Rep. Kathy Watson Visits Vita’s Family Literacy Class

Rep. Kathy Watson, right, greets Family Literacy at Vita's Centennial class location.

Rep. Kathy Watson, right, greets Family Literacy students at Vita’s Centennial class location.

Warminster, PA (May 21, 2014)  Rep. Kathy Watson paid a visit to Vita’s Family Literacy program held at the Centennial School District Administration Building in Warminster. Rep. Watson represents PA House District 144 and is chair of the House Children and Youth Committee.

Family Literacy is an intensive program to assist English as a Second Language (ESL) 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 education programming.

Rep. Watson shared stories about her family and congratulated the women on their courage and determination to learn English and to help their children succeed in school. She said, “Moms want their children to have a better life than they have had.”

The women asked Rep. Watson questions about her job and what she liked about it. She replied that she likes “making a difference” and helping to sponsor bills for children and youth, including protection and safeguards against abuse. Rep. Watson has served in the PA House since 2001.

“We were pleased and honored to have Rep. Watson visit our Family Literacy class and meet the moms, their children, and our teachers,” said Vita’s Executive Director Linda Wolfson.

The importance of family literacy is reflected in research funded by the National Institutes of Health, which found that 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. It concluded that programs to boost the academic achievement of children might be more successful if they also provided adult literacy education to parents.

In Bucks County, Vita partners with Head Start, Bucks County Free Library, St. Mary Parenting Center, and the Centennial and Bristol Township School Districts to deliver this model program. In addition to the classes held at Centennial, a class is located at Franklin D. Roosevelt Middle School in Bristol.