new article on family literacy in a rural prison

Members of this group might be interested in my colleagues' and my new article on a family literacy program in a rural PA prison.  Incarcerated Fathers’ Experiences in the Read to Your Child/Grandchild Program: Supporting Children’s Literacy, Learning, and Education See also our research brief on the same project:

Please share with others who may be interested.


Esther and all, Thank you for sharing this research. It was fascinating and the outcomes have so much potential for the literacy development of the children and the bonds maintained between the father and the child. When I think of family literacy, I also think about programs developing the literacy of the parent at the same time developing the literacy of the child. Can you share some insight to an adult education component?

Thank you for your kind words. At this particular SCI, there was no adult education component. However, the program works differently at every SCI; it depends on how the staff design it. As we noted, the education level of our participants was higher than average (only 3 of the 11, if I recall, had not completed high school). Nonetheless, there's no reason that a program like this couldn't incorporate some adult literacy or education component. E.g., have parents practice reading the children's book, provide assistance with their writing (as we noted, many of the dads wrote letters to their kids). These are great examples of authentic, real-life literacy activities that have meaning for participants. The instruction would have to be highly differentiated because a dad who has a college degree (like one of our participants did) is going to need very different support than one who didn't finish high school. 

I assign a book in one of my grad seminars that has fascinating implications for adult ed in prisons: Reading is My Window. It's about how women in prison use reading and writing. Some even become authors, keep detailed journals about their reading, etc.

In short, I think there's great potential to design family literacy and read-aloud programs so that they also develop parents' literate capabilities.