SMART Family Literacy, Inc.

Strategic Plan 2018, 2019, 2020


Version updated , 2018



To educate young children and their families through innovative hands-on activities in science, math, art, reading, and technology (SMART).

SMART Family Literacy prioritizes:

  • Early childhood literacy (babies through age 8) and the adult learners who care for and teach them.

  • Child health literacy, especially reading for nutrition and growing vegetables and fruits.

  • Bilingua­­­l literacy (English and Spanish).

The SMART community provides literacy outreach & vegetable education (LOVE) to children, parents, teachers, and volunteers.


  • Provides access to opportunities for all learners.

  • Enhances child health and development.

  • Builds a strong workforce, thriving community, and a foundation for democracy.

  • Supports self-sufficiency, innovation, initiative, creativity, resilience, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

  • Connects children to their communities and the world.



The SMART Family Literacy network improves the lives of children by putting books in the hands and homes of children, reading aloud in classrooms, in vegetable gardens and restaurants, building vegetable gardens, teaching children, parents, teachers, and volunteers to grow their own vegetables. Literacy outreach & vegetable education happens face to face, hands-on, and through websites, videos, and social media.


SMART collaborates with education, medical, and business partners to acquire and distribute resources to beneficiaries in need. SMART creates mutually beneficial friendships and networks and designs and enhances outdoor and indoor learning spaces with events and projects. When possible, SMART attracts community interest in spaces by coordinating shared experiences as participants refresh, repair, and rebuild learning spaces.   




Learning in the City of Galveston, Galveston County, and the State of Texas


Every child under the age of 8:

  • Reads “Growing Vegetable Soup,” a book by Lois Ehlert, which is in Spanish and English with a vegetable garden and a recipe.

  • Has a personal library of 20 children’s books.

  • Touches, sees, explores books in own hands.

  • Hears a second language.

  • Paints, sings, and says words aloud (much more than passively listening to a book).

  • Goes outside and inside to move and learn about the natural world.


All families with young children, parents, teachers, and volunteers:

  • Learn to grow their own salad (tomato plants, beans, peas, root crops, leaf crops, and broccoli).

  • Learn to grow and harvest fruits and nuts from local trees.

  • See, touch, smell and taste new local and exotic vegetables and fruits in a free setting (able to reject or accept).

  • Feel free and safe enough to try new healthy things, including new foods.

  • Read a seed package, a nutrition facts label, and a recipe for information.

  • Read together for enjoyment and enrichment in many community settings.


A physical, mobile, and virtual network, sharing books and gardens:

  • Unites individuals and organizations giving books (Little Yellow Houses), so that children can receive them.  

  • Business and nonprofit partners share resources and venue space so that learners of all ages can “bloom where they’re planted.”

  • Parents and adults who care for young children have access to high quality workshops and informal events where they learn about and explore the world of young children.

  • Little Red Houses (content rich websites) connect the network of learners virtually to science, math, art, reading, & technology (SMART).


Note: Little Yellow Houses are wooden houses that resemble doll houses. They are used as collection boxes for children’s book drives and are the primary symbol for the “Every Home Needs Literacy Campaign.” The term “Little Red Houses” is symbolic and refers to content rich websites with educational videos. 



SMART Family Literacy Goals 2018



SMART = Science, Math, Art, Reading, Technology

LOVE = Literacy Outreach & Vegetable Education


GOAL 1: SMART Learners

GOAL 2: SMART Teachers

GOAL 3: SMART Curriculum Design

GOAL 4: SMART Instructional Strategies

GOAL 5: LOVE Operations Management



GOAL 1: SMART Learners



Children and adults (parents/kin, teachers, volunteers) learn in hands-on classes, workshops, family literacy events, and projects, such as ”SMART Family Literacy Parties,” “Read and Seed Work Days,” “Sing a Book,” “SMART Professional Development,”and “SMART Reading Intensives.”  


  • SMART Family Literacy provides ample resources for short term vocabulary rich experiences, such as:

  • Children’s books, including bilingual English and Spanish, as needed

  • Vegetables and fruits, for smelling, tasting, and creating healthy responses

  • Tools and supplies for art and gardening, and

  • Ratio of adults to children sufficient for hands-on experiences.


  • SMART teachers use children’s books and fresh fruits and vegetables to teach and lead children (babies through age 8) and the adults who care for them (parents/kin, teachers, and volunteers) towards:

  • Intellectual, behavioral, social, emotional growth

  • Healthy and nutritious eating opportunities

  • Shared experiences and mutual empathy.




GOAL 2: SMART Teachers

SMART teachers are actively learning, discovering, and sharing their enthusiasm for the subjects they love. The team is guided by a board of directors and advisors with broad ranging expertise and perspectives.


  • The SMART professional team of teachers, artists, and STEM college interns brings experience with:

  • Learners of all stages.

  • Intergenerational and multi-age groups.

  • Bilingual, special needs, gifted, and typical learners in inclusive settings.

  • Outdoor education.

  • Formal classrooms and informal teaching venues.


  • SMART teaching credentials include:

  • Multiple specialty teaching areas and certifications

  • Experience teaching SMART parenting classes

  • Experience teaching early childhood educators (includes TECPDS Trainer Registry).


  • The SMART team strives to build bridges of understanding between cultures and works to learn more and share more about people of many backgrounds.


GOAL 3: SMART Curriculum Design

SMART Family Literacy designs and teaches innovative curriculum, integrating the disciplines of science, math, art, reading, and technology (SMART).


  • SMART curriculum content emphasizes information about books, reading and singing with young children, and growing, eating, and cooking with vegetables, but is not limited to these topics.


  • SMART competencies (in sets of 12) are identified in each of the focus topic areas: science, math, art, reading, technology, parenting tips for reading and language, reading for healthy eating, locally relevant food gardening, teaching, and others as needed. Competencies and lessons are designed and presented for the literacy levels of participants, who range from the very young with emerging language to adults with advanced literacy.  




GOAL 4: SMART Instructional Strategies

SMART engages and teaches all learners with active and healthy instructional strategies suitable for young children and adults together in informal settings, both outdoors and indoors.


  • Literacy outreach & vegetable education (LOVE) adapts to the unique cultures, needs, logistics, and interests of each hosting campus or community site.


  • Instructional approaches used in SMART classes integrate instruction about positive social and health behaviors with the academic content of the presentations.  



GOAL 5: LOVE Operations Management

SMART manages physical, social, and virtual resources for literacy outreach & vegetable education (LOVE).


  • SMART acquires, processes, and distributes resources for beneficiaries. For example:

  • SMART puts books into the hands and homes of children who need them.

  • SMART provides sufficient fresh and high quality vegetables during classes to achieve desired food learning experiences and positive vegetable attitudes.

  • SMART manages acquisitions of in kind donations, including collecting book donations with Little Yellow Houses and sharing seeds and gardening tools with multiple school gardens.

  • SMART raises funds to purchase new resources to meet identified specific needs and highest priority objectives.

  • SMART processes and distributes resources to best matched recipients and prioritizes educationally disadvantaged individuals and groups.

  • SMART collects data, analyzes results, and adjusts plans to improve project outcomes. 


  • SMART acquires and manages fixed resources to grow and sustain a literate community by:

  • Building mutually beneficial relationships with education, medical, and business partners who share spaces and venues, which are physical and/or mobile.

  • Acquiring supplies and volunteer support for the enhancement of shared learning, teaching, creating, and innovating spaces.


  • SMART will continue to design, build, and expand the Five Little Red Houses (virtual and mobile classrooms).

  • Websites, videos, and social media will be created with local artists and Galveston cultural influences.

  • The virtual classrooms connect people to expand the SMART network beyond the borders of Galveston and throughout Texas.

  • The Five Little Red Houses contain information about science, math, art, reading, and technology (SMART).