Trenton Early Literacy Program Begins Second Phase


WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -- Mercer County Community College has begun the second phase of its "Parent Education and Early Literacy Project" at two sites in Trenton. Parents of young children are invited to take advantage of the program's free services, and potential students are invited to learn more about the program's "Early Literacy Seminar."

Since its inception a year ago, 15 families have participated in this two-year pilot project, made possible by a $210,000 grant from Children's Futures. According to Program Coordinator Nanci Fasanella, "The program's goal is to strengthen young Trenton families and help parents gain the information that will help their children succeed in school." Designed for children from infancy to age 3, the program focuses on child development, the stages of growth, and positive parent-child interactions.

After attending the sessions last fall, parent Dorothy Louder of Trenton said, "This program has helped me learn how to take care of my son. You understand them more - the way they think."

The program provides free workshops for parents and young children each Saturday from 1 to 3:30 p.m., with refreshments. While parents attend the workshops, their children are part of an enrichment program conducted by college students enrolled in an "Early Literacy Seminar." Many paraprofessionals in the Trenton school district have signed up for the seminar. The next semester of the class will begin in January.

Currently the program takes place at two Trenton sites, 1100 West State Street, and at St. Francis Medical Center's Crean Hall. Sites will be opening soon in other areas of Trenton so that each ward has a site. A Spanish language program also planned. For more information call Nanci Fasanella at 609-570-3141, or e-mail

Early Literacy Seminar