As part of The Freadom® Road Foundation’s Collaborative Partnership with renowned family support organization Family Focus Englewood (Chicago), Sujin B. E. Huggins Ph.D, Associate Professor of Information Studies at Dominican University, (River Forest, IL) and Advisory Board Member of The Freadom ® Road Foundation, was introduced to Family Focus Englewood staff and leadership at their All Staff meeting on April 18, 2019.

Dr. Huggins made a generous donation of quality children’s books pertaining to the African American experience and spoke about her work on the American Library Association’s national committee for selecting books for the prestigious Coretta Scott King Award. She also shared her extensive knowledge about early literacy, including personal recollections of reading street signs among her first ventures into the world of reading as a very young child.

Those present appreciated Dr. Huggins’ vast expertise and delightful presentation style.

Family Focus Vice President of Centers*, Loretta Espeut, reiterated the decades-long commitment of Family Focus to early literacy training for families at risk as a way out of the cycle of poverty and it’s varied serious consequences. This commitment is integral to their mission of “Nurturing Children • Strengthening Families”. Ms. Espeut cited the book Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain by Dana Suskind as evidence of the enormous impact of early literacy on a child’s educational and social success throughout life. The book’s title refers to the “thirty million word gap” that exists – by the age of three – in the vocabularies of children in families at risk compared to others.

This inequity gap is what Family Focus and The Freadom® Road Foundation are committed to erase.

In alignment with this commitment, Ms. Espeut invited Dr. Huggins to return to Family Focus to present workshops on early literacy for Family Focus parent participants. Dr. Huggins eagerly agreed:
Win for Family Focus. Win for Freadom®. Win for Families.

* Family Focus – has seven centers in Chicago and surrounding communities.

(Pictured L to R) – Loretta Espeut, Vice President of Centers, Family Focus, and Sujin B.E. Huggins, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Information Studies at Dominican University.