Literacy Through the Arts
Family Get-Togethers: Literacy Through the Arts a family engagement program offered as a component of the Early Learning Opportunities Act (ELOA) Bringing Education and Support to Teachers, Parents, and Children (BEST) Project.
- Implementation of the ELOA/BEST workshops took place between June 2006 and June 2007.
- Family Get-Togethers was a series of six, two-hour workshops hosted by neighborhood organizations including childcare centers, churches, elementary schools, and public libraries.
- Families with three- and four-year-old children were provided with opportunities to engage in arts and literacy experiences.
- Four literacy-oriented art series were offered: Dance and Movement, Drama and Storytelling, Music, and Visual Arts.
- Increase involvement of low-income and ethnically diverse families in their children’s learning and readiness for school.
- Improve the reading and school readiness of preschool-age children through arts and literacy experiences.
- Engage families in conversations about parenting strategies that support learning and school success.
- Provide resources to support family involvement in their children’s learning.
- Adult workshops, conducted by family engagement specialists, included Family Conversations, Family Learning Time, Dinner and Discussion and Adult/Child Practice.
- Family Literacy Bags, distributed at each workshop, contained two children’s books, learning materials to use with the books, and a set of activity cards designed in accordance with age appropriate State of Florida Literacy Standards.
- Families were encouraged to use the books and materials at home with their children to increase their reading readiness and preparation for school.
- Children participated in Children’s Club, an educationally-oriented childcare program, under the direction of a certified teacher or arts instructor.
- Age-appropriate curriculum used in Children’s Club was created by professional consultants and was aligned with performance standards for each art form.
- A highlight of the ELOA/BEST Family Get-Togethers workshop series was the Children’s Club presentation at the end of each series.
- Weekly telephone calls were made following the workshops to answer questions and encourage families to use the arts and literacy materials provided at the workshops.
Indicators of Success:
- Response to At-Home Surveys indicated that participants…
- Read the provided books an average of three to eight times each week.
- Used provided activities between seven and eighteen times each week.
- Response to a Family Involvement and Learning Survey indicated that participating in the ELOA/BEST Family Get-Togethers: Literacy Through the Arts workshop series…
- changed their attitudes about helping their child learn at home,
- increased their belief in their ability to help their child succeed in school,
- increased their knowledge of how to help their child learn.
- Participants recommended increasing the number of workshop sessions from six to eight weeks