November 2012 marks the 16th annual Family Literacy Month in Massachusetts.
“In celebration of Family Literacy Month, communities across the state will host activities throughout November in support of literacy, lifelong learning, and family well-being,” states a news release from the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE).
Secretary of Education Paul Reville, Deputy ESE Commissioner Alan Ingram, legislative leaders and local officials kicked off the month with a visit November 1 to the Intergenerational Literacy Program at the John Silber Early Learning Center in Chelsea. On November 2, EEC Commissioner Sherri Killins participated in a family literacy pajama party at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield.
’We know that children who can read by third grade have a better chance to succeed in their adult lives,” Governor Deval Patrick said in the news release. “‘Family engagement is a critical part of developing those literacy skills which is why we are committed to partnering with parents and families to provide the best chance for our children to succeed in the 21st century global economy.”
“We need to encourage student learning experiences inside and outside of the classroom,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). “By promoting family literacy, we are encouraging more families to dedicate time to help all children develop strong literacy skills today for future academic success.”
Strategies for Children is holding an event on family engagement on Tuesday, November 13, at 9:30 a.m. at the Cambridge Public Library (449 Broadway). It is the first of a five-part series on implementing the recommendations in “Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success,” which SFC commissioned in 2010. The November 13 event will focus on research-based, effective family literacy and family engagement practices that promote the language and literacy development of children from birth to age 9.
The event features a moderated panel discussion with Dr. Karen Mapp, director of the Education Policy and Management Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education; Maryellen Coffey, executive director of the Build the Out-of-School Time Network (BOSTnet); Theresa Lynn, executive director of ReadBoston; and Tanisha Harris and Francheska Reveroin Correia, parent ambassadors in Springfield’s Talk/Read/Succeed! initiative.
To RSVP for the event, please click here.
Post script. Families, of course, are part of the larger community – the village – that is needed to raise healthy, well-prepared children. The Springfield (MA) Read! campaign’s Connecting the Dots blog focuses on the village, highlighting the “many, many efforts underway for the benefit of our children and the entire Springfield community” to improve the reading proficiency of Springfield children. It includes information about opportunities to engage families in children’s language and literacy development, from the LittleFest event to promote family literacy to the Ready! For Kindergarten parent education initiative that began in October.