Ten 1/2 hour documentaries trace the lives of families from different backgrounds, allowing learners to share the experiences of others who are struggling with family literacy issues... and making progress! Closely integrated Worktexts provide a rich variety of activities to promote critical thinking skills; help the adult learners improve their ability to read, write and speak; and provide experiences that empower adults in their roles as parent, worker and member of the community. User-friendly Teacher's Resource Books provide tools and techniques for getting the most out of every unit - whether taught at a distance, or in tutorial, small and large group settings.
For Public Libraries, the videos can stand alone
Episode 1: “The Lion And The Lioness”
Trinidad native Ann Marie Ash lives in the Bedford Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, New York with her four-year old son, a child she almost lost as a baby. Trained as a hairdresser, she becomes involved in an Even Start program when she enrolls her son in a pre-school program at the Bedford Stuyvesant Early Childhood Development Center. Not only does she earn her GED, she becomes a home educator, sharing what she has learned with other families. But that is only the beginning of her story, as we learn when we watch this episode and witness her determination to succeed “by hook or by crook.”
Episode 2: “A Better Tomorrow”
Tony and Flor Rodriguez live in East Los Angeles with their five children — two boys (10 and 4) and three girls (8, 2 1/2, and 15 months). Tony was badly hurt in an industrial accident a year ago. As a result of the financial difficulties that developed, they lost the “dream home” they’d purchased in a suburb. Tony started a small store front business and moved his family in with his godmother. He thought his wife would be interested in the retail venture, but Flor has started going back to school and working part time at L. A. Unified’s Eastside Learning Center and is achieving success. There is tension in the family over money and the time Flor spends away from the children.
Episode 3: “CDC #19942”
We meet A.J. Nunes at San Quentin Penitentiary where he is serving a sentence for a parole violation related to earlier drug convictions. His wife Donna gives birth to their first child, a son Samuel, during the time he is in prison. He and some of his fellow inmates become involved in a FATHERS Class sponsored by the Marin Literacy Program — a program that attempts to defeat the cycle of recidivism by helping fathers improve their own literacy skills and learn how to encourage a child’s emerging literacy. The road ahead undoubtedly will be challenging, A. J. realizes, but “Maybe my boy and being away from my family will be what it takes for me to change and not ever have to come back to one of these places.”
Episode 4: “Moving On”
Single mother Donna Jones escapes an abusive situation and is “adopted” by the town of Lewiston, a small community in central Pennsylvania. Educational, day care, and housing support are coordinated through a local family literacy program at the TIU Adult Education and Job Training Center. We meet seven of her eleven children, ranging in age from 18 to 3, admire her insight and creativity as a parent, and witness her struggle to raise her children and gain the skills necessary to earn a living.
Episode 5: “Appalachian Trail”
Melissa Durham Hickman is a 23-year old single mother who was born and raised in western North Carolina. Because of a learning disability, school was a struggle for her. She acts out her frustration by getting into trouble and quitting school at 16. When she realizes how limited she will be professionally, she begins to take classes at the garment factory where she works. A failed marriage and two sons later, she becomes part of the Wilkes County Family Literacy Program, and earns her high school diploma.
Episode 6: “All in the Family”
Imagine a multigenerational family (eight adults, three small children) sharing a three bedroom home, and liking it! Meet the Le family, headed by Xoan Le and his wife Chot Tran, resettled in Tampa, Florida as part of a program to assist Vietnamese POWs. Parents and adult children work or attend school (or both!), each contributing toward the maintenance of the household. For example Hiep Le participates in ESOL classes by day and works as a machinist at night crafting precision aircraft parts. His wife Bich Dinh and their two pre-school daughters attend the Kimmins Even Start program associated with Hillsborough Community College. As the story unfolds, we see how a large family unit juggles tasks and works together in a manner that is remarkable.
Episode 7: “My Brothers’ Keeper”
When you watch Shari Philpot tutor classes of students at the Freedman Parenting Center, it’s hard to imagine her as a hardened 11-year old gang member, living on the streets of New York, struggling to protect and feed her two younger brothers. Only a few years later, as a 16-year old in Aiken, South Carolina, she is awarded full custody of her two younger brothers. Survival required her to work three jobs while going to school and taking care of the home front. With the help of a teacher and a counselor at her high school, Shari begins to see education as her way out. Although an unintended pregnancy places a temporary hold on her plans, Shari enrolls at Freedman not long after her son is born, and completes her last remaining high school course in 17 days. She continues to work at the Center as she begins college at Aiken Tech.
Episode 8: “The Dream Catchers”
Jay Jackson and Bonita Charley are passionate about their Native American culture and strengthening the role of family, in part because of their own childhood experiences. Travelling along vastly different paths, Jay and Bonita met in New Mexico and have created what they refer to as a “modern Indian family with traditional values and beliefs.” We share their rituals, and see them in their daily and professional lives…Jay at the Crownpoint Institute of Technology where he assists young and old in achieving the basic skills necessary for a GED, and Bonita as one of CIT’s recent GED recipients! Their children — sons Thomas and Joshua and daughter Amy — talk about life in a family that is loving but strict.
Episode 9: “Matters of the Heart”
Living in Baltimore, Maryland, Kimberly Bertrand struggles to raise her four children, ages 10, 7, 4, and 2. It’s not an easy task, especially when three of the four children have Barth Syndrome, an x-linked genetic disorder that results in cardiomyopathy. Through the help of doctors at Tindeco Health Clinic and Johns Hopkins, and her REM case manager (Rare Expensive Medical), Kimberly is learning how to navigate the medical system. She is also being encouraged to involve her younger children in Head Start to stimulate their educational growth.
Episode 10: “Seasons of Change”
Loani Vera began his seasonal sojourns to the United States as a teenager, and moved his own family from Michaocan, Mexico to Oxnard, California six years ago. As a contract worker he caught the attention of managers at Dullam Nursery, a family-owned business that propagates and ships vegetable seedlings to large farming operations. He is now a full-time employee of the nursery while Carmen cares for their three children — Erick, age 8; Maria, age 7; and Isaac, 8 months — and takes English classes in association with the Migrant Education Program at the Rio School District. The children speak English; the parents share their story in Spanish. The program is available both with and without voice-over translation of the Spanish.
Over 5 million dollars and the collaboration of nine states
facilitated the production of Madison Heights and Lifelines.
Donor states: Florida, California, Illinois, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and South Carolina, please call for special pricing.
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