Family English at P.S. 120

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Family English is a unique program designed to help K-2nd Grade English Language Learners (ELLs) and their parents learn English as a family. By improving English language skills, Family English helps families build the confidence, relationships, and tools they need to be active partners in their child’s education.

Program Goals:

  • Improve the reading, writing and speaking skills of students and their families.

  • Help limited-English proficient families support their child’s learning at home.

  • Help parents with limited English proficiency develop relationships at their child’s school.

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Program Components:

The Family English Initiative has three parts:

  • Family Literacy- Parents and children learning together (thematic texts and activities)

  • Student Supplemental Instruction (Student ENL)

  • Adult English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class

Additionally, families gather together for breakfast and lunch (provided) before and after the lessons. Child care is provided for PreK-aged siblings. These innovative program arrangements support families and allow them to spend their Saturdays engaged in quality literacy instruction.


Curriculum for Family English’s pilot program was designed by Queens College Professor Elizabeth Ijalba. The program has grown each cohort and now includes curriculum from the following partnerships:

  • Family Literacy- The Story of Us (LitLife)

  • Student Supplemental Instruction (Student ENL)- LitCamp

  • Adult English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class- Literacy Assistance Center

Program Participation:

Family English has run for 8 program cycles, or cohorts, at P.S. 120 (Spring 2016-Fall 2018)

Over 750 students and families have participated to date!

The majority of participants are P.S. 120 students, but other schools served include: P.S. 20Q, P.S. 22Q, P.S. 24Q, P.S. 32Q, P.S. 162Q, P.S. 196Q, P.S. 213Q., P.S. 214Q, P.S. 242Q, P.S. 244Q.

Program Evaluation:

Over the last year, FACE has been working with the Research Policy Support Group (RPSG) under the Division of Teaching and Learning to develop a theory of change and measure program outcomes:

  • Parents/caregivers complete pre and post surveys. This allows us to obtain baseline data and determine whether the program is helping them to learn new skills to support their students, and also increase their own comfort and confidence in engaging with their student, the school and teachers regarding their child’s learning and progress.

  • Teachers receive formal/informal observations on their instruction and overall implementation of the curricula both by our site coordinator and our instructional coach (consultant).

  • This fall teachers began using a checklist to assess each student’s ability to identify story elements (beginning, middle, and end of the program) to obtain data on their progress.