The Centre for Adult Education supports family literacy, to raise awareness of the value of families engaging in reading and writing activities together. There is growing evidence of a mutually supportive relationship between adult basic education and the extent to which children are able to benefit from primary schooling, especially if they are the first generation in their families to attend school. The quality and frequency of family reading and writing activities is a dependable predictor of children’s academic performance. Also, the most certain positive outcome of an adult’s particpation in basic education is that he or she should be able to use literacy skills to the general benefit – and probably enjoyment – of other family members.
In addition to developing resources, such as Learn with Echo, and DVDs (see below), CAE has been involved in a family literacy project in Richmond which grew out of a UKZN research project on barriers to learning in the area. Exclusive Books funded materials and adult learners from the Richmond Adult Centre at Richmond Combined School participated. This project is ongoing.
In September 2005, the CAE and The Family Literacy Project (a Durban-based NGO) hosted a conference, Bringing Literacy Home.
Download the conference proceedings here:
Family Literacy 2005 Conference Proceedings
Bringing Literacy home
The Bringing Literacy Home DVD presents unreheased, unscripted footage of real families using literacy at home during private, family time, making explicit valuable but ‘hidden’ practices. It reveals the pleasure that can be found in reading, writing, drawing and discussing these things together.
The DVD has received excellent feedback, with many viewers expressing joy at finally understanding what it means to read to one’s children. Some even say watching the DVD has helped their parenting skills by showing them ways of relating more closely to their children.
Baby steps to learning
Filmed over four years, this DVD shows the literacy development of three young children as their parents read to them and engage them in literacy practices in the first few years of their lives. It points to important milestones and highlights centrally important engagements in literacy that give children the advantage of strong preschool development of skills associated with literacy.