Thursday, January 5, 2017

Redlands Adult Literacy Program celebrates 2016 achievements at A.K. Smiley Public Library

Redlands Adult Literacy Program celebrates 2016 achievements at A.K. Smiley Public Library
Redlands Daily Facts: 12.31.2016 by Diane Shimota, Adult Literacy Coordinator-A.K. Smiley Library

The beginning of 2017 gives the Redlands Adult Literacy Program the opportunity to celebrate its 2016 achievements and highlight plans for the new year.

The mission of the Redlands Adult Literacy Program is to help adults who want to improve their reading and writing skills. This mission is achieved through the hard work of adult learners, their dedicated tutors and community support and partnerships.

Throughout 2016, learners expressed their gratitude for the adult literacy program. Their gratitude is reflected in the following:

Salma Marquez is grateful that she can now help her children with homework and communicate with their teachers. Marquez’s long-term goal is to obtain a nursing degree.

Veronica Leon celebrates using her new reading and writing skills to correctly fill out forms for her job.

Derek Rodriquez said that the adult literacy program helps him motivate his daughter to do well in school because she sees him working hard at his lessons every day.

The Redlands Adult Literacy Program served nearly 100 adult learners in 2016. Every learner has a unique story about how the literacy program helped them, but all learners showed increased confidence as a result of their improved literacy.

The Redlands Adult Literacy Program relies on its dedicated volunteer tutors. Each adult learner is matched to an individual tutor volunteer, who meets weekly with the learner. -Tutors know the importance of adult literacy.

Tutor Vicki Shaw said, “If you can read, you can learn to do almost anything.” This sentiment was echoed by tutor Mary Bailey, who said, “Adult literacy impacts every area of life. It opens windows of opportunity for jobs, becoming a citizen, helping others in the home, schools and community. Adult learners have a new future with improved literacy skills.”

In 2016, the Redlands Adult Literacy Program responded to requests from adult learners by adding new learning opportunities — book clubs, a weekly literacy class at the library and new computer classes.

Book clubs for adult learners were formed using local donations and a matching grant from Modern Woodmen. Book club members read biographies of Harriet Tubman and Helen Keller and an autobiography, “The Circuit” by Francisco Jimenez.

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