It’s October 31 (Happy Halloween!), which means that tomorrow is National Family Literacy Day and the start of National Family Literacy Month. National Family Literacy Month, organized by the National Center for Families Learning, takes place every November and celebrates the work that literacy programs do to empower families.
What is family literacy?
Family literacy describes parents and their children learning together. It underscores the importance of adult literacy by encouraging parents to prioritize their own education so they can be more involved in their children’s learning and literacy development. Family literacy programs use a family-focused approach to education, increasing the skills of the parents and the children together.
Why is family literacy important?
The single greatest indicator of children’s success is the literacy level of their parents.
By the age of 3, children born into low-income families have heard roughly 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers. The average child whose family is on welfare hears 616 words per hour compared to the average child in a professional family who hears 2,153 words per hour. This is important because vocabulary development during the preschool years is related to later reading skills and school success in general.
Additionally, children of parents with low literacy skills have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves. These children are more likely to get poor grades, repeat school years, or even drop out. With 90% of welfare recipients being high school dropouts, it’s important that adults and their children improve their literacy skills together to break the cycle of poverty.
How can I support Family Literacy Month?
You can also look for ProLiteracy’s advertisement in the New York Time’s giving section this Sunday. Our ad highlights family literacy, emphasizing the role that adult education has on the lives of children. If you see the ad, snap a photo of it and share it on social media with the hashtag #FamilyLiteracyMonth.
Let us know in the comments below what family literacy means to you and the role you see it playing in your community.