The Literacy Council of Bowie and Miller Counties and the four Texarkana Rotary Clubs – Oaklawn, Sunrise, Wilbur Smith and Texarkana International — recently joined forces to earn a $10,000 family literacy grant from the Save the Children Foundation. Literacy Council Executive Director Jenny Walker said the grant will fund a program that includes curriculum and materials to help parents of Liberty-Eylau students improve their own academic skills while also providing reading strategies they can use to best support their children. Families participating in the free program will also receive a small library of books to keep in the home.
“Research tells us that reading at home with parents is one of the most important factors that impacts a child’s success in school, but sometimes parents might not understand the importance of taking the time to sit and read with their kids,” Walker said. “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 the learning that is happening with their children at school.”
Walker said that having a home library is an important component to the program’s success.
“We know that many children do not have access to books at home,” Walker said. “When we started to look at what a good family literacy program would include, we felt it was important to build in a way participants could have a variety of books readily available. Our grant will provide new children’s books for each family, and the Literacy Council will also bring a selection of gently used books for adults so parents can take home materials for them to read as well.”
Walker and Kristy Brown, Principal of L-E 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 be announced soon for spring meetings, along with sign up options for parents who would like to participate in the family literacy program.
Mark Luckett, president of the Oaklawn Rotary Club, said he is excited about the partnership.
“Rotary is committed to strengthening our community, and we believe that investing in education is one of the most important ways we can do that,” Luckett said. “We are proud to support this family literacy program, and we cannot wait to see the positive impact this makes for the families who participate.”
For more information on the family literacy grant, please contact Jenny Walker at 903-255-7733.