Dr. Kathryn Whitmore
Participation year
Project title

Family Literacy


Children whose home life is mirrored in their school life always seem to excel by far greater standards than students who live completely separate home and school lives. The children who succeed more often than not are not minority children because from its induction, the American school system has been a white middle class institution. But because the face of American school children has changed over the years, so must the monocultural system that is supposed to support the multicultural society. The academic concept of literacy must be redefined in order to legitimatize "alternative" forms of literacy to help bridge the gap for minority children between home and school, making their academic careers more successful and less stressful. Specific emphasis will be on how educational policy can be changed to legitimatize the literary practices of African American literacy, focusing on breaking down assumptions, the importance of a home-school connection, and recognizing and using parents' funds of knowledge as a resource I hypothesize that the educational gap that divides minority children from the white majority will be minimized.

Monique  Cottman
Penn State University