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Piloting Programs that Make a Difference

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Almost 20 years in the classroom didn't diminish Brenda Logan's enthusiasm for teaching — it was rapport with the students, the creativity of language arts, and extracurricular involvement that captured her. Logan also served as a principal in the Jefferson County, KY, school system. It was there that she found the springboard to her current career as director of school reform for the National Center for Family Literacy.

"In my work as a principal, I saw immediately that the struggling children had struggling parents," she said. "I set out to find a program that also would help parents with their educational needs. That's when I learned about family literacy."

"It connects parents very meaningfully to their children's education, and that made a difference. No other parent engagement programs seemed to have the impacts that family literacy has."

Currently, she oversees the operations of programs funded by Toyota, which have been implemented in 43 cities. Logan and her staff of four develop trainings, deliver the content, analyze the progress of program sites, and do an evaluation of program progress each year. She also assists with research and evaluation, plans trainings, as well as multiple other tasks.

Logan finds great satisfaction in the progress that those programs have achieved — especially with the most recent Toyota programs, which focus on Hispanic and other immigrant families.

"It is very rewarding to see families lift themselves up through gaining education," she said. "In the case of the new program, they also are gaining much-needed language and literacy skills."

She pointed to several characteristics needed to work in the family literacy field:
  • Building positive relationships
  • Working collaboratively
  • Recognizing and utilizing the strengths of other team members
  • Being dedicated to education and families
  • Continuing to gain knowledge about education practices and the needs of program participants
For more information on a career in family literacy, visit, or contact your state director of adult education or Even Start coordinator.
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 creativity  classrooms  parents  progress  instructors  enthusiasm  National Center for Family Literacy  on the job training  family literacy

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