The Parents Record: My Own Unique Diary (P.R.O.U.D.) book is an innovative family literacy activity that uses the idea of a diary to encourage low-income parents with low levels of literacy to keep a written record of their children's lives. Children receive a personally written P.R.O.U.D. book from their parents, describing accomplishments that their children have made. Together parents and children verbalize and write about their hopes and dreams. These books, which usually become family keepsakes, emphasize the importance of communication, especially in regards to the love and support each parent has for their child.
A corps of approximately 20 to 25 senior volunteers and staff members at participating facilities guides the P.R.O.U.D. program. The volunteers work with about 450 HeadStart parents in the Montgomery County area. Typically, the program begins in January and continues until May, culminating with the parents hosting a ceremony where each child is presented with their parents' P.R.O.U.D. book.
The original concept for the program was developed after a family literacy coordinator observed disadvantaged preschoolers interacting with their teenage mothers, many of whom seemed unenthusiastic about the achievements of their children. Today, the program has grown to include agencies throughout the Montgomery County area and is used as a model for other programs throughout the country.