Family and Community Literacy

What We Do

ILS Even Start staff provide family literacy services as on-site staff developers, adult education instructors, and adult education supervisors. ILS staff development is offered to Even Start staff members throughout all program components. Services include:

Administrative Support

Part of ILS staff development work is to build administrative capacity by assisting project coordinators in leading and supervising all aspects of Even Start programs. This work includes the availability of the ILS staff development specialist to: 1) co-plan and co-lead staff meetings with the project coordinator, as well as Advisory Council meetings and other meetings involving aspects of work with staff and/or participants; 2) co-represent the Even Start program at regional, state, and national conferences with the project coordinator; 3) co-develop appropriate systems for implementation of Even Start goals; and 4) collaborate on the writing of biannual reports (i.e., mid- and end-of-year reports and documentation for continued funding).

Literacy Professional Development

The ILS provides a multi-faceted approach to literacy professional development with Even Start programs. Literacy professional development takes place in regularly scheduled forums with Even Start staff, led by the ILS staff development specialists. These forums include weekly whole group staff meetings; small group meetings (e.g., with the Early Childhood Center staff); and individual, one-to-one meetings (e.g., with the Project coordinator). ILS staff development specialists also work within each of the four Even Start program components.

ILS staff development specialists work closely with Even Start staff, starting from a collaborative inquiry-based approach to family literacy, to develop knowledge, skills, strategies, and relationships that support successful literacy learning at home and in school for children and adults. Of particular importance in this endeavor is learning to describe what is observed of a child's behavior without using judgmental or evaluative language. At staff development meetings, staff members share observations in order to take cues from family participants (parents or children) in planning parenting education workshops and interactive literacy activities.

In addition, ILS staff who work in Even Start programs are engaged in their own professional development through an ongoing study of family literacy literature and publications suggested by Even Start technical assistants, as well as the regional and state Even Start leadership. In this way, the literacy professional development offered by the ILS is consonant with Even Start goals and emphases.

Last modified: Oct 13, 2011

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