Since opening of the Toyota Family Literacy Program (TFLP) center at Wilkinson Elementary School in Southeast six years ago, a majority of parents have gone from reading only twice a week to reading to their children every day.
Wilkinson's program is an offshoot of the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), which models itself as the worldwide leader in family literacy. Since its creation in 1989, the organization has helped more than 1 million families reach positive educational and economic gains.
However, the NCFL work doesn't stop with parents and children: As the result of partnering in 1991 with Toyota, more than 256 family literacy sites currently exist in 50 cities and 30 states -- with more than 150,000 teachers and thousands of volunteers having been trained.
The TFL program at Wilkinson has continued to draw in many parents. And, because the parents utilize the center daily, TFL recently donated 10 new computers to replace those that were outdated and lacked quick Internet access.
During a recent ribbon cutting for the program, School Board Representative Trayon White spoke about the importance of parents learning with their children and Ward 8 children's author Dr. Courtney Davis read her book, "A is for Anacostia."
During the reading, both children and parents were fully engaged as the author highlighted their community in her book. As Davis proceeded, repeated exclamations of "I know where that is!" could be heard.