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Guide to Quality: Even Start Family Literacy Programs
C. Dwyer, RMC Research Corporation, ERIC Abstract (ED393087), 1995
Takes readers through a self-review process, covers how to design local program evaluations, and briefly describes fundamental program characteristics. Also presents quality indicators of 10 major topic areas including integration of program components, collaboration, parent-child interactions, adult education and adult literacy, focus on families, and staff development.
Download/view: PDF (1.7MB) | HTML

Pathways: A Primer for Family Literacy Program Design and Development
National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), 2000
Written for those who want to start family literacy programs in their communities, this guide covers a lot of ground, including background on the potential benefits of family literacy, assessing the need for such programs in a community, establishing partnerships, designing programs around specific outcomes, and various strategies for helping families improve their literacy. Provides case studies and answers to commonly asked questions. Available for purchase from

Practitioner Toolkit: Working with Adult English Language Learners
National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA), and the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), 2004
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Adult and Vocational Education (OVAE), this guide provides support to adult education and family literacy instructors new to serving adult English language learners and their families in rural, urban, and faith- and community-based programs. Includes student activities, lesson plans, assessment tools, and information on non-native English-speaking adults, parent education, learning disabilities, and citizenship.

Work-Related Learning Guide for Family Literacy and Adult Education Organizations
Jobs for the Future (JFF) in collaboration with the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), 1999
Helps family literacy and adult education providers integrate work-related learning into educational programs. Includes concrete examples of many types of work-related learning (such as job shadowing, internships, and community service) and lists advantages and challenges of each. Describes how to develop a work-related learning plan, assess skill needs, design programs and develop curriculum, and establish employer-partner networks.
Download/view: PDF (3.0MB)

Sample State How-To's

Bringing Family Literacy to Incarcerated Settings: An Instructional Guide
The Hudson River Center for Program Development, Inc.
Provides an overview of family literacy and how it can be implemented in a correctional facility. Offers several program designs and information about setting program standards, obtaining funding, marketing, and training staff.
Download/view: PDF (963KB) | HTML

Families for Literacy (FFL)
Created for the California FLL program, this online resource directory can be used by family literacy instructors and administrators nationwide. Resources include book suggestions, videos, websites, software, parenting tools, coordinators' resources, fundraising ideas, and tips for marketing events.

The Family Literacy Resource Notebook
C. Sapin and N. Padak, The Ohio Literacy Resource Center, 1998
Provides information on starting and operating a family literacy program. Discusses funding sources, offers tips for writing successful grants, and includes sample curricula and parent-child activities. Also reviews staff development, recruitment and retention, marketing and public relations, and evaluation.

Framework for ESL Instruction in a Family Literacy Program
K. Holloway, M. Phillips, S. Rainwater, S. Vertner, N. Monroe, and D. Prickel, 2001
Created by adult educators from Even Start and ESL programs at Portland Community College, representatives of the Clackamas Children's Commission, and an Oregon State University professor. Contains lesson plans with clear outcomes and explores new ways to integrate CASAS, Even Start quality indicators, parents' goals and Equipped for the Future standards.

Successful Strategies in Family Literacy
R. Dyer, Maine Department of Education
Examples from the Maine Family Literacy Initiative highlight successful strategies for starting a family literacy program, collaborating with partners, and preparing for instruction. Created in collaboration with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
Download/view: PDF (2.0MB) | HTML