Dr. Fran Tracy-Mumford, coordinator of academic and advanced education, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR); Beatrice Gallop, basic education teacher, Maryland DLLR; Jewel Kesler, literacy lab teacher (retired); and Captain Marion Wenn, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS)
The keynote session featured highlights of one educational program offered at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Jessup, Maryland. Dr. Tracy-Mumford described the facility’s DLLR-coordinated education program for juvenile residents and the Reading Unites Families (RUF) program for families and residents. In addition, staff members, participants, and family members shared their experiences working with the RUF program.
- Reading Unites Families (RUF) program description: RUF is a family literacy program designed to connect fathers and their children together through literature as they maintain or mend the family unit. A joint effort between Maryland DLLR Correctional Education and Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, RUF is designed to provide a forum for fathers and their children to communicate in meaningful ways and promote literacy and leisure reading. The program started in 1998 as part of Reading Is Fundamental and has evolved into a multi-faceted opportunity for families to learn together. Components include reading together, a social skill activity, and a meal together. Reading activities are kinesthetic/tactile experiences. While residents (fathers) and their children are meeting and reading, the guardians that brought the children to the facility participate in a Touchstones program activity sponsored by St. Johns College in Annapolis. Involvement from the community is a key component of the program’s success as community resources are used to provide activities and information regarding health issues (e.g., dental health, obesity), fire safety, and social issues such as anti-bullying.
- Presentation: Reading Unites Families