The National Center for Family Literacy’s Mission Statement highlights that "literacy is at the root of a person’s ability to succeed, and the family is at the heart." Acknowledging that our children face literacy demands that are shifting with times, it is imperative that they are afforded opportunities to manage discussions; engage socially, emotionally, and intellectually; and explore alternative perspectives. Participating as "knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities" (National Council of Teachers of English Standard) New Directions’ family literacy club participants play with language and art to create new paradigms of understanding.
New Directions Alternative Center’s Family Literacy Program, implemented in January of 2010, addresses the changing face of literacy and its inclusionary and creative approaches to literacy. Parents, students, and faculty from diverse cultures and ethnicity construct a collective curriculum of "shared consciousness" through creative productions including writing artifacts, performances, and presentations. It is a platform to share generational stories, to experiment with different writing genres, and to draft collaborative narratives. On a monthly basis, students and families, along with staff and families, work together to promote writing, thinking, and presentation skills through poetry, creative writing, and interactive activities. The program is facilitated by the English Department Chair, Arvinder Johri; Guidance Counselor, Lynn Morrow; and Economics & Personal Finance Teacher, Lynn Armstrong.
Sixth Grade Extended Language Arts students at Bull Run Middle School created a poetry mural containing their original poems. Using a writing workshop, students drafted and revised their poems until they were in their best, polished state. The mural will remain in place to celebrate National Poetry Month this April.