Dedham Junior Women’s Club (DJWC) supports family literacy in its many social contexts and community practices. Jumping off from community concerns (education, skills, and workforce development) and cultural practices (libraries, museums, and daily life events) the wide breathe of literacy informs our efforts.
We recognize the numerous literacy activities and practices that take place in family settings, at community events, in schools, and in everyday social contexts. Throughout the year, DJWC provides resources that back literacy development by volunteering as tutors, providing financial resources, and backing the heart of literacy, successful learning in children and adults. Moreover, we recognize the positive impact of the various family members on literacy improvement throughout the day, the week, and the year.
Here are some specific ways the club supports family literacy:
- We help local schools by providing funding for library resources.
- DJWC members tutor English language learners.
- The club collects books to support More Than Words, a non-profit organization that provides not only books and audio materials but also on-the-job training for young men and women aging out of the foster care system.
- Our members participate in an active, monthly book exchange.
- DJWC donates reading material to Friends of the Dedham Library for resale to home libraries.
- DJWC donates a museum pass to the local library for families to “check out” so that they can visit local art museums.
The club’s reach doesn’t stop there. It extends to various other segments of the community as well. Children in foster care at the Starr House regularly receive donations of books that the young residents get to keep. When there is a newborn in any of our families, the club celebrates the new arrival with a donation of a favorite book to our public library or a school library.
As the national focus on family literacy intensifies, we are aware that family activities and practices are not a one-way street. Not only do children learn from parents but parents also learn from children. One way this is clear is the 21st century extension of the definition of literacy practices to technology, mathematics, and STEM topics.
DJWC also backs literacy practices that contribute to good grades, completed homework, and higher educational goals by offering four annual scholarships to assist with the costs of continuing education. This means, each year four outstanding members of the community are recognized for their literacy achievements. Finally, this spring, DJWC has added an Empowerment Grant to extend family literacy support to include Dedham women who wish to take a class to foster their career goals. Family literacy is a life-long commitment! DJWC journeys with the community!