If you can read this sentence, you just might have your mother to thank for it. If you have achieved academic and career success, mom – again – probably gets a lot of the credit. that’s because, according to research funded by the National Institutes of Health, a mother’s reading skill is the greatest determinant of her children’s future academic success, outweighing other factors such as neighborhood and family income.
Researchers concluded that programs to boost the academic achievement of children might be more successful if they also provided adult literacy education to parents.
“The findings indicate that programs to improve maternal literacy skills may provide an effective means to overcome the disparity in academic achievement between children in poor and affluent neighborhoods,” said Rebecca Clark, Ph.D., chief of the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the NIH institute that funded the study.
Here in Bucks County, Vita Education Services is addressing this need with its Family Literacy program. Family Literacy is an intensive year round program to assist parents, primarily mothers, in gaining the literacy and parenting skills they need to become full partners in the educational development of their children through family-centered educational programming.
Family literacy addresses the literacy needs of all members of the family while promoting parents’ involvement in their children’s education as their children’s first teachers.
Vita partners with Head Start, Bucks County Free Library, St. Mary Parenting Center, and the Bensalem and Bristol Township School districts to deliver this model program. Family Literacy classes are located at Bensalem Head Start in Bensalem and Franklin D. Roosevelt Middle School in Bristol.
In honor of the importance mothers have in their children’s academic success, Vita has designated May as Power of Moms Month. As a unique way to celebrate Mother’s Day, Vita is inviting people to lend their support to the Power of Moms with a donation to its Family Literacy program. Contributions provide resources that make an immediate impact on students, their families, and the community.
For more information on Vita’s Family Literacy program and the “Power of Moms,” visit www.vitaeducation.org For more information about the NIH research, visit http://www.nih.gov/news/health/oct2010/nichd-25.htm