epic—every person influences children ein: 16-1160182 cause 4 i. current epic programs epic offers more than 50 different skill
EPIC—EVERY PERSON INFLUENCES CHILDREN
I. Current EPIC Programs
EPIC offers more than 50 different skill-building workshops for
parents whose children are between the ages of birth and 14. Our
workshops are provided free of charge to the general public and
include the following curricula:
1) Ready, Set, Parent! which includes Parenting Infants and Toddlers,
for children from birth through age three;
2) Parenting Young Children, for children in pre-school through
3) Parenting Young Adolescents, for children in middle school and
junior high school;
4) Just for Teens, a series of workshops for pregnant and parenting
teens (girls and boys);
* 5) Ready, Set, Read, a family literacy program. *This is the program
we will be discussing further. It will be our featured program.
All workshop series, except Just for Teens, are bilingual, with
materials available in Spanish and English.
To our knowledge, no other program is offered in New York State that
not only provides a series of parent support workshops geared to
specific developmental stages of a child’s life, but also trains
volunteer parents to lead these workshops for other parents in their
II. Population Served by Featured Program
Ready, Set, Read does involve training school personnel, but we can
answer the questions nevertheless.
Ready, Set, Read is a bilingual family literacy program delivered in
New York City public schools after school or on Saturdays. EPIC staff
conduct trainings for school personnel, most often teachers and
guidance counselors, to become workshop facilitators so that they can
deliver the program in their own schools. This is a two-day training
for two school personnel from each school (i.e., if we are offering
the featured program in six schools, we would train twelve
facilitators). One or two weeks following this training, EPIC brings
back the trained facilitators for a ½ day Planning and Preparation
Training to iron out the logistics of each site.
A. The featured program will serve all parents and children of those
parents in the selected schools who wish to participate. Each workshop
can accommodate 15-20 parents and each parent typically brings two
children along. If more than 20 parents wish to take a workshop, we
would initiate another series in order to accommodate them.
The children we serve are all New York City public school children. We
find that on average we serve 35% African-American families, 30%
Hispanic families, and 35% white families. Approximately 75% of the
children in the program come from low-income families.
B. 1.It is impossible to say what proportion of the population served
is learning disabled or special-needs students because each series
consists of a different group of parents and they may or may not have
children in these two categories, but if they do, these children would
2. All Ready, Set, Read series are offered to Spanish-speaking
parents, some exclusively, and in these cases, 100% of the parents and
their children would be English language learners. But in other
series, perhaps no more than 30% - 50% would be English language
3. Since this is a literacy program, it is fair to say that 0% of
participants would be at or above grade level in reading.
4. Since this literacy program focuses primarily on very young
children, probably 0% would be at or above grade level in mathematics.
III. Program Activities and Budget for Featured Program
A. Description of Featured Program
Ready, Set, Read was created at the encouragement of the U.S.
Department of Education as part of EPIC’s four-year Parent Information
Resource Center (PIRC) Initiative.
The U.S. Department of Education had awarded EPIC $828,275 in 2003 for
each of the next three years to fund its Parent Information Resource
Centers. This funding supports the establishment and implementation of
programs in seven school-based parent centers statewide. EPIC’s Parent
Centers are located in the neediest districts of: Buffalo, Niagara
Falls, Mount Vernon, Fallsburg, Monticello, Yonkers, the Bronx, and
Queens. Through workshops, conferences, trainings and individual
meetings held at these PIRCs across the state, EPIC annually reaches
approximately 66,000 parents. Close to 93,000 children are impacted
each year through the PIRCs.
Ready, Set, Read is a Bilingual Family Literacy Program that addresses
the problem of public school children failing to read at grade level.
As the 2006 reading test scores show, not only does the share of NYS
students reading and writing at grade level drop sharply between fifth
and sixth grades and keep declining through middle school, but there
is also an increase in the proportion of students in the state
performing at the lowest level. “Literacy is the problem,” said
Richard P. Mills, state education commissioner.
EPIC believes fourth grade is too late to start addressing this
problem. Third grade is too late.
Federal research shows that if children are not reading at grade level
by Grade 3, they will most likely never read at grade level. EPIC’s
program begins attacking the problem at age three, not grade three.
Our Ready, Set, Read Family Literacy Program (which is delivered
across New York State) is designed for parents of children age three
to eight (and even parents of newborns will find it useful).
Although the 2006 reading test scores in New York City showed a slight
improvement over last year’s scores for third graders (61.5% on or
above grade level in English, or 8 points higher than in 2005), the
proportion of fourth graders meeting the standards remained virtually
unchanged at 58.9% (NY Times, 9/22/06). However, the city’s large
low-income and Hispanic population makes Ready, Set, Read a crucial
program for its public school families.
One complete series consists of seven two-hour weekly sessions.
Parents/caregivers attend each of the following sessions; sessions #4
and #6 are designed for parents and children together:
“Brain Development and Learning Styles” (includes ways for parents
to create learning experiences for their children)
“The World of Reading: Understanding How Children Learn to Read”
(includes the five principles of learning to read)
“Reading With Your Child” (how to read to a child, how to choose
books: for parents/caregivers only)
“Reading With Your Child” (for children and parents/caregivers
“Reading is Everywhere: Learning Through Play and Daily Life” (for
“Reading is Everywhere: Learning Through Play and Daily Life” (for
children and parents/caregivers together)
“Helping Your Child Succeed in School” (identifies positive ways
parents can become more involved in their child’s school
These workshops cover a wide range of topics that help parents become
more effective in helping their children learn literacy skills and
increase their overall academic achievement. Most importantly, they
communicate a message to parents that they are their children’s most
important teacher. Throughout the series, parents are encouraged to
understand that they must partner with their children’s schools and
teachers to become more active teachers themselves and maximize the
benefit to their children.
Ready, Set, Read is offered after school or on Saturdays,
complementing the public school curriculum. Each series is facilitated
by two school personnel (typically guidance counselors or teachers)
who have been thoroughly trained by EPIC staff. The activities of the
featured program augment school programs by focusing on the five areas
recommended by the U.S. National Reading Panel: 1) phonemic awareness:
teaching children to blend the sounds in words through the use of
letters; 2) phonics instruction: manipulating phonemes in spoken
syllables and words;
3) fluency: guidance from teachers, peers, or parents on oral reading
procedures; 4) text comprehension: age-appropriate methods of
increasing reading comprehension; 5) vocabulary building, taught
through repetition and in context;
B. Below is a budget for 15 series (meaning one 7-week series
delivered in 15 different schools).
PERSONNEL SERVICES (PS)
BUDGET FOR 15 WORKSHOP SERIES
1 EPIC Regional Directors @$3,000
2 Project Directors @ $3,000
Director Research & Evaluation
Sub Total Personnel Services
Fringe Benefits @ 18%
SUB TOTAL PS
Evaluation Consultant (for final report)
Facilitator Trainings (Facilitator Manuals & meals included)
(2-day training for 30 workshop leaders.
First person each site @$495, each additional person @ $375)
1/2 day Planning & Prep Training (30 people @ $50)
Grand Total Personnel Services (PS)
Other Than Personnel Costs (OTPS)
Staff Travel (mileage & fares)
EPIC Ready, Set, Read Parent Manuals
(@$20 x 15 x 15 series)
Shipping & handling @6%
"Building Your Child's Success in School" Books
(20 books @ $14 x 15 series)
Shipping & handling @6%
Refreshments (@$25 per workshop x 105 workshops)
Outreach materials (brochures, folders, videos)
Parent Literacy Nights - Food & Supplies
(@ $125 x 15 nights)
Ready, Set, Read Literacy Kits
(15 kits @ $40 x 15 series)
Shipping & handling @6%
Sub Total OTPS
SUB Total Budget
Indirect Expenses @ 15%
GRAND TOTAL BUDGET
This budget assumes 15 series of 7-week workshops @ approximately
$4,320 per series.
IV. Evaluation for Featured Program
Ready, Set, Read anticipates six measurable types of outcomes showing
its positive impact on parents:
Knowledge Based Outcomes: measuring extent to which participants
remember the important information delivered in the workshops;
Self-Evaluation Outcomes: assessing extent to which the workshops
helped parents learn and apply the parenting skills explained to them
in the workshops;
Attitudinal Outcomes: assessing attitudes toward behavior, indicative
of actual behavior change;
Parental Isolation: assessing degree to which workshops help to reduce
feelings of isolation;
Parental Confidence: assessing degree to which workshops help increase
feelings of confidence;
Time Spent on Literacy Activities: measuring time parents spend on
literacy activities with children.
In addition to its own in-house evaluator, Steve Harvey, PhD, Director
of Research and National Program Coordination, EPIC works with the
outside evaluation firm HausMark Research Services to track the full
impact of Ready, Set, Read on participating families.
EPIC uses a post-workshop evaluation model to gauge how much the
parents benefited from each of the seven Ready, Set, Read workshops.
The workshops focus on: helping parents learn the importance of family
literacy; helping parents understand how children learn to read;
assisting parents to help their children learn to read and use words
and books; helping parents promote children’s awareness of how
language works, and increasing a child’s awareness of the written word
in everyday life through books, words, and letters.
Outcomes will be: increased parental knowledge of how to increase the
reading ability of their children; positive attitude toward literacy
and the role parents play in their child’s literacy development;
measured amount of time spent reading/conducting literacy activities
(i.e., story telling, reading recipes, reading labels at the store,
etc.) with their children; increased confidence among parents in their
parenting ability; decreased feelings of isolation.
EPIC staff will conduct on-going evaluation to make sure that families
put into practice the literacy skills they have learned during the
Ready, Set, Read series. Staff will collect information about the time
and quality of family time spent each week on literacy activities. The
outside evaluation firm will track the progress of participants
periodically after the conclusion of each series.
Our evaluations to date show that Ready, Set, Read is achieving its
goals. The evaluation of the two series funded by The Rite Aid
Foundation and the evaluation of the eight series funded by The
Genesis Foundation will go to our evaluator and become part of a
larger evaluation report on all Ready, Set, Read series conducted in
New York City in 2007. Attached please find interim evaluations on
V. Other Support for Featured Activities
We believe the featured program is an excellent and superior way of
helping to improve academic opportunities for economically
disadvantaged K-12 children in New York City because of its special
outreach to low-income, Spanish-speaking families. We would like to
offer this program to Spanish-speaking families in selected public
school districts in Queens, NY, which is the most ethnically diverse
county in the United States, with immigrants comprising 47.6% of its
residents (American Community Survey, 2005) and the highest
concentrations of Hispanic populations.
We would like to present Ready, Set, Read in at least three public
schools in each of the five Queens neighborhoods with the largest
Hispanic populations: Jackson Heights, 53.5% Hispanic;
Elmhurst/Corona, 47% Hispanic; Woodside/Sunnyside, 33.9% Hispanic;
Ozone Park/Woodhaven, 33.8% Hispanic; and Ridgewood/Maspeth, 24.6%
Hispanic. (U.S. Census figures.)
This program is a critical one for Queens, both because of its
enormous Hispanic population and because of its low levels of literacy
in many communities. Ready, Set, Read helps parents understand how
their young children learn to read. Its curriculum is based on U.S.
Department of Education National Reading Panel research in best
practices for reading instruction and family literacy. This family
literacy program follows the tenets of the No Child Left Behind Act by
focusing on phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and
Here is a comment from the principal of a NYC public school where we
offered Ready, Set, Read in Spanish:
We were fortunate to be able to conduct the Ready, Set, Read Family
Literacy Program for Spanish-speaking parents of young children at PS
51. The course was very valuable in exposing our Spanish-speaking
parents to literacy activities they can do with their children at
home. Because of the language barrier, many of our Spanish-speaking
parents are shy about working with their children at home and do not
realize how important a role they play in their children’s education.
This hands-on series of workshops provided opportunities for parents
to learn together in a fun way how their children learn to read, and
what activities they can do with their children at home. Parents who
took the course were amazed at how much learning takes place at home.
These parents felt empowered by the course and, as a result, became
more involved in their children’s education. We plan to offer Ready,
Set, Read again this coming school year.
Nancy Sing-Bock, Principal, PS 51
With help from The Clear Fund, we will be offering this program to a
vast new group of Spanish-speaking families in Queens who come from a
variety of Latin American countries, including Ecuador, Colombia,
Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
No part of this application needs to remain confidential.