Julie’s Family Literacy is rooted in using an intergenerational approach involving mothers and their children in literacy activities and curriculum. Our focus is to help encourage and develop a love for learning and to stimulate mother and child to continue to look for new ways to learn together. Extensive research indicates that literacy activity interactions between parent and child at the infant, toddler and preschool stages equips the child with basic cognitive oral and language skills that are integral for success in school. Julie’s interactive literacy involves curriculum which engages parents and children in goal setting, family projects, technological literacy, shared cultural experiences, problem solving strategies, and critical and creative thinking. Monthly interactive literacy projects involve various themes that are planned and discussed in the adult classes and then engaged in jointly by mothers with their children. Family activities include, but are not limited to: monthly reading and/or craft activities, family literacy field trips to recreational and cultural events, and the publication of a family newsletter, "The Write Stuff," which is a compilation of writings from parents and children.
As part of our family literacy Julie’s has an ongoing collaboration with ReadBoston, a city-funded literacy program. This program fosters home-school partnerships that results in families reading with their children for at least twenty minutes per day, four or more times per week. A representative from ReadBoston comes to Julie’s on a periodic basis and leads literacy activities with the families. Julie’s uses our on-site lending library to send children home with books to read every week, which is then monitored and reported to ReadBoston.
An emphasis on reading readiness not only imparts to the child a familiarity with books and an appreciation for uses of literacy. It also creates a home environment in which literacy is valued. As the child becomes proficient in reading and begins to face new educational challenges, the parent is motivated to keep pace in order to provide support and encouragement, which has been proven to be an effective catalyst for parents to pursue further education and job training themselves.
Family Health Education:
Julie’s Family Health Education seeks to educate parents about preventive healthcare and abstinence from high-risk behaviors that contribute to serious illnesses and injuries as well as premature death. Topics discussed include, but are not limited to: nutrition, smoking, lead poisoning, environmental pollution, basic first-aid in the home, CPR for children and adults, drug and alcohol dependency and consequences, HIV/AIDS, and violence related injuries.
In response to all the difficulties that Julie’s families face, Julie’s created an advocacy service to provide information and assistance to our families when housing, health, employment, education, and legal emergencies or crises arise. The goal is to help Julie’s parents become knowledgeable about available resources and support services within their communities and to help them develop proactive strategies to prevent such crises in the future.