Arizona Family Literacy Programs bring together parents and their preschool children within a learning environment. Programs include specific educational objectives for the adult and the child through a comprehensive, intergenerational approach. Intensive, integrative components are designed to improve the educational and economic opportunities of the children by:
- Helping children reach their potential as learners
- Providing literacy skills for their parents
- Helping parents become full partners in the education of their children
All families must participate in the full program. In addition, local programs build upon existing community resources to offer educational and support services that assist parents and children to learn and to succeed together. The integrated components of this intensive and holistic program include:
- Early Childhood and /or School-Aged Education – Early Childhood Education
- Adult Education – Basic Skills, ESOL, GED Preparation, Citizenship Education
- Parents and Children Learning Together (PACT) – Interactive Learning and Modeling Opportunities Through Play
- Parent Time – Parenting Education and Support
- Community Service/Volunteerism/Career Readiness
- Home-Instruction/Home Visits-Transfer of learning to the home and to other family members.
During this 2004-2005 year, there are 21 Family Literacy Programs housed in 65 sites across Arizona through the Early Childhood Education Section. In addition, there are five *MEES and nine **FACE (Native American) Family Literacy Programs in Arizona. All programs serve families with the greatest educational and economic needs. In order to participate, parents must lack a high school diploma, have a language barrier, meet income guidelines and have a child under eight for Even Start or have a three or four year old for State Family Literacy. In addition to providing the legacy of literacy, family literacy programs strive to build internal esteem and empowerment, which creates the expectation of success for the entire family.
* MEES = Migrant Education Even Start: The goal of the Migrant Even Start program is to improve the educational opportunities of migratory families by integrating early childhood education, adult literacy and basic education including English language training and parenting education into a unified family literacy program.
** FACE = Family and Child Education: Sponsored by the Office of Indian Education Programs. These Family Literacy Programs address the literacy needs of Native America Indians and Alaska Native families. Whether offered in the home or in a school, educational and parenting classes reflect the cultural traditions and of the families and the community.