Father and son learn and grow together through FACE Program

Henry and son
Henry and son

Meet Henry, a Native American enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. He and his wife, Darlene, have a son, Adam, who is in first grade. Henry was honorably discharged from the United States Army Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Henry’s mission since Adam’s birth has been to be a good father and a role model for Adam. To fulfill this mission, Henry needed guidance on how to help Adam learn and grow, even on everyday tasks such as getting Adam ready for school in the mornings. With his wife’s encouragement, Henry and Adam enrolled in the National Center for Family Literacy’s Family and Child Education Program (FACE) in Ft. Wingate, New Mexico. When they began attending the program in 2008, Henry was shy and kept to himself. Throughout his five years with the FACE program, Henry has developed confidence and now he serves as a role model among his classmates, helping his teachers and assisting other parents.

Henry and Adam have become a powerful learning team. They practice the alphabet and sounding out words, counting, and math problems. The pair has learned together about healthy eating and exercise. Henry spends time helping Adam during school; he’s become such a familiar figure in the class, that many of Adam’s classmates gather around Henry during reading time.

Henry always wanted to go back to college but when Adam was born, he knew he needed to provide for his family. So he put college on hold and made it a priority to get Adam prepared for success in school. Now that Adam is in first grade, Henry’s college dream is being realized. He is currently enrolled in college, taking classes online for early childhood education. Henry is a strong advocate for the FACE program. In fact, he credits the program as his inspiration for wanting to become a kindergarten teacher. Being around the children in the FACE program showed him how he can profoundly impact the lives of others.

“Not only did the program strengthen the bond between me and my son, it also has got [Adam] wanting to go to school and for me that means a lot,” Henry says. “Every year the FACE program has given me the opportunity and blessings to achieve new goals for myself and family, where ‘growth’ is a focus.”

A winner of the FACE parent essay contest, he has spoken at numerous engagements including FACE Nationals, the University of New Mexico, Futures for Families, and different audiences within the Navajo Nation.

Do you know someone who has benefited from family literacy? Please share your success story by emailing news {at} famlit.org or by commenting below.