OGDEN, Utah – The Weber State University Family Literacy Project has been named a “Literacy Partner” with the Deseret Media Corporation’s “Read Today” program.
Last year, the literacy project served 121 families in the Ogden area, helping parents find easy ways to set aside time in order to read with their children and use creative activities to keep the children engaged. Child and Family Studies professor Paul Schvaneveldt spearheads the project, working directly with families, showing them how to create weekly reading logs, calendars tracking designated reading times, and even helping children create their own books.
The Literacy Project was started in 1989 with an endowment from the Glasmann Foundation. Jay Glasmann, late owner of the Standard-Examiner, approached Weber State University about creating a program in the Ogden area that would promote family literacy activities. While developing the program, Schvaneveldt’s preliminary research indicated early intervention to be the most effective way of promoting growth in literacy. In developing the program, Schvaneveldt focused on the parents of preschool-aged children.
“I decided to create a program that directly impacted the parents with the goal that they would increase their involvement and literacy activities with their children,” Schvaneveldt said. “I wanted to create a program that impacted their parenting skills, which also would help the children in their behaviors and academic achievement.”
Schvaneveldt has also used the literacy program as a model for a similar project he implemented in Ecuador last year as a Fulbright Scholar.
The Deseret Media Corporation works with literacy-promoting groups throughout the state, such as Reading Tree Books for Charity, the Utah Center for Reading and Literacy, KUED Ready to Learn, Imagine a Happier You and many others. Schvaneveldt said partnering with the corporation recognizes the effectiveness of both the program and the Department of Child and Family Studies.
“This really reflects well on the positive impact the university and department has on the community,” Schvaneveldt said. “Getting involved in the community is very important and can make a difference for many people. It also is a credit to the great people who work with the program and their efforts and dedication to the families they serve.”
Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.
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