Friday, October 23, 2015

San Diego County Library :: County Volunteer Coordinator Motivates Volunteers, Residents to LEARN

County Volunteer Coordinator Motivates Volunteers, Residents to LEARN

Over 440,000 adults (20%) in San Diego County cannot read at the third-grade level, lacking the literacy skills needed to sign a form, fill out a bank deposit slip, or enjoy a novel. Many have learning disabilities; others received insufficient individual instruction in school or at home; and still others are immigrants seeking to learn English as a second language.  To help adults improve their literacy skills and empower them to achieve their goals, the County created the LEARN Adult Literacy program in 2005. Volunteer Coordinator Kevin Vigil has been inspired by the program’s success since the beginning.

“I moved here from Denver just as the program was getting started,” said Vigil.  “I was a school teacher and needed to update my credential to work here in California, so this job was only meant to be temporary, but I ended up loving what I was doing!  I get to see the impact this program has on people’s lives and coming to work is something I look forward to every day.”

LEARN (Libraries Empower All to Read Now) is a volunteer-based tutoring program that helps adults improve their literacy skills through one-on-one and small group tutoring and computer-aided instruction.  Services are free and confidential.  There are literacy centers at the El Cajon and Vista branch libraries, but services are available at all San Diego County Library branches.

“We have such an international county,” said Vigil.  “About 60% of our learners are non-native speakers – from Spanish and Arabic to Korean and Chinese.  We have 33 branch libraries and all of their demographics are different.”  READ MORE !

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