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Wayne Metro Receives Grant from Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

Wayne Metro Community Action Agency received one of just seven grants in the nation from Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy to support the agency’s Literacy Education and Parenting Success (LEAPS) Family Literacy Program. The LEAPS Program will continue the high quality and comprehensive model of family literacy services established under the agency’s previous Even Start program.

The grant announcements were made by Doro Bush Koch, co-chair of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, before a national audience of hundreds of family literacy advocates and educators during the National Conference on Family Literacy that was held March 25-27, 2012 in San Diego.

A total of $441,000 was awarded to seven nonprofit organizations, public school districts, and other agencies to help improve the literacy skills and quality of life of families across the country. “Our vision is to ensure both educators and decision makers in American understand the critical importance of developing family literacy programs for this simple reason: educated parents mean educated children” said Doro Bush Koch. “To help parents become their child’s best teachers, we must create family literacy programs where they can work hard to learn English or earn their high school diplomas as quickly as possible,” she said.

Wayne Metro’s LEAPS Program will serve 30 low-income and low-literacy parents, including recent immigrants, and their children, ages 6 months to 8 years old. With the goal of increasing children’s school readiness and empowering parents to be their children’s first and best teacher, the program will provide integrated services, including: adult education, parent education, parent-child interactive literacy and early childhood education within the diverse urban community of Hamtramck.

“We are extremely proud to receive the support from the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy” said Louis Piszker, Wayne Metro CEO. We’ve had a tremendous amount of success with the Even Start Program and are excited to continue to provide these essential services through our LEAPS Program. Wayne Metro is dedicated to providing comprehensive services, including critical family literacy programs to families in need” he explained.

Wayne Metro also had a client recognized during the National Conference on Family Literacy (NCFL). Monira Ahkter, a resident of Hamtramck, participated in Wayne Metro’s English as a Second Language (ESL) and GED Preparation Classes through the agency’s Even Start Program. As a result of her hard work, Monira has received her GED and is pursuing her dream to become an early childhood teacher. Monira was recognized for her outstanding dedication to furthering her education and becoming her children’s first and best teacher. Selected as one of four NCFL conference Student Speakers, Monira shared the impact of family literacy on her life before conference attendees from across the nation.

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is dedicated to establishing literacy as a value in every home in America. Nearly 25 years ago, First Lady Barbara Bush launched the national, nonprofit Foundation to help provide parents and children the skills needed to read together as a family and achieve a lifetime of learning. Today, Honorary Chair Barbara Bush and the Foundation Co-Chairs Jeb Bush and Doro Bush Koch, continue to address the literacy challenges in our nation and strive to make a meaningful difference in countless lives. Since its inception, the Barbara Bush Foundation has awarded approximately $40 million to nearly 900 family literacy programs in 50 states, including the nation’s capital. For more information on the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, visit www.barbarabushfoundation.com.

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Pictures from the National Conference for Family Literacy:

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Wayne Metro Client, Monira Ahkter and Sharon Darling, National Center for Family Literacy President and Founder.

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Monira was one of four conference Student Speakers and shared the impact of of family literacy on her life before hundreds of conference attendees from across the nation.

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