Date of Graduation
Parents are recognized as the first and most important teachers of their children and their influence on children has been well documented. The Even Start Family Literacy program targets both parents and children fostering a home-school-community partnership of shared authority and responsibility for the educational development of children and adults. The purpose of the present study was to examine parents who participated in the Even Start program in terms of results/effectiveness of the program for them and in turn for their families. The investigation was an attempt to unveil the effects of the Even Start program on the parents in the program. What was in it for them? Data from 63 families were studied and then in-depth data from six mothers' cases were collected by interviews, observations, staff discussions/interviews, home visits, Even Start test records and results of surveys collected at the center. The data was collected over the recent past and present school years. The results indicate, that the Even Start program has indeed begun to achieve some of its overarching goals. The families studied provided a variety of data as the study looked at mothers who had reached goals and left the program, mothers currently in the program and have returned from previous years, and mothers who are just entering the program this school year. The qualitative approach was particularly helpful in discovering interconnections among family members and how outside influences affect family dynamics. The study supports existing studies of family literacy programs which have found an intergenerational approach can be successful in improving both children's and parents' educational development. The parents involved in the research only want to become part of the whole. Even Start has the opportunity to reach every member in the family. The main thrust in most programs is the children. Results from the study further emphasize that parents and guardians of the children need attention too and in so doing, an avenue for continued learning and personal growth for the adult learners may occur.
Farrer, Deborah A., "Even Start Family Literacy program's effects for parents: Why do they participate?" (2000). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8841.