Celebrating 30 Years of Adult Literacy
LAPL Literacy READ: Winter 2015
In September 2014 the Los Angeles Public Library celebrated the 30th anniversary of its Adult Literacy program and honored the program’s dedicated staff, coordinators, teachers, tutors and adult students. Together, we have achieved remarkable success in helping thousands of adults overcome illiteracy and achieve their personal goals.
The Library’s Adult Literacy program began in 1984 when the California State Library established funds for libraries to design programs that would improve the literacy skills of English-speaking adults who needed help in basic reading and writing.
The Los Angeles Public Library was one of 12 libraries in the state to create an adult literacy program with the grant. Known as LARP (Los Angeles Reading program), the library’s program opened adult literacy centers at the Baldwin Hills, Granada Hills, Memorial, Pacoima, Stevenson, Vernon, Watts, West Los Angeles, and Wilmington branches.
Over the following years, the program expanded to include adult literacy centers at 20 branches, the Caroline Singleton Adult Literacy Center at the Central Library and a staff of 21 literacy coordinators.
Today, our literacy mission is more important than ever. In Los Angeles an estimated 53% of working-age adults, 3.8 million people, suffer from low literacy skills, which prevent them from performing basic tasks such as writing a letter, using a bus schedule or reading a prescription. Low reading and writing skills also block access to jobs, keep workers from advancing their careers and prevent parents from helping their children build literacy skills.
The Los Angeles Public Library’s commitment to a more literate city is giving adults the help and resources they need to overcome illiteracy. The Adult Literacy program currently has 825 volunteer tutors and teachers who assist nearly 1,500 adult students with one-on-one tutoring and classes in English conversation, reading, writing, math, and basic life skills. Adult learners also participate in the online self-guided literacy programs available at the Library’s website. READ MORE !