The Family Literacy Project
A collaboration between the Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk and the Stamford Public Education Foundation
The Family Literacy Project, a collaboration between the Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk and the Stamford Public Education Foundation, is already proving a success for the Springdale Elementary families it serves, many of whom live in the South End and speak English as a second language.
Launched last fall, the goal of the Family Literacy program is to help children discover the fun in reading while fostering communication between teachers and parents. To achieve this, the JLSN and SPEF host occasional Literacy Nights at the Lathan Wilder Community Center during which volunteer bilingual teachers meet with parents to discuss the benefits of reading to children, and help them understand report cards and the school’s curricula. Concurrently, their children read with JLSN volunteers in a separate room. At evening’s end, each family receives a goodie bag with healthy food and books for each child.
Four Family Literacy nights were held during the school year, and for many parents, these served as opportunities to meet with their child’s teacher. “We notice that the conversations between parents and teachers get longer with each program; the Literacy Nights have become a gateway between parents and school, and the teachers have said that their young students are advancing very well in their reading levels,” says Samatha Murphy, a JLSN volunteer.
There will be a fifth Literacy Night in early July, where each child will be provided a Summer Project Kit that includes books and workbooks. In the fall the program will begin its gradual expansion to include all forty participating students plus twenty new kindergarten students each year.