Family School is a family literacy program offered through a collaboration of two District 196 Community Education programs: Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and Adult Basic Education (ABE). Family School is an educational program that seeks to increase the literacy skills of adults, provide quality educational experiences for their children and assist parents as their child’s first teacher. The program includes the four components of adult literacy: 1) adult literacy in the form of English, GED or high school diploma classes, 2) parent education classes, 3) parent-child interaction time, and 4) children’s education.
Family School is open to adults who are wishing to learn English or get their GED or high school diploma and their children.
This is a family program that seeks to overcome intergenerational illiteracy through the education of their parents and their children.
The 20% reduction in ECFE funding in 2004-05 significantly impacted the Family School program.
The Bridgepointe site closed because of a lack of funding.
The need for programming for English Language Learners is increasing in District 196.
There is a long waiting list for families waiting to get into Family School.
During Winter 2005 there were 80 children on the waiting list.
ECFE and ABE funds are used to support this very intensive program that meets four mornings per week during the school year.
ECFE funds support the three components of parenting education, parent-child interaction and children’s program.
ABE funds support the adult English, GED or diploma programming for adults.
Grants from foundations like the Otto Bremer Foundation, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, and the H. B. Fuller Foundation have helped maintain the current level of services.
A majority of participants in family school are on a limited income because they lack the skills necessary to obtain good paying jobs.
Family School is free to participants due to this reason.