The Carol De Joy Moms and Tots® Family Literacy program is an established program model that continues to demonstrate success and meet its expected goals and outcomes. We use evaluative measurement tools to qualify and quantify these outcomes through pre- and post-tests, point in time surveys, personal success stories, and longitudinal studies. We measure the community impact through requests for academic achievement information from the school districts about the success of our program graduates.

The women enrolled in our program face poverty, low employment rates, and in many cases, domestic abuse. According to ACT (Abuse Counseling and Treatment), 5,558 women sought help from domestic violence; 1,178 of these were women of Hispanic/Latino origin (over 20%) in recent years. When a woman and her family is caught in a cycle of abuse, poverty, and isolation, she is unable to take care of herself or her family. Education enables underserved women to take control of their lives, creating better opportunities for themselves and their families.

The Moms and Tots® Family Literacy Program is currently offered at locations and neighborhoods throughout Bonita Springs, Naples, San Carlos Park, Fort Myers and Lehigh Acres.

This program has grown from four moms at one location fifteen years ago to 1,557 mothers and their children in 2018-19.

These moms and kids from birth to age four receive English classes in a Parent And Child Together (PACT) learning environment.

The goal of this program is to prepare young children to begin school speaking English, strengthen the family bond, assist mothers in improving their English skills, and help children and their mothers learn to love reading.

Learning and improving literacy provides the skills to continue growing personally, gain meaningful employment, and take an active role in their children’s education. Moms & Tots® is more than a literacy program, it is a community. LCGC staff and tutors create relationships with these women, giving them a safe environment in which to learn.

According to program surveys, 100% of the children who graduate from our Moms and Tots® Family Literacy Program began school performing at, or above, average in Kindergarten. Non-native English speaking children who have already gained communication skills are better prepared to stay on task and learn with their peers.Those who have parents that are actively involved with their education are more likely to have higher grades, better attendance, and graduate with their degree.

Our moms participate in language assessments through LCGC to determine their advancement levels. Some have since attained their GED and continued to take higher education courses. They also showed an increased level of interest and participation in their child’s education. As an ongoing program, these evaluation methods will continue to be used to determine the success and needs of the program and its participants.

The overall goal of our family literacy programs, including our Moms & Tots®, is to prepare young children to begin school speaking English and ready to learn, strengthen the family bond, and assist mothers improve their English skills as well as practical skills.