The Literacy Project at Edelman's Children's Court (LPECC)

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The purpose of this project is to support the goals of the Department of Children and Family Services by providing educational enhancement opportunities to children who are under child protective services. The Literacy Project at the Edelman Children’s Court addresses the literacy needs of children in foster care by providing authentic experiences to them which serve to motivate children’s interest and engagement in literacy, and enhance children’s sense of self-worth and self-efficacy.

The LPECC invites children’s authors, illustrators, actors, and college students studying in the fields of Child/Human Development, Psychology, and Education to work with the Literacy Specialist in providing literacy rich activities. Activities include:  reading stories, sharing special talents, conducting workshops, and offering encouragement to children as they participate in literacy development.

The Literacy Project was initiated in the Shelter Care Unit of the Edelman Children's Court in 2000. Funding for this program was originally provided by the County of Los Angeles, Department of Children and Family Services, Civic Partnership, a Reading is Fundamental grant, and the Shakespeare League in Pasadena. Goals of the program were to incorporate a literacy rich environment for children and adolescents while they were awaiting their court appearance at the Children's Court.

The program was successful with over 2,000 children an adolescents participating in literacy based activities in the Shelter Care Unit. Through the month of May 2003, when services were suspended due to lack of funding, primary children and adolescents participated in over 17,000 activities. Activities included computer lab, newspaper reading and discussion, poetry reading and writing, educational videos, a college center, and invitation of special guests. Authentic literacy activities that connected literacy with the children’s lives sensitively reflected the special needs of the youth served. Recommendations for tutorial services culminated in approximately 300 formal referrals made on behalf of foster youth to judges, attorneys and social workers.

Currently, FFGOIL is accepting donations and actively seeking out additional resources that will allow this program to continue providing Literacy Specialists and Special Literacy Guests to the youth in protective custody while they attend their court appearance.

Contact Susanne Foulk for more information or to learn how you may become an individual, small business, or corporate sponsor for this project.

Letters of Support: