Even Start Family Literacy

A visit to one of the Even Start sites would show:
  • Parents and children talking and learning together
  • Young children participating in quality educational opportunities and activities
  • Parents learning how to be the primary teacher for their children and be full partners in their child’s education
  • Interactive literacy activities between parents and their children
  • Age-appropriate education to prepare children for success in school and life
  • Parents who are lifelong learners
Family literacy ties generations together in a unique educational opportunity. The single most important factor in parental influence and academic success is the expectation held by parents for the educational attainment of their children.

Even Start has four main goals:

  • Prepare children ages birth to eight with the prerequisite education and literacy instruction to succeed in school
  • Improve adult literacy
  • Enhance parenting skills
  • Foster quality interaction between adults and their children
Children are not “babysat” while adults attend class, but engage with trained early childhood educators in a preschool setting. The setting might include Appleton Community 4K,  Head Start, Title I preschool, or the Even Start early childhood classroom. School-age children receive tutoring and additional educational opportunities when they participate in the evening program with their parents.

Developmentally appropriate educational and literacy activities follow the Birth - Five Appleton Area School District curriculum and Wisconsin Model Early Learning standards.

In addition to classes for adults and children, each family receives a minimum of three home visits per school year where learning for the family continues in a more intimate setting. The home visitors are trained Parents as Teachers educators. Parents learn appropriate activities and practices to engage their children and optimize their learning.
The Appleton Even Start Family Literacy Program is one of the top four most cost effective sites per family in the state. The site meets or exceeds state indicators of quality, for example, literacy growth for adults and children, school attendance, public school achievement, and hearing, vision, and developmental screenings for the birth to three children.
Appleton Area School District and Fox Valley Technical College are the two primary collaborators. Other long-standing partners include Head Start, Appleton Public Library, Fox Valley Literacy Coalition, UW Extension, Appleton Park and Rec. Department, Outagamie County Parent Resource Program and Family Connections, to name a few.


Pamela Franzke
CSI Coordinator of Even Start Family Literacy 

Mollie DeBruin
4K/Even Start Secretary
(920) 832-6206
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