Last spring (2012), 96 Literacy Council students completed our Moms & Tots® program survey at seven locations: Old 41 (1), Old 41 (2), New Day Christian Church and Interfaith Caregivers which are in San Carlos Park, Manna Christian, Tice United Methodist Church, and Goodwill on Palm Beach Blvd. in Fort Myers.
The purpose of this survey was:
- To understand how important the program is for the moms and tots
- To find out how the students describe the program
- To measure the usefulness of the English classes
- To find out if by teaching English, the Literacy Council is helping students achieve their goals in the U.S.
1. What country are you from?
Forty-nine of the adults in the Moms & Tots® Program survey are from Mexico. Twenty-nine Guatemalan moms completed the survey too. The nationalities have expanded immensely since the program began in August 2004. There are 18 adults from Argentina, Honduras, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Albania, Haiti, El Salvador, Ecuador, Peru or Venezuela.
2. How long have you lived in the USA?
The adults have lived in the U.S. for an average of eight years. However the range extends from 2 months to 33 years.
3. How many months have you been attending the Moms & Tots® program?
- Thirty-six adults have been attending the Moms & Tots® program for 1 to 3 months.
- Twenty-four adults have been in the program for 3 to 6 months.
- Fourteen adults have attended from 6 to 12 months.
- Twenty-two adults have attended more than a year.
4. How many days a week do you usually attend the Moms & Tots® Program?
- Three adults attend one day a week
- Sixty-five adults attend two days/week
- Eight adults attend three days/week
- Twenty adults attend four days/week
5. How many children do you have in our program?
- Thirty-seven moms have only one child in the Moms & Tots® program.
- Eighteen moms have two children in the program.
- Some moms do not bring children to the program because their children are school age or older.
6. Children’s Demographics:
At the time of this survey, there were 29 girls and 38 boys brought to the Moms & Tots® program. The current ages of our tots are as follows:
- Fourteen babies less than one year of age
- Twenty-six tots from age one to two
- Nineteen tots age three
- Six tots age four
Since the inception of the Moms & Tots® program, an increasing number of parents are enrolling their children in the pre-Kindergarten programs. We encourage the moms to keep the children less than age 1 with them during their English class.
During school holidays and during the summer, we provide English activities for the moms’ school age children too.
7. How would you rate the Moms & Tots® program?
- Excellent – 83
- Good – 12
- Acceptable – 1
- Bad – 0
The moms/adults rate our program very highly. Explanations about our program are as follows:
- I’m very grateful because the teachers spend a lot of time to teach us how to learn English.
- The teachers are very good, kind and patient with us.
- It’s good to learn another language. Now I can have a conversation with English speakers.
- I’ve learned a lot in just a few classes!
- They take very good care of my kids.
- It’s very conveniently located and the teacher gives me such confidence.
- It’s excellent because they give us food, clothes, books, and teach us English.
- Now I can speak to my grandkids in English.
- I like the program because I’m finally learning English. It makes me happy!
- You can ask the teachers anything. What I don’t know, the teacher explains to me.
8. Choose the most important program topic:
The most important topic for the moms is to have a well-rounded Moms & Tots® Program, including P.A.C.T. (Parent and Child Together) Time and parenting education programs provided. The results are as follows:
- English for Moms: 27
- English for the children: 5
- Activities with the children: 0
- Ability to help your child with their homework: 3
- All of the above: 55
9./10. Do you take time in your home to read stories and sing songs with your child(ren) and practice English at home?
Sixty-three moms said that they read stories or sing songs with their child(ren) in English at home for the following reason:
- It’s important to my child’s development.
- They give us songs. It’s nice.
- I read stories in English at home because it’s important.
80 moms said they practice English at home for the following reason:
- It helps me and my children speak English.
- I practice English at home because it’s important.
- My daughter goes to school so I have to help her with her schoolwork.
- We practice English at home because it helps all the family learn English.
- I practice English at home so I can improve and help my children with their school homework.
- I get excited when I study English at home.
Seventeen adults stated that they don’t take time to read or sing songs in English with their children. Their reasons are as follows:
- I don’t have time.
- My children are older.
- My children already speak English.
Most adults state that they dedicate an average of 30 minutes per week reading stories and singing songs with their children in English.
11. What language do you speak at home with your children?
In order to know if the adults practice English at home, we asked them what language they speak at home.
- Speak only English at home: 3
- Speak only Spanish at home: 44
- Speak both English and Spanish at home: 38
- Spanish dialect: 4
- Albanian and English: 1
12. Do you believe The Moms & Tots® program helps your children learn English?
All the moms answered yes to this question for the following reasons:
- My daughter hears new vocabulary.
- Yes, because they’re small and only hear Spanish at home.
- The children listen and learn so easily.
- It’s a very good program because my kids are learning English.
13. Do you think the English classes help you in your daily life?
Every mom/adult in the program stated that the Moms & Tots program has helped them in their daily life. They mentioned the following:
- I can understand what they’re saying in English.
- Now I can understand and talk when I need something.
- English helps me in all my activities.
- When I look for a job, I need to speak English.
- When I go shop, I need to speak English.
- Now I can help my kids with their homework.
- Now I help my daughter because I learned and understand English.
- I can communicate in English and help my kids.
- Now I can go shopping, speak English, give the correct money and get change in English!
14. Would you recommend our program to other families?
When we asked the adults if they would recommend the program to others, every one of them said yes. The following comments were expressed:
- I am learning English and I want other people to learn too.
- It’s a good opportunity for us.
- The teachers help me to understand English.
- It’s a good program and you can bring your kids to learn English too.
- My whole family finds it very interesting to learn English.
- They help the families to learn English because it’s very necessary for us to learn English if we live in the U.S.
- I recommend that moms come with their children. It helps life a lot.
- They have to learn because it’s an excellent way to get an English education.
- It’s very good for my life. Now my life has changed thanks to this program. Now I can communicate with my teachers in English.
15. Do you think that by learning English you can achieve your personal and family goals in the U.S.?
All the students answered yes to these questions for the following reasons:
- It gives me a better future and it will open new doors of opportunity.
- English is very important to know if you live in the U.S.
- If you don’t understand English, it’s difficult to take an opportunity in life.
- I can look for employment, communicate with my children’s teachers, doctors, do interviews, etc.
- I have a better life now. I found a job. I can speak with the doctors.
- Learning English will open new doors of opportunity.
- Of course learning English in this wonderful country gives me more opportunities to find a job.
- If I learn English, I can get a very good job.
- English will open many doors for my life.
- If you can’t speak English in the U.S., you can’t do anything. I can now talk with many people. There are many things I can do now that I speak English!