“Family Times” is going to be a project which will encourage parent involvement and will get people involved in their community and also familiar with AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Vista. We want to increase literacy knowledge as well as improving parenting skills.
The need for the project is that West Virginia is facing a serious literacy gap. This means that West Virginia’s children and a significant portion of the adults do not posses the literacy skill necessary to function well in society (WV Governor’s Council on Literacy, 2007.) Children who are not reading on grade level are at a greater risk of falling behind their classmates in school and become at risk for dropping out of school all together.
The literacy gap that begins in childhood continues to increase through out the individual’s life span. Approximately 20% of West Virginia’s adults are illiterate according to the 2000 census, a significant portion of working age adults in West Virginia do not posses a high school diploma or a GED. Individual’s who drop out of school are much less likely to develop the minimum skills necessary to function well in a technological society . These individuals have difficulty finding employment and are therefore more likely to be unemployed, to live in poverty and to receive governmental assistance. Individuals with low education are more likely to remain on government assistance longer than those who have at least a high school diploma or GED.
Another issue that we want to target on is parent involvement. Family Times is a free community event which will be taking place in the evening months of April, May, and June. With the use of the grant, the YWCA Child Enrichment Center plan to provide the essentials to have “Family Times.” We will provide volunteers, food, supplies, and door prizes. We hope to get donations from local businesses. By involving these businesses and others, they become aware of what is happening in their community and what is being done to help with issues. At Family Times, people receive a free meal, educational components, arts and crafts activities, child care and information sharing. Parents will receive information on how to help their child with homework, parenting skills, health issues and much more.
This grant request is to help provide literacy education needs and resources for the children and their family.