Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Redlands Library : : Literacy Program Helps People Gain Skills

Redlands Adult Literacy Program helps people gain skills
Redlands Daily Facts: 6.12.2015 by Dottie Podolak,
coordinator of the Redlands Adult Literacy Program

For the past four years, Diane Shimota has been volunteering at the A.K. Smiley Public Library for the Redlands Adult Literacy Program. She dedicates some of her time each week to help those in the community who struggle with basic reading, writing and technology skills.

Someone has called Shimota the “renaissance woman” of adult literacy. And once you get to know her, it becomes clear that there is truth in that description.

Shimota’s motivation comes from the desire to give back to others and to build relationships with learners in the program. She appreciates seeing that spark in their eyes when they learn something new and describes the experience as priceless.

“Living life without being able to read or use a computer is incredibly stressful,” Shimota said.

“By teaching reading and computer skills to someone, they can approach those things without fear or stress. That is when you see a person bloom with confidence,” she said.

It is this confidence that has allowed Shimota’s learners to achieve their personal goals. One of her learners was able to restart his career and return to school in Los Angeles.

Shimota is now working with two more learners who want to improve their reading and writing skills to realize their dream of passing the test to become United States citizens.

Not only do individual learners benefit from Shimota’s contributions, but also the Redlands Adult Literacy Program as a whole.

“In any multi-faceted program, we rely on key volunteers so that things like technology can take root and grow. Diane Shimota is one of those key volunteers,” said Katherine Gifford, volunteer Adult Literacy coordinator.  READ MORE !

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