Even Start, Parenting Education and Family Literacy Goals
The overall goal of parenting education in Even Start programs is to strengthen parents’ support of their young children’s literacy development and early school success.
Five key goals for parenting education in family literacy programs:
- Engage in language-rich parent-child interactions
Research indicates that parents strengthen their children’s literacy development when they engage in frequent and increasingly complex verbal interactions with their child; actively participate in joint book reading; ask questions that strengthen their child’s problem-solving abilities; engage in attentive and flexible interactions with the child; maintain a predictable environment through routines and responsive structure; and develop and maintain a secure attachment relationship with their child.
- Provide supports for literacy in the family
Studies show that parents strengthen their child’s literacy development when they provide easy access to reading and writing materials; read frequently themselves and use reading and writing to get things done and solve problems in every day life; and demonstrate an enthusiastic view of reading as fun.
- Hold appropriate expectations of
their children’s literacy development and school-related competence when they view their child as an active contributor to his/her own development through challenging yet achievable interactions with the everyday environment; know their child’s interests and abilities; and maintain appropriate expectations of their child’s achievements.
- Actively embrace the parenting role
Parents strengthen their child’s literacy development and school success when they maintain a positive sense of personal efficacy in the parenting role and in managing relations with their environment; take proactive steps to establish and maintain positive relations with community resources; and advocate for high-quality child and family resources in the community.
- Form and maintain connections with community and other resources
It is beneficial for parents to use effective coping strategies for adapting to changes in family and community environments, and to work toward good physical and mental health.