The purpose of our Family Literacy Initiative is to establish literacy as a value in every family. I believe that by helping every family in the state to understand that the home is the child's first school, the parent is the child's first teacher, and reading is the child's first subject, that we will do more to dramatically improve our educational system than any test will ever measure. -- Florida Governor Jeb Bush
In Florida, Governor Jeb Bush has made strengthening families a top priority, beginning with his initiative in family literacy -- helping programs that encompass reading, math, life skills and parenting skills, help individuals earn their GEDs, and help children start school ready to learn.
In June 2004, the Governors Family Literacy Initiative (GFLI) began its fifth year of funding successful family literacy programs across the state with funding from the private sector, as well as significant in-kind support, along with support from the Florida Department of Education, Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Education, and Just Read, Florida!.
Since its inception, GFLI has helped thousands of Floridians adults and children improve their literacy skills. The Initiative funds family literacy programs statewide through a comprehensive three-year funding program that helps local program providers keep their program scope specific to the communities they serve. The comprehensive funding includes:
- Mini-grants that provide an opportunity for new family literacy programs to establish an important operating base during the critical startup year. A mini-grant recipient receives a smaller grant to develop a fully integrated family literacy project and receives the full benefit of technical assistance, staff development training and program support during startup.
- Full grants of up to $50,000 annually, are available to programs that have successfully completed startup and established an effective operating base.
- Sustainability grants are available for grant recipients, using private sector funds as well as funds from the Florida Department of Education, Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Education, to ensure longevity of effective programs.