REAPing the Rewards of Family Literacy: DeKalb County PL's Program for Immigrant Families Goes beyond Teaching English-Language Skills

By Porter, Melody | American Libraries, September 2003 | Go to article overview

REAPing the Rewards of Family Literacy: DeKalb County PL's Program for Immigrant Families Goes beyond Teaching English-Language Skills


Porter, Melody, American Libraries


At Project REAP (Reading Empowers All People), even the traditional nursery rhyme "Ring Around the Rosie" is not what you'd expect. Rather than circling to the traditional American singsong pace, parents and children from southern Sudan, Somalia, Vietnam, and Iraq clasp hands around a new beat, lifting legs high as they swirl to a step-STEP rhythm all their own. Toddlers can hardly control their excitement as they anticipate when "all fall down!" Preschoolers, mothers, and children's librarians fall to the floor with shouts, clapping, and giggles.

Refugee and immigrant families turn to DeKalb County (Ga.) Public Library's family-literacy program to learn English and their ABCs, but they often end up showing each other and their teachers something new, whether it's a measured description of cooking "back home" or an improvised dance step. "One of the best things about Project REAP is that it allows for the merging of so many interests and skills from staff members and refugee families as they work together," noted Laura Hauser, the library's literacy services officer. "We have so much to learn from each other."

The program itself is simple: For an hour, children's librarians provide educational activities for young children while an instructor from a local community college teaches the parents English. Then parents and children come together for PACT, or Parent and Child Together time, to share what they've learned. In this setting, parents are encouraged to experience themselves as their child's first and most important teacher. For half an hour, parents and children color together, talk about nutrition while cutting apples, or cut loose and show each other the funky moves they can do in "The Hokey Pokey."

An evolving program

DeKalb County saw a 53% increase in immigrant population from 1990 to 1999--the nation's second-largest increase of its kind. Children in our public schools speak more than 80 languages. The connection between the library and community is natural in such a fertile context and, with the generous $100,000 gift from an anonymous private donor as well as the partnership of community agencies, DCPL has been eager and able to respond to this shift in our population.

Project REAP has grown since it began in 1999. In our first year, classes met in apartment buildings to make attendance easy for families with young children. As our second year approached, we saw an opportunity to reach more families by partnering with community organizations. We began to have classes once a week at Newcomers' Network, a social services agency working with refugees and immigrants; and at Sheltering Arms International Village Child Care Center, which cares for many children from immigrant families. These partnerships allowed Project REAP to reach more families, to enhance programs already offered at the agencies, and to meet in a convenient place for parents and children. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

REAPing the Rewards of Family Literacy: DeKalb County PL's Program for Immigrant Families Goes beyond Teaching English-Language Skills
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.