News Release — Children’s Literacy Foundation
Oct. 15, 2014
Katie Titterton, communications director
Waterbury Center, Vt: The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) is awarding two year-long grants promoting family literacy to the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington, Vt. and the New Hampshire State Prison for Men in Concord, NH. The grant helps incarcerated parents and their children connect through reading.
The grant includes a series of literacy seminars for incarcerated parents on the importance of sharing books and stories with children. Because 70% of the national incarcerated population reads at or below a fourth-grade level, the literacy seminars provide storytelling strategies for parents who may not be strong readers themselves.
After each seminar participating parents may select a new, high-quality children’s book for each of their children. Parents may record themselves reading the book aloud and send both book and recording home as gifts.
The prisons also receive a library of children’s books for visiting areas. On two designated visiting days, CLiF presenters will tell stories to families and inmates’ children will be invited to select new books of their own.
This is the second consecutive grant for the New Hampshire State Prison for Men, which also won the sponsorship in 2013.
It is the first year-long CLiF grant for Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, the only women’s prison in the state of Vermont. CLiF will partner with Kids-A-Part, a Lund program with an onsite presence at the South Burlington prison.
Jess Kell, Kids-A-Part coordinator at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, said, “Our clients possess a wide range of literacy skills, and some are less secure in their ability to read out loud to children than others. Opportunities to become more comfortable with these skills help to encourage parents to connect with their children through books.”
For more information about CLiF’s Children of Prison Inmates program visit www.clifonline.org.