Family Literacy Program Hits Milestone

Family Literacy Program Hits Milestone

Collaborative initiative between FVTC & Appleton Area School District

| By: Daley-Hinkens, Carmelyn M

There are so many reasons to celebrate during the month of May and Appleton Even Start Family Literacy is giving us 30 of them. The collaborative program between Appleton Area School District (AASD) and Fox Valley Technical College recently commemorated 30 years of working together.

Located in the Community Early Literacy Center in Appleton, Even Start operates as a two-generation model. Adults come to learn to speak, read and write English, work toward earning a high school diploma and sharpen skills for employment. Their children, ages birth-five, come with their parents and work on language and social/emotional development in a play-based, preschool setting.

Fox Valley Technical College supports the adult education piece of this decades-long partnership.

“We’ve had students go on to open their own businesses, or found a school to get other college degrees, or they’re just getting their kids through school,” says Colette Kolb, associate dean of General Studies. “Those are all the successes we could ask for.”

Appleton Area School District facilitates the early childhood education component. Pam Franzke, AASD director of Even Start Family Literacy says the decades-long partnership has been an amazing opportunity for families.

“We ensure a targeted focus on engaging young families in language and literacy, achieving their goals and increasing their parenting skills,” Pam explains. “From classroom instruction to home visiting, our goal is to empower the family unit.” 

The Even Start program served 38 families in 2021-22, which included 40 adults and 54 children. A large number of the students are Afghan refugees, but the program also serves many Hmong families and individuals from Mexico and Venezuela.

Karie Mindock, Adult Education instructor at FVTC says she is pleased that while she’s teaching the adults, their children are receiving high-quality care and learning. “The favorite part of my day is the Interactive Literacy Activity time at the end of each class period. That is when all the parents meet in their child's classroom and we read and sing and play together."


Even Start Family Literacy in the news:

FOX11: Fox Valley Literacy program celebrates 30 years of helping families

WFRV-TV: Appleton Even Start Family Literacy celebrates 30 years of helping community