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by Marge Christensen
Table of Contents
The strongest factor influencing a child's literacy level is the mother's literacy level. Because our student population has a low literacy level, we know that they come from families with poor literacy skills. Therefore, one of the most beneficial things we can do for our students is offer reading and writing courses for their parents. For the past eight years, we have offered these courses, one or two nights a week, through Pima Community College. Over 400 adults have been served by these classes, and several of these were parents of our students.
In addition to teaching reading and writing, the classes connect parents to the community college, permitting them to continue their educations. Through the college, these parents have opportunities to meet career counselors, and to get on track for better employment. Some parents actually have made career changes as a result of these classes. Some have even earned the nine college credits for the three courses we offer, and then returned the following semester as volunteers to assist those adults who do not speak English as a first language. Helping other students has boosted their own self-esteem, and I wish everyone could see how pleased they are when we honor them at our annual Celebrate Literacy Evening.
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