The Family Literacy Programs include the Carol De Joy Moms & Tots® Program and the Kids+ Lifelong Learning Initiative. Both programs are dedicated to teaching parents and their children together. This encourages continued learning within the family, empowers the parents to improve their situations with increased education, and provides a strong example for their children to follow.

The Moms & Tots® Program focuses on mothers (and other caregivers) and their pre-school aged children. During class, mothers are taught by volunteer tutors, studying basic English language skills. Those who wish to obtain their GED are also taught core subject material. Their children are taught separately, using educational toys and age-appropriate books to learn. At the end of the class, mothers and children are brought together to learn. Mothers encourage their children to read, do art projects, and participate in socialization exercises.

Established in 2004 at one location with four mothers and their children, Moms & Tots® now operates in eleven locations and served 1,160 students during the 2014-2015 school year. The goal of this program is to empower the mothers by giving them increased communication skills. This enables them to interact with doctors, teachers, and other members within the community. Their toddlers are also taught basic educational skills, to prepare them to enter school at, or above, grade level with their peers. Based on teacher surveys, observations, and assessments, we have determined that 100 percent of our child graduates have reached this goal. 99% of the mothers expressed their satisfaction with the program.

The Kids+ Lifelong Learning Initiative is based on the successful Moms & Tots® program and is collaboration with the Lee County School District. Kids+ is offered to parents of older children enrolled in Title One Schools. Parents attend classes to increase their skills and become more active in their child’s education. Having a strong presence in their child’s school life encourages their children to succeed. These students have better attendance, a higher graduation rate, and perform better on tests. Children in need of remedial education also receive supplemental tutoring during this time. Participating schools reported increased volunteerism and participation by the parents. Kids+ taught English to 788 students (645 adults, 143 children) in 17 area Title One Schools in 2014-2015.

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