Sunday, December 20, 2015

A.K. Smiley Public Library literacy program receives gifts of service, money

A.K. Smiley Public Library literacy program receives gifts of service, money
Redlands Daily Facts: 12.19.2015 by Dottie Podolak, adult literacy coordinator

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” — Maya Angelou

The Redlands Adult Literacy Program at the A.K. Smiley Public Library has been the recipient of many gifts over the past five years. Those gifts, of both time and money, have given the program the resources it needs to make an impact in learners’ lives.

Recently, Redlands Adult Literacy received two such examples of generosity.

First, over the past two and a half years, Jennifer Escobar has volunteered as an adult literacy tutor. She discovered the Redlands Adult Literacy Program through the A.K. Smiley Public Library website at a time when she was searching for a way to give back to the community.

After being trained as a tutor, Escobar began meeting with her learner weekly. She said she was impressed with how the program could make an immediate impact in an adult’s life. She also became involved in the efforts to support the use of technology in the program.

In September, Escobar had to step away from her role as a tutor to pursue a full-time position as an English teacher at a local college.

Because of her respect for the Redlands Adult Literacy Program and because of the impact it had on her personally, Escobar and her husband, Curtis Dison, have established the Escobar-Dison Family Grant. This yearly grant will be used to provide professional development for tutors.

“My two and a half years with my learner has been a profound experience for me both professionally and personally,” Escobar said.

“This is a small thing that my family can do to help that continue.”

The second gift was from the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity at the University of Redlands. The group chose Redlands Adult Literacy as the focus of its Week of Service.

During the week of Nov. 2-6, Alpha Phi Omega held events on the university campus to promote awareness of the adult literacy program. Members from Alpha Phi Omega volunteered their services by assisting with the computer literacy class, to help learners gain basic computer skills such as sending emails and using the Internet.  READ MORE @

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