The Even Start Family Literacy Program: The Rise and Fall of Family Literacy and the Need for Its Return
This study first examines the rise of family literacy programs and the design of the Even Start Family Literacy Program, to address the nation’s growing illiteracy issues. Evaluations of the program showed positive, but statistically insignificant, gains of the program’s core focus areas: child education outcomes, parent education outcomes, and the parent-child relationship. This study analyzes the flaws in the design of the national evaluations arguing they should not have been the basis for the program’s elimination. Finally, the study looks at the insufficiency of current literacy approaches and the need for a program similar to Even Start to address the illiteracy issue. It examines how current federal programs do not address the intergenerational illiteracy issue because of their one-dimensional focus, and the report concludes with possible revisions to the Even Start program if it were to be reinvigorated.