PO Box 250199, New York, NY 10025




2 communities in New York City



6 communities in St. Elizabeth Parrish, Jamaica.  


I am often asked about my passion for literacy and education.

This passion was created and instilled as a family value and articulated and demonstrated in our home by my father whose untimely death occurred on my 21st birthday.   Despite the challenges of living with minimal financial resources, my father championed an intentional, structured educational path for his four daughters.  No matter what the circumstance, he persevered, working long hours at multiple jobs, to ensure that all of us received an education.  My experience is supported by research that shows that parental involvement in a child's educational experience is the number one determinant of a child's educational achievement and NOT the family's socioeconomic status.   

Just as I have championed for my son's education, so I have embraced LIFE's mission to assist parents and families of underperforming and special needs students to participate in their child's educational experience in rural St. Elizabeth Parrish, Jamaica and in New York City. I celebrate LIFE's talented Board of Directors and Advisors for their commitment and giving of their talent, resources, and time to oversight our activities and partner with LIFE in its mission to address the educational needs of underperforming and special needs children living in underserved and under-resourced communities.  I also am cognizant that without resources there is no mission, and we thank our donors for their giving to advance and sustain LIFE's mission. 

Literacy Is a Family Experience (LIFE), Inc. became a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in July, 2014, with the goal of  partnering with families, parents, students, educators and our donors to address the educational needs of underperforming and special needs children.  We envision a world where all underperforming and special needs students have a parent or family member to champion their educational experience ultimately benefitting the community, society and the world. 

"We make our impact in a community when we are able to harness the talents and gifts that human beings possess, create partnerships and deliver a product that creates a change that is sustainable" 

Pat Rowe, LIFE's Founder and President

OUR TEAM - LIFE'S Board of Directors

Patricia I. Rowe, RN, MA, President and Founder

Patricia I Rowe, RN BSN MA

has over four decades of clinical, managerial, administrative and executive nursing experience, focusing on the education of healthcare professionals both in academic and community settings. Ms. Rowe served on President Bill Clinton’s Council for Sustainable Communities representing small minority, women owned, businesses. She has developed multiple programs in health care that have advanced the practice of nursing including the innovation of cluster care where home health aides and nursing attendants delivered cost effective, quality care to  multiple home care clients living in the same or nearby living settings.  

Ms. Rowe has been an adjunct Professor of Nursing at Long Island University, Director of Nursing and Administrator of the Tri-State Licensed Home Care Agency in New York City and a Visiting Clinician at St. John's School of Nursing in Bangalore, India. Her years of experience in home care nursing gives her an advantage and a sensitivity to the disconnect between home and institutions.

Onalin Williams MBA, Vice President


has over 17 years of experience working with large data and financial institutions on regional, national and international sales, management, team building, marketing and data best practices.  Since 2011, she has been a Financial Data Analyst for NCCI Holdings in Boca Raton, Florida, working closely with actuaries and financial data providers to assure data integrity, provide testing and validation support, and perform analytic research. She has championed the cause of underserved children for most of her adult life and is passionate about organizing resources for the education of children from underserved communities throughout the world. She is a graduate of Convent of Mercy Alpha Girl's school in Kingston, Jamaica, W.I.  and received her BA degree from Florida Atlantic University, majoring in finance and management, and her MBA from Nova Southeastern University. .

Fredrick T. Sherman MD, Secretary


has been practicing, teaching, and writing about the care of the elderly for over four decades. He was honored as “Teacher of the Year” by the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, where he continues to teach medical students and practicing physicians. He has authored over 100 clinical publications in the care of the elderly and is the recipient of the prestigious Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism award, considered the Pulitzer Prize of the business press, for his editorials in Geriatrics.  He has been a Visiting Professor of Geriatrics at academic medical centers in the US, Canada, Taiwan and India. From 2009-2014, he was the Chief Medical Officer for Community and Managed Care Services at ArchCare in New York.  Dr. Sherman's many years of teaching, writing and non-profit board participation lend themselves to the vision, mission and goals of LIFE.

Rosalind Wright-Williams, Treasurer


has been working as a Recreational Therapist for over 30 years at the New York Institute for Special Education, designing and coordinating recreational programs for students with developmental disabilities and visual and auditory impairments.  She specializes in working with students who are preparing to gain employment in their vocational field. She also leads a mentoring program for interns, provides leadership for the student council and assists recreation/vocation therapists in planning and implementing activities with children with emotional and learning disabilities. 

Chrystina Russell PhD, Member


brings to LIFE's Board diverse educational experiences from many different cultures and countries. She is  currently Vice President for Global Engagement, Office of the President, at Southern New Hampshire University.  Previously, she served as Chief Academic Officer of Kepler University in Kigali, Rwanda.  She was the founding Principal of Global Technology Preparatory Junior High school in East Harlem, New York, where she led the school to the 95th percentile city-wide for student achievement, parental satisfaction and attendance.    She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received  her PhD in Urban Education Policy at City University Graduate Center, New York. Dr. Russell has co-wrote and secured significant grant funding in  Dr. Russell champions the value of parental involvement in their child's education.the educational field. 

Jacqueline Pryce-Harvey PhD, Member


has a 15-year educational career in the New York City Department of Education during which she has served as teacher,  special education curriculum developer, assistant principal and principal. She is currently a national and international consultant on teacher training and educational strategies for children in kindergarten through 12th grade.  She received her Master of Science degree from Fordham University and her PhD from the University of Tennessee. Her educational knowledge and expertise applies directly to the challenges of educating and empowering parents to improve their child's literacy in the home, at school and in the community


LIFE's MISSION is to partner with families, parents and educators from under-resourced communities to improve their child's literacy and educational experience by participating in their child's education in the home, at school and in their communities. LIFE partners with families, parents, teachers, principals, administrators and schools to achieve its mission of lowering the achievement gap.


LIFE Envision's a world where all children living in under-resourced communities who are under performing in academics will have family who partner with them to close the achievement gap by championing their child's literacy and education in the home, at school and in the  community.


  • Raise family and parental awareness of the need for and the benefits of them being involved, both in the home and in school, with their child's literacy and education from Pre-K through 8th grade
  • Increase the numbers of family members (parents, grandparents, older siblings, aunts, uncles and/or caregivers) involved in their child's literacy and education
  • Narrow the achievement gap of children from selected under-resourced communities by involving and supporting their families to assist their teachers in the child's educational experience
  • Identify a Family Educational Partner, a family member(s), who is committed to working with the child in the home and collaborating with their teacher to improve the child's literacy and numeracy performance in school  
  • Create a group of volunteer educators, called Learning Navigators, who will work together with the Family Educational Partner to understand the child's educational needs and develop an individual plan to enhance the child's educational experience in the home and in school 
  • Develop workshops called "Learning Works" to help each family navigate through the educational experience along with their child. 
  • Develop a Family Learning Tool Box filled with grade appropriate learning and teaching resources for improving the parent-child educational experience 
  • Develop a group of volunteers called Learning Coordinators who will assist and support the Learning Navigators and Family Educational Partners to achieve the child's educational outcomes
  • Provide a Learning Plan, consisting of the Family Learning Toolbox, workshops, and ongoing supervision by the Learning Coordinators, to insure the success of the child's educational future 

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