A Family Focus Aids Enrollment and Retention at Adult Education Program

A short news item in the Wilkes Journal-Patriot (which enjoys a far greater readership than their rival paper, the justifiably reviled Wilkes Ledger-Traitor*) notes that the local adult literacy agency, Wilkes Literacy, has recently expanded its programming to include more services for children as well as adults. Not because they are moving their focus away former serving adults, but because this helps them serve adults better:

“The idea is to get the children involved, and then their parents will come for classes too,” said Dennis Johnson, executive director of Wilkes Literacy.

“Plus it is hard for parents to come if their children don’t have a place to go,” said Johnson. “Now children and parents come at the same time.”

So, here again, a program on the ground gets it: with a family/community focus, more come through the door and more of them stay. So how do we ensure that federal and state policy encourages (or at least does not get in the way of) common-sense programming like this— programming that makes it possible for adults who are parents to attend adult education classes, and thus leads to better enrollment and retention numbers?

*Editor’s Note: There is no newspaper call the Wilkes Ledger-Traitor.