Barbara Krol-Sinclair


Founded in 1989 as one of the first initiatives of the Boston University/Chelsea Partnership, the Intergenerational Literacy Program (ILP) pursues three, closely related goals:

1.       to strengthen the English literacy skills of parents of Chelsea schoolchildren;

2.       to encourage home literacy activities, such as shared reading and writing, as well as involvement in their children’s schooling; and

3.       to promote the literacy and academic success of their children.

The ILP achieves these goals by providing free English literacy instruction to Chelsea parents and caregivers and free, literacy-focused instruction to their children. By teaching parents to read and write English through meaningful literacy activities, the ILP encourages and models reading and writing in the home.  The children’s program makes it easier for parents to attend and stay in the program, while preparing their children for literacy.

Since its inception, the ILP has been open to parents and other adult family members with care-taking responsibility for preschool- and school-aged children, regardless of gender. Each year, a few fathers, uncles, and grandfathers participate, mostly in the evening class. The overwhelming percentage of adult learners, however, are women (88%) and mothers (82%). The ILP’s focus on both supporting parents in meeting their own educational needs and strengthening parents’ ability to help their children succeed in school fosters mothers’ education, independence, and capabilities. In fact, one of the ILP’s unexpected outcomes has been that over 60 former participants in the ILP, all mothers, have been employed by the Chelsea Public Schools or local child care agencies after their participation in the ILP. They work in such positions as parent liaison, classroom paraprofessional and bilingual secretary. Two former learners recently obtained licensure in Massachusetts as elementary teachers, and another just completed a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management.

ILP classes meet in the Chelsea Public Schools' John Silber Early Learning Center, and the program will continue as a collaboration between the Chelsea Public Schools and Boston University beyond the end of the formal Partnership, with the Chelsea Public Schools taking on an expanded role in program management.



Curriculum Vitae



Comments  |  24 November 1998