Bryan Rogers, Executive Director of the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network and family literacy visionary, has been named the 2008 Long Beach Family Literacy Champion Award Winner. Rogers was honored for his unwavering commitment to the Long Beach Family Literacy program and his efforts to keep the program alive in spite of serious funding cuts.
This year forty-four families were strengthened through the Long Beach Family Literacy Program. Children, ages one-five, participated in early childhood education classes while their parents took parenting and adult education classes. Then the parents and children practiced their new skills together in guided parent/child time. Of the 44 families served this year approximately 90% were English language learners and 75% lived at or below the federal poverty level.
"Bryan’s ability to not only see the value of bringing education and workforce development together, but to actually implement it, is unprecedented in the national family literacy program," said Roberta Lanterman, Long Beach Family Literacy Program Director. "Bryan’s a master of recruiting invaluable in-kind contributions that are allocated to the family literacy program and are a strong component of what makes the Long Beach program stand head and shoulders above the rest."
Since 2004, Rogers has helped to solidify a City of Long Beach/Network partnership to support this small but significant program. His work continuously attempts to promote and expand the services to Long Beach families.
"Bryan’s scope of service goes beyond the normal realm because he not only knows the value of making critical community connections to sustain this life-changing family program, he makes them," said Dennis Thys, Community Development Director, City of Long Beach.
The Long Beach Family Literacy Program has been providing family literacy services to families since 1992. Currently funded by Even Start monies and First 5 LA, the Program offers comprehensive and integrated services to families. The program, a collaborative effort between the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network, City of Long Beach, and the Long Beach Unified School District, is housed on the campus of the Long Beach School for Adults.