As one of the longest running volunteers i am passionate about this program. There are over 1,000,000 people in New York City who cannot read on the fourth grade level. Imagine not being able to help your children with their homework (and what that means to you and to them); not being able to read ingredents in the food that you buy for your family so that you are not able to determine if it is healthy; not being able to read some of the mail that you receive; not being able to fill in an application; and on and on. Since the downturn in the economy Literacy Partners is one of the few programs in the city that is free;,because of this the waiting list is continues to grow. Again, imagine getting up your courage, working out the time involved, getting excited about making the change in your life and being told that there is a waiting list. The need for additional sites, tutors, etc. is an ongoing crisis for the management.
Reading has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life and to be able to pass this on to others has been a gift. My interactions with the students is truly the high point of my week. The students each come in with a different story but with the same desire for themselves and their children to take that one large step which is priceless. I wish I had the ability with words to tell you how much this program means to all of them. As an intake counselor, I get to meet many new or returning students and they are all so looking forward to improving their reading and writing... "to be able to read a newspaper", to check my daughter's homework". I am proud to be a volunteer with Literacy Partners
I wrote a review back in September 2010 after volunteering with Literacy Partners for 2 years. I am still there over 2 years later. My class size has increased from 6-8 students to around 14. There are not enough volunteers to teach all the students. Imagine, finally plucking up the courage to sign up only to be told you have to wait a few months before they can slot you into a class. My students are great. They get tested every semester and, even though I hate to lose them, if they do well they will get promoted up to the next level. I teach the middle level of math to these adult students. About 5th grade level. The students come from such different backgrounds. Some are really good at math but were never taught anything - they can pick things up really quickly. Others have come up from the lower level classes and only know what we teach them. Others dropped out of school many years ago and can't remember any of it. Whatever their level or their reason for attending the classes, they all try really hard and do the best they possibly can to improve their lives. I salute them all.
I joined Literacy Partners, Inc. over 2 years ago. It was time for me to volunteer. I always wanted to teach people to read. I signed up for training and ended up joining a Math group. Literacy Partners, Inc. is such a wonderful organization because it provides Reading, Writing and Math studies for adults from all levels, all for free. The lowest level of students cannot read or write, cannot add or subtract. They missed out on everything for one reason or another. But once they take the first step and come to the classes some of them are able to learn. They can progress so well in this nurturing environment. The success stories are heart-breaking. I teach a group of between 6-8 students each week. They are in the middle level of basic math. They have progressed through the classes or have entered with some level of math skills, and the permanent staff spend endless hours listening and testing them to know which is the best class to slot them in to. For the time I have been there several of my students have gone up to the next level. They are mostly seeking their GEDs so that they can advance in their jobs. There are annual events honoring the students and volunteers. And this summer, they held training classes for the volunteers to keep us engaged and to help us progress in our teaching skills. As much time and effort as the preparation takes out of me each week, I get all the pay back I need when the anxious and confused looks on the student's faces turn to understanding and enthusiasm to learn more.
I've been tutoring with Literacy Partners (LP) for close to 20 years and have been impressed with the scope of the program, both reading and math, and its continued efforts to increase its effectiveness and relevancy. Students are respected as adults, and LP is well attuned to the differences between childhood and adult learning.The center coordinators and tutors provide a patient, supportive environment for learning. Students are divided into groups based on pretesting, which focuses the instruction and maximizes class involvement. Besides the computation exercises in my math class, students are given math problems dealing with real-life situations, and financial literacy is part of the curriculum. Tutors fill out a short form at the end of each session indicating the topics covered and resources used. Students are tested at regular intervals to assess progress, with the ultimate goal of passing the GED test. In the writing classes students are encouraged tto write about topics that are meaningful to them; the priority is developing students' abilities to communicate in writing; tweaking grammar and spelling follows. A number of books are available in the LP libraries at the various centers; some of these are abridged versions of literary classics. Overall, and excellent program!
I have been volunteering with Literacy Partners (LPI) as a tutor for 5 years. I teach a 3-hour class every week; I determine my own curriculum and lesson plans with help from LPI. LPI excels at providing a free, supportive environment for adult students to learn literacy and life skills, and eventually work up to obtaining their GED. The staff turnover is unfortunately high, due to LPI's inability to pay their center coordinators a competitive salary. (which is one of the reasons they need more funding.) This can lead to a lack of cohesion and general direction for tutors shaping their class curriculum.
"A teacher affects eternity," Henry Adams once said. "He can never tell where his influence stops." When I joined Literacy Partners,Inc. in 2003 as a volunteer tutor, my goals by no means included eternity. I intended to spend a year helping students learn to decode words and to more easily negotiate the simple events that comprise our daily lives. Then I would move on to other matters. What derailed this plan were the students and,of course, the students are the story. Amalie, presiding over a large brood of her own, learning to read so she can pass her citizenship test and qualify to adopt two needy young relatives from Haiti. James, a teenager and main support of his parents, hoping for a career in law enforcement. Andrea, living in a basement and working seven days a week in a store stocking shelves and seeking education as the path to a better job and financial security. Jorge, a mailroom worker in a bank, wanting to make his family proud. Over the years more than 100 students have sat around my table. Their dedication is humbling. You rarely see people so avid to learn. We're not just talking the 3 R's here, we're talking the 3 C's--Courage, Character, and Commitment. Literacy Partners listens to students, takes them seriously. We respect their intelligence and we honor them with greatness: the poetry of Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Billy Collins; short stories by Anton Chekhov and Carson McCullers; plays by William Shakespeare and Thornton Wilder; novels by Ernest Hemingway and Sandra Cisneros. But along with all that culture, side by side with the reading, the writing, and the math, a realistic results-based adult education program must also address the practical exigencies of life in the 21st century. While Amalie is mastering phonics,we help her prepare for that citizenship test. Besides practicing essay writing for his GED exam, James studies financial literacy and learns how to fill out forms and applications for the police academy. Andrea makes a resume, and applies for low-income housing. Jorge role-plays job interviews. The power of education is its ability to open a window on the world. It is thrilling when a student achieves a goal on the road to a brighter future. At such a moment it is hard to imagine an enterprise in which one might be engaged that is more important. And,if there is an organization that is better able than Literacy Partners to provide the inspiration and the keys to unlock the mysteries of knowledge acquisition, I don't know it.
Literacy Partners is an organization that teaches adults to learn to read – and hopefully brings their basic skills up to par (reading, writing and basic arithmetic) so that they eventually go to the next step and obtain a GED. LP programs include pre-GED, GED and ESOL. LP also covers employment preparation, family and health literacy, which enables these students to make changes for themselves and their home life as well. As their knowledge increases, their enthusiasm and self esteem florishes. Their families get involved and there is a overall feeling of accomplishment – the benefits to these programs are endless. In my four years at LP, I have found that many students - due to different circumstances - were not given the opportunity to learn properly when they were young – and now as adults they want to improve their place in life but are trapped because they cannot read. They are frustrated and very aware of their shortcomings and want to catch up - so when they join LP they are very committed and determined to succeed. Donors and volunteers who invest their time and money in Literacy Partners are not only able to make difference in these peoples lives and communities but they can also affect the economy of future generations. It is a win-win for everyone.
I just started volunteering in May (2010),and so far it's been very exciting. People of all stations in life seeking to improve their lives with the simplicity of something we take for granted... reading. I have been a reader naturally from childhood, and I'm more inspired now about reading; and encourage the students that are preparing for their GED to study their least favorite subject while they wait for class to start so that they are more equipped for the exam. I hope I'm making a difference.
Because of my background in English teaching (range of levels) and my role as director of an English language program for immigrant high school freshmen, I expected to be placed with second language students. However, the need in the pre-GED class was evident, and my involvement began and evolved into an almost daily experience of challenge, productivity and sincere excitement. The elevated motivation and keen self-recognition of this population of all ages differs from any other group with whom I have interacted. Their sense of appreciation is sometimes poignant. One becomes aware of the greater world of “students” who we might reach were it possible to outreach, identify and support. Providing a fresh beginning provides new possibilities and hope to a population who was burdened with self-doubts; I am also inspired by their willingness to reach out to one another. “Conquering” this diploma can only be defined by each student.
Literacy Partners is a terrific organization that is reaching a group of people who have somehow gotten through school systems and life in general without developing basic reading and math skills. The students have made up for this skill deficit in remarkable ways. They have jobs and have become expert at moving ahead without these skills. Just imagine how far they can go once they learn to read and write at a higher level! The students are so appreciative of all that the tutors/teachers and Literacy Partners staff do for them. Literacy Partners is a very well run organization that makes the most of every asset at their disposal. The initial and on-going training has been great. I have participated in volunteer activities for most of my adult life and Literacy Partners is by far my best experience. In addition to feeling like I am making a big difference in the lives of the students, I truly believe in the program. I am so moved by the students and their initiative and desire to work hard and improve their lives.
I first connected with Literacy Partners almost two years ago while looking for a volunteer opportunity that was long-term and one in which I could really see the results of mine and the group's efforts. My time volunteering with Literacy Partners has been incredible. I am really inspired by how hard the students work, and getting to know them and their personal backstores has been an eye-opening experience. I feel very supported by my co-tutor and by the people in the main office. I think everyone involved with the organization has their hearts and minds in the same place and are really working toward a common goal about which we are all incredibly passionate. I like that volunteering with Literacy Partners is not a one-off thing, but a long-term commitment that affords me the opportunity to really get to know students, staff, and tutors and to feel like I'm really a part of making a difference.