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Even Start Family Literacy

For over 30 years the Appleton Area School District has partnered with Fox Valley Technical College for the Appleton Even Start Family Literacy (ESFL) program.

The program, housed at the Community Early Learning Center, helps adults learn to speak, read and write English or acquire a GED in a supportive environment, while their children, ages, birth-five, engage with trained early childhood educators in a preschool setting.

Family literacy is a two-generation model where children benefit from high-quality early learning experiences focused especially on language and social/emotional development in a play-based environment, while their parents are learning English, earning a high school diploma, and/or gaining career skills for employment.

In addition to classes for adults and children, each family receives a minimum of three home visits per school year from trained Parents as Teachers educators where learning for the family continues in a more intimate setting. Parents learn appropriate activities and practices to engage their children and optimize their learning.

The Appleton Even Start Family Literacy (ESFL) program is dedicated to ensuring the success of children in their school careers and helping adults achieve their literacy and employment goals while learning how to support their child’s education.

For over 30 years, the Appleton Area School District has partnered with Fox Valley Technical College for the Appleton Even Start Family Literacy program, housed at the Community Early Learning Center. This program supports adults in learning English, earning a high school diploma, or gaining career skills, while their children, ages birth to five, engage with trained early childhood educators in a preschool setting.

Family literacy, a two-generation model, emphasizes high-quality early learning experiences for children, focusing on language and social/emotional development in a play-based environment. In addition to classes, each family receives a minimum of three home visits per school year from trained Parents as Teachers educators, where they learn activities to engage their children and optimize learning.

The program aims to ensure children's success in school and help adults achieve literacy and employment goals while supporting their child's education. Key features include:

  • Parents and children engage in learning activities together.
  • Children participate in quality educational activities.
  • Parents learn to be primary teachers for their children.
  • Interactive literacy activities between parents and children.
  • Age-appropriate education prepares children for school and life.
  • Parents embrace lifelong learning.

Even Start focuses on four main goals

  • Prepare children from birth through school age with necessary education and literacy skills.
  • Improve adult literacy.
  • Enhance parenting skills.
  • Foster quality interaction between adults and children.

Children receive instruction from trained early childhood educators in an infant preschool setting while adults attend classes, potentially including 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.

Collaborators of the Appleton Area School District and Fox Valley Technical College include partners such as Head Start, Appleton Public Library, Fox Valley Literacy Council, UW Extension, Appleton Park and Rec. Department, Outagamie County Parent Resource Program, and Family Connections.

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Contact

Even Start Family Literacy Coordinator
(920) 832-6321

Evenstart Family Literacy Administrative Assistant
(920) 832-6140

Families served in 2022-2023

49 families were served, consisting of 50 adults and 66 children.

Languages spoken among the families include:

  • Dari/Farsi (38%)
  • Spanish (40%)
  • Hmong (10%)
  • Swahili (8%)
  • Burmese (2%)
  • Kinyamulenge (2%)

Families served in 2021-2022

38, including 40 adults and 54 children

Languages spoken among the families include:

  • Dari and Farsi (42.1%)
  • Spanish (36.8%)
  • Hmong (10.5%)
  • Swahili (7.9%)
  • Burmese (2.5%)