Family Literacy Program still reaching parents, thanks to Zoom

The Lincoln Public Schools Family Literacy Program offers students and their families an opportunity to learn together. Parents improve their English skills, learn critical job skills and how to access community resources, and gain a better understanding of education so they can help their children with schoolwork.

Now you can add Zoom to the list of skills parents learn.

When LPS moved to remote learning, the Family Literacy Program and its 12 school sites did the same. Most of the parents had never used Zoom or other online tools - but that hasn’t stopped more than 100 parents who are now virtually participating in the program. There were 152 parents participating in mid-March when they were still meeting in person.

“Parents have been very determined to learn how to join our Zoom meetings and continue to learn English skills and ways to help their children with their education,” said Monica Asher, family engagement coordinator with the LSP Federal Programs Department.

Many parents said learning Zoom was challenging at first - but worth it.

“When I heard about class being on the computer, I was very nervous,” said Lupe, an Elliott parent. “I don't use social media or the web. I am fortunate I have my son and he helps me...Now I enjoy Zoom classes, and I would like to thank family literacy for all the help they offer to us.”

“On the first day when I heard that we would have class on Zoom, I talked to my family about learning new things,” said Kler, another Elliott parent. “I did not want any of us to stop studying.”

Parents and children put in full weeks of learning:

  • Adult literacy is taught one hour per day, Monday through Thursday, via Zoom. 
  • Parent time is held every Friday for one hour and also taught through Zoom. A family literacy specialist hosts these meetings, which are pre-recorded and translated by a bilingual liaison. Topics so far have included LPS and community food distribution; social distancing; pandemic-related scams; the U.S. Census; renters’ rights; the importance of schedules and routines for families; and mental health and wellness.
  • Children’s literacy is taught through LPS remote learning, using the students’ Chromebooks. 
  • PACT (Parents And Children Together) is now held via Zoom, as opposed to the usual classroom. Classes focus on ensuring parents understand how to help their children with online learning. Some schools also are hosting a weekly Zoom meeting that provides a child-centered activity for the family to do together.
  • Starting this week, the program will utilize the ReadyRosie app to send parents, via text, short videos that model games that support their children’s learning. 

Peggy Newquist, a family literacy teacher at Ellliott and Prescott elementary schools, said parent response to the shift to online learning has been “exceptionally positive.”

“These family literacy parents are totally committed to this program.”

Published: April 27, 2020, Updated: April 27, 2020