Literacy Tutoring: Help Someone Learn to Read
Help highly motivated adults fulfill a dream to learn to read!
Approximately 145,000 adults (10%) in central Arkansas struggle with basic reading, writing, and math skills. These individuals have difficulty filling out a job application, understanding a prescription label, or reading a bedtime story to their children. Adult literacy is a factor in almost every socioeconomic issue, including workforce development, health care, parenting, and poverty. To address these issues effectively, we must invest in educating adults with low literacy.
Literacy Action has worked hard since 1986 to teach literacy skills to struggling readers in the central Arkansas area. We have offices in Little Rock and Conway, but serve students from a seven-county area: Pulaski, Faulkner, Jefferson, Grant, Lonoke, Perry, and Saline. In the last 12 months, Literacy Action served over 600 adult students delivering over 11,000 hours of individualized instruction. Learning to read or speak English enables our students to get family-supporting jobs, have better access to health information and teach their children the value of literacy. We believe in acknowledging and advocating for the important role adults play in fostering their children’s basic literacy skills and attitudes toward learning. Literacy Action provides a crucial service that benefits the entire community and helps break the cycle of intergenerational illiteracy and poverty. All services are free of charge.
Literacy Action uses on a one-on-one tutoring model for Adult Basic Literacy (ABL) instruction and a group conversation model for English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction to improve adult literacy levels. In the past two years we have partnered with over 20 Local Community Partner Organizations (LCPOs) to reach even more adults and families in our area that need literacy services.
Based upon research and our experience in the field, Literacy Action believes that the availability of quality, community based ESL literacy instruction is not meeting the demands of the rapidly increasing immigrant population in the central Arkansas area. Literacy Action feels that it is imperative we provide dependable, proven pathways for these populations to learn English language skills in order to acquire household supporting employment, participate in family literacy activities, make informed healthcare decisions, and integrate into community life.
Literacy Action is uniquely positioned to address this need. We are the only organization in central Arkansas focused on improving the literacy skills of adults who read at an 8th grade level or lower. Aside from adult education centers, Literacy Action is the only organization providing free citizenship classes in the area. Most immigrants, especially those without documentation, do not feel comfortable going to these centers. Adult education centers and programs (both ESL and ABL) in the central Arkansas area are geared towards students with 9th grade and above reading levels with the goal of achieving their GED. Our ABL and ESL students typically do not yet have the reading or classroom skills to succeed in this environment, nor are they ready to succeed in community college. For this large niche adult population, Literacy Action is their only option to increase their literacy skills and chances for a better future. Our goal is to reach more of these individuals, more quickly and more efficiently.
Volunteer tutors serve hundreds of students each year through Literacy Action of Central Arkansas. This program matches one adult tutor with one adult student. Volunteers may choose to work either with an adult who needs literacy instruction or with ESL adults who want to learn to read and speak English. The different needs and objectives of individual students are carefully matched with the strengths and experience of particular tutors. There is no need for a tutor to speak another language - in fact, we prefer if you don't!
Tutors work one-on-one with students in a public setting. We provide tutor training and all materials necessary to work with the student. We conduct volunteer tutor training sessions at our classrom in the Central Arkansas Library System main library branch in downtown Little Rock or the Faulkner County Library in Conway. You may register for any tutor training workshop on our website www.LiteracyActionAR.org.
Make a difference in a family's life - learning to read helps parents read to their children and English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) students to communicate with their children's teachers; it helps adults get jobs with family sustaining salaries; and it gives native and non-native English speakers dignity and the ability to talk with health care progfessionals, fill out an application or simply go grocery shopping!