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NCJ Number: 205438 Find in a Library
Title: Words Travel: A Model Family-Strengthening and Literacy Program
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:66  Issue:2  Dated:April 2004  Pages:80-83
Author(s): Sara Urrutia
Date Published: April 2004
Page Count: 4
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article profiles the "Words Travel" program, which involves inmates in reading books with their children as both a means to strengthen the bond between the inmate parent and his/her child and improve the reading skills of the child and parent.
Abstract: The World Travel program is a partnership of Scholastic Inc., the world's largest publisher of children's books; Volunteers of America, a national faith-based organization; and several correctional facilities throughout the country. There are four main steps for each series of Words Travel classes. The first step involves teaching inmates the skills of "conversational reading," i.e., how to read aloud to children. In the second step, participants read and talk about the books and practice reading aloud to bring the stories to life. In the third step, parents read and record their favorite stories on tape. The tapes are mailed to the children or are given to them during prison visits. In the fourth step, some participating prisons have a graduation ceremony, and others arrange an extended visit for the newly graduated readers and the children in their families. Inmates with children 2 to 10 years old are eligible to participate in the program. Groups of 10 to 15 are selected for the program. Shortly before a reading session begins, the Volunteers of America local office sends a letter to the custodial parent/caregiver asking permission for the child to receive books, tapes, and other supplies from the incarcerated parent as part of the program. In 2003, Words Travel reached more than 250 inmates, both men and women in Indiana, Ohio, New York, and Washington, and plans are being implemented to expand the program to other States.
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention programs
Index Term(s): Children of incarcerated offenders; Inmate Education Assistance Programs; Inmate visits; Literacy education
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