Friday, April 16, 2010

Family literacy gets a boost with 27J grant

The School District 27J literacy program has some new tools – especially for 100 families, thanks to a grant recently provided by the Colorado Department of Education.

Sandra Mendez, director of language and literacy for the district, submitted a proposal and was awarded the grant -- Enhancing Family Engagement through Technology -- to better prepare our families with literacy and adult English proficiency.

Understanding the importance of parents in the achievement of their students, in the past 27J has offered English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, literacy programs, and parenting classes for family members. The new program will enhance each existing literacy program, Mendez said.

The major addition is the use of the online language-based curriculum called Rosetta Stone. The program will help parents learn English.

The grant will pay for 100 licenses for a full year.

Experienced, highly qualified district teachers will provide classroom learning to coordinate and round out the individual online learning. They also will coordinate family literacy activities such as learning how to use the library.

In addition to the 100 Rosetta Stone licenses, the $31,114 grant will pay for salaries, computer headphones and supplies. The program runs through the second week of May and will resume in August.

The real bottom line is the benefit to 27J students when their families learn English. “Parents are thrilled to be learning side-by-side with their children,” Mendez said.

“Parents are being exposed to reading and writing. They will have opportunities to practice literacy and language with their children both at school and at home.” As the parents learn, their students’ school readiness and academic success will increase. “We are so excited by this opportunity,” she said.

For more information on the program, contact Denise Hitchcock at

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