The goal of the Arizona Family Literacy
Program is to improve the basic academic and literacy skills of economically and
educationally disadvantaged parents and their preschool children in an effort to
break the intergenerational cycles of poverty and illiteracy. In this, the
fourth evaluation, we found that the program is having a positive impact.
However, in general, the program is not as effective in all areas as the Even
Start and Early Childhood Block Grant programs.
In this evaluation, we report four findings:
The first highlights the need for ADE to continue to increase program monitoring
and oversight of the contracted providers for the purpose of improving site
compliance with program criteria. We found compliance problems among providers
in several key areas, and we believe this may be reducing the programís
The second finding describes the adult
education outcomes, which are generally positive, yet similar to Even Startís
outcomes. We could not assess adult basic education skills because too few
participants took the required tests. Furthermore, we found that Family Literacy
participantsí progress in attaining a GED is slower than Even Start
The third finding addresses the parenting
skills outcomes. In general, adults showed improvement in parenting attitudes
and behaviors. Both the Family Literacy and Even Start programs had similar
outcomes related to parenting behaviors, but the Even Start program had a
greater impact on parenting attitudes.
The fourth and final finding addresses the Family Literacy
Programís preschool component, which continues to have an impact on increasing
childrenís readiness to succeed in kindergarten. Although the Family Literacy
children were younger on average than the Early Childhood Block Grant children,
the two programs had essentially the same impact on language skills. However,
the Early Childhood Block Grant preschool program had a greater impact on motor
and problem-solving skills.