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Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2015

Large grant to help literacy program

Friday, October 16, 2009

(Photo)
Mary Yelton
The Family Literacy program is receiving additional funding.

The Barbara Bush Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant through the Ruth Lily Philanthropic Foundation to the program, which will continue the Clay County Family Literacy Program.

"We are very excited," Linking Education to Adults, Adolescents and Preschoolers (LEAAP) Center Coordinator Mary Yelton said. "This is a need in the community."

Part of a four-year Federal Even Start Family Literacy Program, the Family Literacy Program began in 2002 and it allows for Adult Basic Education (ABE)/ General Educational Development (GED) and high school classes for parents as well as interactive literacy activities for the families, valuable early childhood education for children, ages 6 weeks to 5 years, and parent education.

The Family Literacy Program is designed to break the cycle of poverty by educating the parents, preparing them for the workforce, engaging in Parent and Child Together Time (PACT) and early childhood education.

"Poverty usually makes it tough for parents to provide the early education and support that children need," Yelton said. "Because they must concentrate on their family's needs for survival such as food, clothing, and housing."

Congress condensed funds for the Even Start Program in 2006. At that time Indiana would not allow programs to reapply for aide. Since then, Clay Community Schools has maintained the Family Literacy Program and its services through the help of donations and other services within the community.

"Children who have the opportunity to participate in quality preschool are more likely to graduate and become employed," Yelton said. "Involving the parents in their children's education also increases the benefits for the children and, of course, improving the education level of the parents enables them to improve their employment opportunities."

The program is working. Since November 2002, the Family Literacy Program has served 110 families. Of these, 39 people have attained their GED diplomas, seven high school diplomas, 54 became employed, 18 entered college and 17 students remained in high school.

The program also received a $10,000 Good Works Indiana Strengthening Families Grant and an $18,000 Children's Bureau Grant.

"Research demonstrates that quality early childhood education prepares children for school, leads to higher achievement, less grade retention, higher graduation rates, and adult workers who have skills that sustain a growing economy," Yelton said. "I have read that quality preschool can save $8-$17 for every tax dollar spent on early childhood programs because of less crime and less need for public assistance."

Currently there are 55 families on the list.

For more information on the program contact the LEAAP Center at 446-2536.


Comments
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Congradulations Mary!

-- Posted by SKCC on Sat, Oct 17, 2009, at 1:13 AM

While I hands down agree that LEAAP aids literacy efforts, what about making library available for ALL in Clay County? How many more kids could become addicted to reading by taking home stacks of books each week during those preschool years until the find the genre that makes them feel that they cannot wait until they can put their noses into the next book on that subject?

With regards to investing in our community in order for it to make gains in both economic and social wealth, investment in literacy via the county library system has been over looked and the community has been paying the price with regard to poverty and lagging property values.

Yes, CONGRATULATIONS to Ms Yelton AND her entire team who are fighting illiteracy without the benefit of a county wide library system which is an additional handicap the majority of our voters are too blind or maybe too "illiterate" to see.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sat, Oct 17, 2009, at 8:52 AM

Jenny... I agree with you about the library. Too bad our County Commissioners do not feel the same way.

The Library is only supported by the Taxpayers of the City of Brazil and Brazil Township I am told. No one outside that area pays any taxes to support the Library.

-- Posted by BackHomeAgain on Sat, Oct 17, 2009, at 12:41 PM

I'll wager that it isn't the commissioners but the lack of support from the taxpayer/voter. The library "tax" has not been approved but in only one area outside the city if I am not mistaken. the commissioners just decide how to spend the money, not decide what to collect it for.

Lobby those holding on to that library tax option with their tight under informed fists. They are cutting off their nose to spite their face as the better educated the community, the more their property will be worth so they actually would have MORE assets if they would support literacy for everyone else in community. It's a pretty much "DUH" situation. I can't figure out why so many don't get it.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sun, Oct 18, 2009, at 9:20 AM

I would be glad to lobby but who exactly do I lobby? I quite honestly do not know who is holding up the library option or who I should contact.

Point me in the right direction.

-- Posted by BackHomeAgain on Sun, Oct 18, 2009, at 10:42 AM

I guess I would contact commissioners about this as well as the party membership of both Republican and Democratic parties so that their future candidates can go on record for endorsing this and possibly getting it onto the agenda at various levels. I believe it is a referendum thing that is put to vote in spring or fall not sure but to date has been voted down each time in all but one township. In other words it's a matter of getting the majority of voters to support it. Good luck. The ones who are opposing it are the same ones in general who believe that our "public" education system should not be funded by those who don't have family members in school. I guess they don't remember being in school themselves? Bet their parents weren't footing the entire bill nor were they when they had kids in school. They obviously didn't learn enough to know how education level of individuals directly correlates to the wealth of the community.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sun, Oct 18, 2009, at 2:42 PM

That's fantastic ! Congratulations Mary.

-- Posted by JaniLou on Mon, Oct 19, 2009, at 1:12 PM

That's fantastic ! Congratulations Mary.

-- Posted by JaniLou on Mon, Oct 19, 2009, at 1:13 PM

Way to go Mary...keep fighting the good fight!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Thu, Oct 22, 2009, at 2:06 PM


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