The Family Literacy Program targets children (0 – 5) of parenting students enrolled in the El Cuarto Año High School to address educational attainment for two generations at once. We provide daily on-site child care, early childhood education, family literacy activities, and parenting workshops on a schedule that is complimentary to the high school schedule– Monday through Thursday from 9:00am-3:30pm and Friday from 9:00am-12:00pm.

The Program supports parents in furthering their education by reducing barriers to attending programming due to the cost of quality, affordable childcare, while ensuring that children learn the literacy, communication, and developmental skills necessary to be prepared to enter an educational setting such as Preschool or Kindergarten.

Program Components:

1) Early Childhood Education Activities: On a daily basis children are engaged in full literacy and education curriculum focuses on programming developmental markers that help children develop literacy skills (verbal and reading readiness) such as increased ability to communicate (i.e. the development of sounds and words, numbers of words), increases in listening with understanding, and recognition of difference in sounds and letter-sound relationship. These activities, designed to be engaging based on age and developmental level, include daily group story time reading, writing activities, art and drawing time, group games, and music and movement activities which involves singing and listening.

2) Parent Workshops: Parent workshops are held on a weekly basis either through independent, individual workshop topics, or as a part of a workshop series. The workshops help parents gain knowledge and skills on how to be their child’s first and lifelong teacher, as well as critical parenting skills. Individual workshops have discussed topics such as positive discipline, nutrition, and learning through play.

3) Parent and Child Activity Time (PACT): PACT activities reenfoce lessons learned in workshops, address multi-generational long-term literacy, while also improving the parent/child bond. Staff provides demonstrations of literacy games and activities that parents can integrate into daily activities with their children. To support these activities, staff also offer one-on-one sessions as needed to mentor and support parents in their role as their child’s first teacher.

4) Library Services: Program staff integrate library services primarily through monthly visits to Richard M. Daley Library, to increase parent and child familiarity with the library and its resources. Library orientations are provided to families at least twice per year so they may build knowledge about library offering, services, and resources.

5) Action for Children Benefits: Staff work to provide parents with linkage, assistance, and support in accessing and applying for Action for Children benefits including locating and applying for child care services and receiving state subsidy funding for child care.

6) Parent Cooperative: A parent cooperative provides peer support and mentorship amongst and between parents and helps to ensure that parents are regularly involved with activities in the Family Literacy room. For those whose schedules allow it, parents can complete an internship as a student volunteer in the Family Literacy room and earn course credit for their experiential learning experience.

7) Internal and External Referrals: Association House has a wide continuum of programs that staff can refer parents to internally to help alleviate other challenges which may be affecting their short and long-term goals. These referrals may include behavioral health and developmental assessments, health screenings and health and nutrition resources, basic needs support (i.e. food and clothing), and training and employment services.

For more information regarding enrollment, call 773-772-7170.