snacks till the end of the program
  7. Find a good room (rooms) for your program (big, bright, comfy, inviting, with a section for reading and rhymes where there are no distractions such as toys)
  8. Avoid Mom and Tot language - attract Dads, Grandmas, Grand-dads by using inclusive language

From Jane Meyer: Canton, Ohio Even Start:

  1. Build it on existing community resources. Family literacy is too complicated and too expensive to do on your own! None of us are experts in all the areas that make up a F.L. program, ECE, ABE, workforce, social work, etc, and the good news is we don't have to be. We can provide our own area of expertise and rely on others to do the same.
  2. Integrate the components. It isn't enough to have families attending great services for each component. The services need to be integrated. The whole should be greater than the sum of the parts.