Families & the Community Letter to the Editor

Family Literacy Valuable in College Preparation

December 05, 2011 1 min read
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To the Editor:

In your recent article about the overhaul of the General Educational Development program (“GED Revision Opens Path to Higher Ed.,” Nov. 16, 2011), the importance of literacy partnerships is mentioned. We believe parents are a key to our nation’s reaching its educational goal of 5 million new degrees in a decade.

More nontraditional adults must be prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education, and parents should be well prepared to inform and nurture the educational aspirations of their children. Therefore, not only are literacy partnerships important, but the emphasis on family literacy and reaching two generations is crucial. The needs of parents and the barriers they face in attaining additional education are unique, as they balance raising children and working at least one job.

That’s why the National Center for Family Literacy, or NCFL, has created five free resources, produced with support from the MetLife Foundation, available at www.famlit.org/myfamilygoestocollege. Based on NCFL research, the materials focus on helping adult students transition into postsecondary education certificate or degree programs. Tested with educators and families, the materials are designed for Hispanic parents who are learning the English language, first-generation college students, policymakers, and community and college leaders. Independent research validates the need.

The NCFL advocates a systematic approach for using family-literacy programs as a bridge to community colleges. Family-literacy programs can be more efficient and effective in preparing students for college because they reach two generations simultaneously.

Sharon Darling

President and Founder

National Center for Family Literacy

Louisville, Ky.

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A version of this article appeared in the December 07, 2011 edition of Education Week as Family Literacy Valuable in College Preparation

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