Schoolchildren and their parents participating in a Southwest Counseling Solutions’ family literacy program significantly improved their language and academic skills, according to a study by the National Center for Family Literacy, which is regarded as the worldwide leader in family literacy.
Southwest Counseling Solutions’ family literacy program engages parents in their children’s classroom and academic success.
The study analyzed data collected in the past year from the Early Language Learners Program (ELLP) in southwest Detroit. ELLP serves families with children in kindergarten through third grade. It not only teaches parents English, it allows parents to spend time in their children’s classroom. Parents learn with their children and learn how to support their children’s learning at home. The NCFL surveyed more than 80 families in three schools with ELLP programs: Academy of the Americas, Harms Elementary and Roberto Clemente Elementary.
Adults in the program demonstrated “large gains in their English proficiency,” the study stated. In addition, “parents self-efficacy related to their child’s education is increasing showing that they are learning the skills necessary to help their children succeed academically.”
Research shows that parental involvement in a child’s learning is a salient factor in the child’s success in school, particularly when the child is young.
For children in ELLP, the study found that the program significantly enhanced their overall academic performance, self-confidence, classroom behavior, social skills, and family support.
Parents participating in ELLP significantly increased the time devoted to reading to their children. Before the program, 72% of the parents read to their children three or less times a week. After the program, 74% read to their children three or more times a week. Impressively, 43% of the parents in the program now read to their children every day.
The family literacy programs at Southwest Counseling Solutions (SWCS) have been consistently evaluated as achieving some of the best outcomes in the nation in increasing adult literacy, children’s academic performance, and parental expectations of their children’s educational success and attainment.
“Our family literacy programs serve low-income families in which the parents often have little proficiency in English,” said Joseph Tardella, executive director of SWCS. “Our mission is to empower families to better their lives and to pass along to their children the importance of education and lifelong learning, so that their children can achieve the success their parents dream for them.”