New Family Literacy Initiative Serves Children Raised by Grandparents

       The GrandFamily Resource Center, a program of SOWN, is excited to announce a new family literacy initiative that is funded through a generous grant from the William Penn Foundation. Lead support is provided by the William Penn Foundation. The GrandFamily Literacy Program is an innovative, two-generational model that will create caring, learning home environments to promote literacy, school readiness, and academic success for young children aged three to eight years who are being raised by their grandparents. Over 17,000 grandparents in Philadelphia are responsible for raising their grandchildren, and this number is rising. Grandparents take on full-time child-rearing when the parents are unable to do so due to many different reasons, including substance abuse, incarceration, death, or mental illness. With the rise in opioid use, grandparents are stepping up more than ever to care for their grandchildren. Nearly all of the children have experienced trauma, and many struggle with socio-emotional, behavioral and learning issues. The GrandFamily Literacy Program's two-generational approach will support the literacy needs of these families - at home, at school and in the community - so that the children are better prepared for academic success.

SOWN's Grand Family Resource Center is a program that has served and supported families of children raised by their grandparents for over 12 years. The GrandFamily Resource Center provides a comprehensive range of services that strengthen protective factors to promote healthy, positive family functioning, with the goal of sustaining permanency for the children in safe, supportive homes where children can learn and thrive. SOWN is a nonprofit organization located in Philadelphia with over 30 years of experience in serving vulnerable older adults and their families.

       If you would like more information about this topic, please call Arlene Segal at 215-487-3000, ext. 11, or email

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