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Coordinators' Resources

Much of the information needed to run a successful program is in the California State Library's FFL Grant Application, which is mailed to each program in early Spring.  The FFL Guidebook (due to be mailed to each FFL program in the state in October 2000) should provide guidance in how to plan programs that meet FFL goals and reporting requirements.

Another major resource is the staff at the California State Library. They are there to help, particularly Dr. Carole Talan, Library Literacy Programs Coordinator: (916) 653-8032

FFL Mid-Year report is available online:  Programs need to contact Mickie at (916) 653-4730 and get their access code.

New FFL programs (and new staff) are encouraged to contact other FFL programs in the same region or of the same size to ask questions.  Check the state-wide list of programs at

Other Coordinators' Resources:

P.A.R.E.N.T.S.* Curriculum Guide by Jane Curtis. California State Library Foundation, c. 1997.
*Parental Adults Reading, Encouraging, Nurturing, Teaching, Supporting

The P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Curriculum Guide addresses parenting education from the perspective of family literacy, helping parents and parent function as effective teachers by showing them how to use children's picture books as basic tools to do that teaching. It directly addresses those adults who are developing their own learning skills while they are in the process of practicing for their children, as well as actually teaching them.

Through carefully selected children's picture books, with quality illustrations and high discussion value, 13 one-hour lessons address a variety of issues important to parents and parent figures.  These include setting goals, what children need, child development, language acquisition, role modeling, discipline vs. punishment, siblings, peer groups, and more. Lessons may be used either with groups or in one-to-one tutoring. Participants practice reading aloud the children's books, in addition to discussing the parenting issues illustrated in them.

All FFL programs receive a complimentary copy of the P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Curriculum Guide, and additional copies may be ordered by calling the California State Library Foundation at (916) 447-6331. 

Other online resources:

For a checklist of skills and knowledge of family literacy:

The Family Literacy Resource Notebook from the Ohio Literacy Resource Center has a very nice chapter on evaluation with a very useful collection of checklists. The notebook is available online at:
Click on Table of Contents and then select whichever chapter(s) you are interested in. The checklists for Evaluation are in Chapter 11.

(From NIFL family lit listserv; added to website 10/00)

These answers came in response to the question "What are the best tips you have to give people beginning a new family literacy program?" on the NIFL family lit listserv:

From Dave Page <>
1. Spend a lot of time reading with children, getting to know children's books and how to choose and share them with children.
2. Visit lots of kindergarten and pre-school programs, and use the best practices in your program.
3. Establish a good team of colleagues (staff, parents, volunteers) and avoid hierarchy.
4. Use music, movement, crafts and children's books
5. Avoid Disney books
6. Keep snacks till the end of the program
7. Find a good room (rooms) for your program (big, bright, comfy, inviting, with a section for reading and rhymes where there are no distractions such as toys)
8. Avoid Mom and Tot language - attract Dads, Grandmas, Grand-dads by using inclusive language

From: Jane Meyer, Canton, Ohio Even Start <>
The best tips I have for starting a family literacy program are:
1. Build it on existing community resources. Family literacy is too complicated and too expensive to do on your own! None of us are experts in all the areas that make up a F.L. program, ECE, ABE, workforce, social work, etc, and the good news is we don't have to be. We can provide our own area of expertise and rely on others to do the same.
2. Integrate the components. It isn't enough to have families attending great services for each component. The services need to be integrated. The whole should be greater than the sum of the parts.

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