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Strategies for Sustainability and Guiding Principles for Even Start Family Literacy Programs

Strategies for Sustainability
  1. Monthly meetings between the lead agency and other participating organizations to review progress toward program goals and each agency’s continued role and responsibilities to the Even Start program;
  2. Program flexibility to meet the changing needs of the target population;
  3. Recognition of mutual accountability among collaborating agencies to maximize progress toward achieving program goals;
  4. Expansion of the number of collaborating agencies as programs enter each succeeding year in order to increase available resources and services; and
  5. Coordinate and interpret funds with Head Start, Adult Education, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Reading First, and other relevant programs in order to provide the full range of services required to implement the Even Start Family Literacy program.

Guiding Principles
In addition to the previously detailed strategies for sustainability, guiding principles exist for operating Even Start Family Literacy Programs. These principles, based on the practices of the state’s most successful Even Start programs, provide programs with guidance to strengthen their existing structures and further their progress towards obtaining program excellence:
  1. Maintain a sufficient staff/participant ratio in order to achieve the goals and objectives of the program;
  2. Provide instruction based on participants’ needs, goals, and interests;
  3. Provide thematic instruction that links components;
  4. Promote staff awareness and knowledge of each other’s roles and responsibilities in the program;
  5. Provide continuous staff cross-training and professional development;
  6. Develop a program design which supports a holistic approach to family literacy, without isolating the individual;
  7. Implement program activities that foster the recruitment and retention of low-income families;
  8. Develop personal and family goals into a contract of learning that includes benchmarks for success; and
  9. Employ a full-time person to oversee grant-related activities.

Figure A Strategies for Sustainability

Strategies for Sustainability

The strategies for program sustainability, guiding principles, and indicators of program quality are the three elements that comprise the foundation of an Even Start Program (see Figure A). Collectively, they guide programs in daily operations, help to build systems that will lead to sustainability, and facilitate the measurement of program effectiveness.