Feasibility and Acceptability of an Online Family Literacy Program in an Under-Resourced Community during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Yewoon Choi, Nila Uthirasamy, David Córdoba, Lesley Mandel Morrow, Silvia Perez-Cortes, Usha Ramachandran, Shilpa Pai, Daniel Lima, Patricia A. Shelton, Manuel Jimenez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective:The objective of this study was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of an online family literacy program (FLP) among low-income Latino families during the COVID-19 pandemic.Methods:We conducted a mixed methods pilot study. Latino parent-child dyads participated in an 8-week online FLP conducted on video conferencing software, developed through a cross-sector health care-education partnership. We conducted surveys and structured observation to assess feasibility and acceptability and in-depth interviews to gain insight into the context of participants' experiences during the pandemic.Results:The 35 participating parent-child dyads all identified as Latino, 83% reported limited English proficiency, and 60% of parents did not achieve a high school diploma. Nearly two-thirds of families participated in at least half of the sessions. On average, parents welcomed, liked, approved, and found the program appealing. While 86% experienced a technology problem at least once during sessions, all were resolved with minimal assistance. During qualitative interviews, we identified 3 themes that provide insight into their experiences with the FLP within the broader context of the pandemic: (1) disruption in family routine and financial strain caused by COVID-19 intensified family stress, (2) the forced transition to remote learning highlighted the inequities experienced by Latino preschool children, and (3) the FLP empowered parents and enhanced health and education experiences.Conclusion:Latino families had high participation levels in an online FLP and found it acceptable. Additional work is needed to understand how similar primary care programs can be leveraged to promote optimal development during a time of heightened need.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E104-E110
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • family literacy program
  • literacy promotion
  • primary care
  • school readiness


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