Even Start Family Literacy

The mission of the Appleton Even Start Family Literacy (ESFL) program is to ensure that children are successful in their school career and that adults meet their literacy and/or employment goals while learning how to facilitate their child’s learning.

Families served in 2022-2023

  • 49, including 50 adults and 66 children
Languages spoken 
  • Dari/Farsi (38%)
  • Spanish (40%)
  • Hmong (10%)
  • Swahili (8%)
  • Burmese (2%)
  • Kinyamulenge (2%)

A visit to one of our Even Start Family Literacy sites at the Community Early Learning Center would show:

  • Parents and children talking and learning together
  • Young children participating in quality educational opportunities and activities
  • Parents learning how to be the primary teacher for their children and be full partners in their child’s education
  • Interactive literacy activities between parents and their children
  • Age-appropriate education to prepare children for success in school and life
  • Parents who are lifelong learners
Family literacy is a two generation model within a unique educational opportunity. The single most important factor in parental influence and academic success is the expectation held by parents for the educational attainment of their children.

Even Start has four main goals:

  • Prepare children ages birth through school-age with the prerequisite education and literacy instruction to succeed in school
  • Improve adult literacy
  • Enhance parenting skills
  • Foster quality interaction between adults and their children
Children have instruction engaging with trained early childhood educators in an infant preschool setting while adults attend class. The setting might include Appleton Community 4K,  Head Start, Title I preschool, or the Even Start early childhood classroom. 

Developmentally appropriate educational and literacy activities follow the Birth - Three Appleton Area School District curriculum and Wisconsin Model Early Learning standards.

In addition to classes for adults and children, each family receives a minimum of three home visits per school year where learning for the family continues in a more intimate setting. The home visitors are trained Parents as Teachers educators. Parents learn appropriate activities and practices to engage their children and optimize their learning.
Appleton Area School District and Fox Valley Technical College are the two primary collaborators. Other long-standing partners include Head Start, Appleton Public Library, Fox Valley Literacy Council, UW Extension, Appleton Park and Rec. Department, Outagamie County Parent Resource Program and Family Connections, to name a few.


Pamela Franzke
Title I/Even Start Family Literacy Director
(920) 832-6321

Even Start/Title I Administrative Assistant
(920) 832-6140