“John” never learned to read. As an adult, he struggled to find work to support his family. The jobs he got were often dirty and dangerous. After getting injured, he came to Mid-State Literacy Council feeling desperate. He worked with his tutor faithfully for about four years. John is now employed full time with benefits. Due to his work ethic and ability to read, he can support his family. Literacy leads to employment.
“Maria,” an immigrant, was referred to Mid-State Literacy Council in February. Maria knew only a handful of words when she began a combination of classes and intensive English tutoring. Between classes and tutoring, she received about twenty hours per week of English instruction and practice. Maria’s goal was to find employment to help support her young children.
By May, she began work in an entry-level position. Because she can schedule tutoring sessions around her work schedule, she continues to meet with two tutors to refine her English skills with the goal of advancing her career.
Statistical analyses show that legal immigrants who are proficient in English earn between 13 to 24 percent more than immigrants who are not proficient in English, which positively affects the economy because legal immigrants make up close to 16 percent of the civilian labor force in the United States. According to reports from the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor, when immigrants have access to language and literacy instruction, they assimilate more quickly and effectively and become more engaged in communities.
United Way’s support and donors’ gifts provide reading, writing, English, basic computer and math instruction for adults who need additional skills to pass the driver’s license exam, enter training, obtain a job and access health care. Literacy students move from poverty to self-sufficiency. Our community’s spirit of goodwill and generosity provides the opportunity of education at Mid-State Literacy Council.
Additional community volunteers are needed to help adult students. Orientation and training are provided. Volunteers choose their schedule and the subject they might teach, such as English, reading, writing, math or specific test preparation for students who want to pass the commercial driver’s license exam. Sometimes volunteers team up and teach together. Some volunteers teach one-on-one and some teach small groups of five to 10 people. We are thankful for our lively team of volunteers. The literacy council provides instruction throughout Centre and Clearfield counties. For information, contact Mid-State Literacy Council at 238-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.