Literacy Project Wins National Honor

The Long Beach Family Literacy Program is one of 20 winners nationwide to receive an award from the National Center for Family Literacy.

The local literacy program serves 100 students (ages one to eight) and their families by providing adult education, parent education, early childhood or school-age education, and parent and child together time.  Many participants come from low-income families who reside in the most impoverished areas of Long Beach.  Most parents are engaged in English as a Second Language or Adult Basic Education courses at the Long Beach School for Adults or local elementary school campus while their children are in another classroom learning   age-appropriate skills.

The award includes a $500 grant from the NCFL and Better World Books, a for-profit enterprise that diverts books from landfills by collecting and selling them online, matching each purchase with a donation.

The grant will promote creative ideas for using Wonderopolis® with families.

Wonderopolis.org was created by NCFL in 2010 to provide free, family-friendly content that is practical, easy to use and designed to engage children’s natural curiosity and transform it into a lifelong love of learning.  It was one of only five family websites that TIME Magazine named the 50 best websites in 2011.

“Parent education is a key component in family literacy programs,” said Roberta Lanterman, program facilitator for the Long Beach project.  “Being able to integrate online learning opportunities like those available on Wonderopolis.org not only teaches parents about resources available to them outside of the classroom, but also provides them with a resource to use to help their child’s language and literacy skills grow.”

The funding will be used to bridge technology gaps that exist within families, as well as to provide parents with an online valuable resource to obtain information, engage with their children, and create ways to continue to solidify family bonds.

“Wonderopolis is a free resource for families and schools, so hundreds of educators across the country already are using it to generate excitement for learning in schools, libraries and homes across the country,” said Emily Kirkpatrick, vice president of NCFL. “But these grants will help the Long Beach Family Literacy Program magnify the reach and impact of this 21st Century online learning tool.”

The Long Beach Family Literacy Program has been providing family literacy services to Long Beach families since 1992.

Funded by the State of California Even Start Office and First 5 Los Angeles, the literacy program is a collaborative partnership between the Long Beach Unified School District and the City of Long Beach/Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Board.