Thursday, October 9, 2014

Carlsbad Library :: City Supports Increased Literacy Rates

City supports increased literacy rates
Coast News: 9.30.2014 by Ellen Wright

“Low literacy costs this country more than $225 billion each year in workforce non productivity and the loss of tax revenue due to unemployment,” Heather Pizzuto, library & cultural arts director, said.

In California, 4.5 million people cannot read above a fourth-grade level, Pizzuto said.

The Carlsbad City Library Learning Center is trying to change that with the literacy program, which celebrated its 30th anniversary earlier this month.

“The program is not just a worthy cause, but a necessary service,” Carrie Scott, community outreach supervisor for the library, said.

At any time the free program has between 70 and 80 pairs of tutors and learners.

Volunteers and learners must agree to an hour and a half of service, twice a week for a minimum of six months.

Scott said there’s no shortage of volunteers or learners although matching up people’s schedules can be a problem. The larger the pool of volunteers and learners, Scott said, the easier it will be to match people.

Another issue the program faces is getting the word out to the people who need it the most, Scott said.

“You don’t know who might struggle with reading and writing in their lives,” Scott said, “which is why it’s so important to get the word out.”

A lot of learners hear about the program through word of mouth.

Nyla Henry is an adult learner who heard about the program from her boss and said the program has greatly impacted her.

“This program has given me a new life,” Henry said. “I still have challenges but I have tools to help me work through them and overcome them.”  READ MORE !

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