Temple College’s Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) Program provided Amazon Fire Kids Tablets to children whose families are involved in AEL’s newly launched Family Literacy Program.
The first cohort of the Family Literacy Program is focused on digital literacy. Each child received a tablet, and the family will be provided a class on how to use the technology. They also received a one-year Amazon Kids subscription, which allows the children to practice their literacy skills with the safety of an app and under the supervision of their parents.
James Skinner, Temple College’s AEL director, said the College is proud to be the only AEL program to launch a Family Literacy program in Central Texas. Family literacy, he explained, refers to a continuum of programs that address the intergenerational nature of literacy seen in early childhood education (Head Start) with the integration of adult education and family education.
“While Bell County and the surrounding communities rank well in overall literacy rates, the landscape was changing due the influx of immigrant families into the local areas,” Skinner said. “This resulted in a marked increase in the request for English as a Second Language (ESL) services at AEL.”
To address the need and mitigate potential struggles, Temple College AEL decided to focus its first cohort on the ESL population. ESL families with children ages 3-7 qualify, said Jay Ruiz, the College’s AEL program manager of career pathways.
“As our population demographic changes, we need to research what we need to do to adapt our services to meet their needs,” Ruiz said. “Our research has shown that an exceptionally large percentage of this population lacked digital literacy. So, we built a program that provided digital literacy contextualized for the ESL learner for the adults.”
With the help of Temple ISD, Temple College Student Life, Temple College Library and HEB, the program, called “Together” – or “Juntos” in Spanish – launched in February and runs through May.
When the parents are in class, so are the kids, learning the skills required for them to succeed in elementary and beyond. Lastly, parents and children come together for shared activities like reading, arts and crafts, playing games during Parent and Child Time (PACT).
“We have created a wonderful opportunity to learn English, learn computer skills, prepare your child for school in a safe environment that caters to our current and new immigrant population,” Skinner said. “Get all the skills to succeed in a safe environment with like-minded individuals.”
To learn more about AEL or the Family Literacy Program, contact the AEL office at 254-298-8620.
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