Some Mississippi school districts are trying to boost literacy rates in children by reaching out to parents and making it a family affair.
Elnora Williams’ granddaughter will be entering the third grade this August, and she’s worried about the new end-of-the-year assessments her granddaughter will have to take. It’s the reason she’s sitting in a classroom at Henry J. Kirksey Middle School in Jackson. Williams is hoping to learn strategies her family can use to prepare her granddaughter for the upcoming year.
“That’s why I’m here, because of that big test at the end of the year,” Williams says. “I want her to at least have some idea of what it’s going to be like and little things that she can do to help her to pass that test.”
The strategies and lectures are part of a new program named Family Literacy Boot Camps. It’s an effort to raise literacy rates in children by helping parents identify strategies they can use to help teach their children reading skills. Michelle King is with Jackson Public Schools. She says teachers need help.
“Educators can only do it so many hours during the school days,” Kings says. “When the children get home and on weekends we need our parents continuously working with their child. So we want to equip them with resources, activities they can do so they would know what’s going on in the schools and they can support us at home during the weekends and the afternoons.”
King says the ultimate goal of the program is to expand literacy skills to both children and adults.