EFC & FIA’s Family Literacy Leadership Institute Spring 2023

Welcome to our EFC + FIA Family Literacy Leadership Institute 2023.  We are thrilled to invite you to be a key partner in Education for Change’s network-wide Literacy Priority.  The goal of this campaign is to develop parent leaders like you to increase the reading proficiency of your child and to increase the literacy rates of all our EFC students.  




Education for Change Public Schools (EFC) is partnering with Families in Action for Quality Education (FIA) in this initiative.   EFC and FIA share some important values and beliefs that form the foundation of this institute:   

  • Parent Agency: We believe in the power of parents to advocate for their children’s educational achievement.

  • Parent Knowledge: We believe parents must know the academic standards, the data, and their child’s academic progress to be full partners in their child’s education.

  • Science of Reading: We champion a vision for high-quality schools including a scientific approach to reading for ALL students.

  • Home-School Partnership: We believe equitable access to quality education takes place when there is strong home-school communication, collaboration, and accountability.

In addition to the above, EFC and FIA both believe that our work always begins with people. Our work always begins with you.  In our first session, we will take some time to reflect on our own experiences and to begin to develop our own story of self.


All material from both our beginner and intermediate Familily Literacy Institutes is available by clicking the links below. 

Many parents who attended EFC & FIA’s Family Literacy Institute, like Viveca Y, have seen begun to see improvement in their children’s reading levels. In the early Spring of 2023, Viveca learned about the Insitute through her school and became part of our very first cohort of parents. Check out her amazing story:


Like many parents during the pandemic, Viveca Ycoy-Walton went from being a mom one day to a mom-slash-fulltime teacher the next. As she would sit with her young son, Karter, and go over his work, she found herself wanting to be able to help him more.


“I developed a sense of, ‘I need to know more’ because as I was teaching my son, I was relearning,” Viveca said. “The way he’s learning is so different than what I experienced. So when I heard about the institute, I jumped on it.”


Viveca and her wife, Stephisha Ycoy-Walton, recently completed a Family Literacy Institute hosted by FIA and Education for Change Public Schools (EFC). Over four weeks, families built knowledge around EFC’s science-based approach to reading for students, as well as reading standards and achievement milestones, while also learning strategies families can use at home to get their child on grade level.


The goal is to get every EFC student – 100 percent – reading at grade level. During that time, Karter’s reading scores also improved, moving from a yellow to a green. In a short amount of time, Karter, a third-grader at Cox Academy, is now reading at grade level. 


“I sat him down and did an extra 30 minutes of reading with him,” Viveca said. “I did the book walks. I did everything that they taught us, learned how to time him to see his words per-minute. I worked with him. He literally changed his literacy for the better this trimester while I’ve been ‘trialing and erroring’ the information I’ve been learning in this institute. It’s been amazing.” 


At the end of April, Viveca, Stephisha and Karter were all celebrating at the literacy institute graduation ceremony with dozens of other EFC families. Viveca even took the stage to give an inspiring call to action.


“I know you are just like me and care so much about our children, if they are even going to have an opportunity to go to college,” Viveca said from the stage at the graduation ceremony, speaking to the other parents. “And we know that reading is fundamental to that.”


Viveca noticed that when she first started doing the book walks with Karter, he would respond to questions with one or two-word answers. After some time and prodding from his mom, he started getting excited about reading. “Now instead of us asking him questions, he comes to us to tell us what he has read, (telling me) ‘Mom, you want to know what happened in this chapter?’”


Viveca has also noticed a spark Karter has now about reading that wasn’t there before. The family has a new way of reading together, they call it “a book act” where they act out a chapter after Karter has read it. “He has so much fun,” Viveca said. “He gives us titles and roles. He’s engaging more, and that’s exactly what we wanted.”


During the institute, Viveca led some breakout sessions for other parents. She’s also learning how to be a leader and encouraging other parents to follow her example and step into their power. 


“I tell the parents, ‘pay attention and ask for all of the resources,’” Viveca said. “I used them, and my son is now reading at grade level. He’s even excelling now, the teacher said he’s moving forward. It has been a thousand percent helpful.”


Viveca and Karter celebrating at the literacy institute graduation.

Viveca (left), Stephisha, and Karter at the literacy institute graduation ceremony.

Watch Viveca and EFC parent Cesar Treviño give the call to action at the FIA/EFC Family Literacy Institute graduation.

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