Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Literacy in Libraries Around California - Project Read Learners Give Back to Community

Project Read Learners Give Back to Community
Almanac News: December 22, 2009 by Alice Bradshaw - Program Manager, Project Read-Menlo Park

Many adult learners at Project Read-Menlo Park, the adult literacy program in the Menlo Park Library, have gone far beyond studying English. They've become active members of the community.

For 25 years, Project Read has provided the only free adult literacy tutoring in the area, helping more than 3,000 adults.

After a 10-hour work day, would you study an additional three hours? Would you drive to Santa Clara from Menlo Park every month to practice public speaking in a language that is foreign to you? Would you give up two-days' pay, travel to a conference and present a workshop illustrating how low-level literacy students can improve their lives and give back to their communities? Project Read learners have done all of these.

Raul Gonzalez, became a Project Read tutor one year after he began as a learner. He attended the Adult Learner Leadership Institute (ALLI), which trains and motivates students to improve their public speaking skills and promotes civic engagement.

To date, 10 of Project Read's learners have graduated from Adult Learner Leadership Institute.

In October, at the California Library Association's annual conference in Pasadena, he was one of five students who presented a workshop on how adult learners can give back to their communities.

At Project Read, our volunteer tutors helped their adult learners do many things, such as reading to their children, getting a better job, or learning to surf the Web. Then, the students gave back in ways we never imagined! READ MORE !

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