At the heart of the ForWords approach to education are the key 21st century literacies required for a student to become a productive member of our democracy.

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♥ Research shows there are 10 key literacies essential for academic growth, educational success and a productive life.
♥ The 10 literacies are woven throughout everything we do. We use a project-based, small group and 1:1 instruction model to support all our students and public-school staff.
♥ ForWords meets the students where they are academically, provides meaningful curriculum and has staff who relate directly to our students because they come from the same community.
♥ ForWords creates a safe and supportive “home” for all of our students to learn, to be inspired, to collaborate and to thrive.

When We are Asked:

Q1 I have a student struggling in my class, can you help?

Q2 My nephew has just arrived from Guatemala and knows little English; can he be part of ForWords?

Q3 I am working with a student whose family has no resources; can she enroll in your program?

The ForWords answer is always "Yes" because every student, regardless of academic status, is welcome.

group photo of ForWords students at lab wearing shirts

Literacy involves a continuum of learning…enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential and to participate fully in their community and wider society. It is a human right…at the heart of basic education for all and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality…achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace, and democracy.


The 10 Literacies

Art, Design, & Visual:

to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use and create images and visual media.

Civic, Historic, & Cultural:

to act responsibly for the larger community; to have knowledge of history, contributions, and perspectives of different cultural groups.


to think critically, analyze, reason, problem solve, examine and interpret information and draw conclusions.

Collaboration & Social:

to work with others, exchange ideas and reach consensus; develop social skills and values and act positively in social settings.


to read, write, speak and listen; develop competencies to analyze, evaluate and create messages in various forms.

Creativity & Innovation:

to create and analyze new ideas and communicate those ideas with others.

Health & Safety:

to obtain and understand health information, avoid high-risk behaviors, deal with bullying and know internet safety.

Information & Communication Technology:

to find, sort, evaluate and communicate information using digital media.


to understand the numbers needed in everyday life.


to have knowledge about digital and analog technology, how they work and can be used to achieve specific goals.

Student Progress

ForWords uses a “portfolio” evaluation to assess student progress. The ForWords portfolio consists of student and teacher pre- and post-project surveys, student and teacher interviews, student work samples, teacher project tracker, and statistics regarding number of students served, number of projects completed, and work accomplished.

Our students significantly increase their reading, writing, analyzing, and presenting skills. Their growth is also reflected in their publications, ability to present in public, write across curricula, and discuss with greater clarity and effectiveness various school subjects.