correctional education, family literacy, incarcerated parents, literacy, reading
In response to rising parental incarceration, some correctional facilities and outside organizations offer family literacy programs for parents in prison. However, research on these correctional education initiatives is scant. This paper uses qualitative data to analyze how 11 fathers in a rural Pennsylvania prison were involved in their children’s literacy, learning, and education before and during incarceration and through the Read to Your Child/Grandchild (RYCG) program. Before RYCG, most fathers had taken steps such as reading to children, teaching reading and math, attending parent-teacher conferences, helping with homework, and singing and rhyming—and then sought to continue supporting their children’s learning from within prison. Fathers used RYCG materials (video-recorded book reading, children’s book, scrapbook) to emphasize the importance of education, literacies, and numeracy. They also created personalized scrapbooks that cultivated their children’s literate abilities and cognitive, academic, and socio-emotional development. This research contributes to the nascent literature on family literacy for incarcerated parents.
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