Children learn early literacy skills from their parents.
However not every parent finds it easy to help their child develop and learn. Parents with unmet literacy needs tend not to read to their children, which affects their child’s future literacy abilities.
In Ireland, 30% of primary school children from disadvantaged areas may struggle with literacy. This can have a negative impact on the quality of a child’s life.
Children that leave school without basic literacy skills are more likely to experience educational failure, to be long-term unemployed, to experience poverty and to enter the criminal justice system.
The family literacy approach recognises the large influence that families – and parents in particular – have on children’s literacy. Family literacy projects improve the literacy practices of parents and other family members. This has a significant knock on effect on the school performance of children.
Family literacy provides a win-win scenario to policy makers and educationalists, particularly those involved in education in disadvantaged communities.