TEXARKANA – The Literacy Council of Bowie and Miller Counties and the four local Rotary clubs – Oaklawn, Sunrise, Wilbur Smith and Texarkana International – recently joined forces to win a $10,000 Family Literacy Grant from Save the Children Foundation.
The grant will fund a program that includes curriculum and materials to help parents of Liberty-Eylau students, Literacy Council executive director Jenny Walker said in an announcement.
The program will help parents improve their own academic skills while providing reading strategies they can use to better support their children. Families participating in the free program will also receive a small library of books to keep at home.
“Research tells us that reading at home with parents is one of the most important factors that affect a child’s success in school, but sometimes parents may not understand the importance of taking time to sit and read with their children.
“Schools do a great job of teaching children, and the Literacy Council is committed to teaching adults. Our goal is to teach parents how to best support their children’s learning at school,” said said Walker.
She said having a home library is an important part of the program’s success.
“We know that many children do not have access to books at home. When we started looking at what a good family literacy program would include, we thought it was important to ensure that participants can have a variety of books readily available.
“Our grant will provide new children’s books to each family, and the Literacy Council will also provide a selection of lightly used adult books so parents can take home reading material as well,” Walker said.
Walker and Kristy Brown, principal of LE Elementary School, will work together to lead instruction at monthly parent meetings, and Rotarians will be on hand to provide administrative support. A schedule will soon be announced for the spring meetings, as well as registration options for parents who wish to participate in the family literacy program.
Mark Luckett, president of the Rotary Club of Oaklawn, said he was excited about the partnership.
“Rotary is committed to strengthening our community, and we believe investing in education is one of the most important ways to do that,” Luckett said. “We are proud to support this family literacy program, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on the families who participate.”
(For more information, call Walker at 903-255-7733.)