Family literacy instructor is ‘teacher of the year’

Shari Brown,who teaches family literacy at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in North Carolina, is the National Toyota Teacher of the Year for 2012.

“As the proverb goes, instead of giving a family a fish, I am able to guide my families through the process of learning to fish by developing lessons around their interests and needs, allowing them ample opportunities for short- and long-term goal achievement in a secure environment, and enhancing self-esteem and building confidence so they will reach for their dreams,” Brown said. “It also is what we are fostering in parent engagement activities, so parents can be the guide for their children.”

When parents improve their reading skills, their children start school ready to learn and are more likely to graduate from high school.

Adult students have a 94 percent persistence rate in the literacy program. Some adults who started at the lowest levels of English as a Second Language have earned GEDs and go on to college.