Literacy Partners, Inc.

Rating: 4.81 stars   26 reviews

Issues: Education

Location: 30 E 33rd St 6th Flr New York NY 10016 USA

Mission: Literacy Partners believes that the ability to read is an essential element of an enriched and fulfilling life. Our high quality, community-based literacy programs in New York City empower adults to reach their full potential as individuals, parents, and citizens.
Programs: Adult Basic Education (ABE),Family Literacy/ESL,ESL,Pre-GED,GED,Employment PreparationProgram Components:Financial Literacy,Health Literacy

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

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've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Since I have been a tutor for quite some time, I have been able to see students achieve their GED's and go on to help themselves and their families.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The students I have met

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

supportive, knowledgable

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

open many more centers for all the students who need the help

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

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 personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the realm of a volunteer.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hope for them to expand to offer more services and more classes to more people in extra locations. The worst thing is to know that there are people out there who's lives can be changed if we could only get to them.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

helping students to progress

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated and kind

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

teach everyone in New York to read and write !!!

Ways to make it better...

we could spend more one-on-one time with the students by having more volunteers

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding, as well as getting enough volunteers and staff out to other locations

One thing I'd also say is that...

just changing the life of one person is better than none at all

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

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've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the progress many students have made in improving their math & reading skills by several grade levels.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been able to help adult students learn to read their first book or even their first sentence, which is incredibly powerful and moving.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

"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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing students meet--and sometimes exceed--their academic goals; grow in their sense of responsibility to community and family; and develop more confidence in their ability to help shape their own future.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

partner with museums,music and dance companies,and other cultural institutions that could give students access to exhibits, performances, and educational presentations.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the interaction with students; we work hard, laugh a lot, exchange lessons of life experience, and while the lessons we learn are not always what we had anticipated, nobody leaves the table without having had a strenuous cerebral workout.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

engaged and engaging, smart, capable, and creative.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

buy a small building and consolidate all the centers in a permanent school with classrooms equipped with computers and other relevant technology.

Ways to make it better...

instead of the disruptive random entrances and exits of open enrollment,there were a more efficient system in which students would matriculate at logical times of the year: September, January, July (Summer Session).

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

developing new revenue streams so that staff and curriculum may be increased; creating a career literacy program in which students can hone job skills; attracting more young professional volunteers, especially those with technology expertise.

One thing I'd also say is that...

given a choice, many students would rather have root canal than write a 3-paragraph essay. But integrating reading and writing benefits the development of literacy. An intensive writing program should be developed at all levels, from ABE to GED.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

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've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a tutor you begin by giving encouragement - we work as a team - we are all in this together. As the students progress, they tend to help each other. I helped people learn how to write a check, contact Con Ed, fill in forms.A student needed to take a test to be a Security Guard. He was working in a NY building and was given 3 months to prepare to take the test. This was the only way he could keep his job. I found the manual for him on line, studied it myself and taught it to him. The test was in 3 parts but each part was the same questions, asked a different way. A person with limited reading ability would never pick this up. He worked very hard with us on a regular basis and he passed. The students know that reading=jobs=security. Most of them have children and this is their inspiration.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Although LP has a library on hand for reading and testing,and phonic sheets which help them break down words. I would like LP to produce professional little booklets we could hand out each week to rate their comprehension. The students don’t know how to take tests – how to read instructions and follow them, how to fill in the answers, how to choose the correct answer by looking for key words in the text. There is so much they have to learn.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Meeting people from different countries as well as in the US and helping them.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The volunteers are dedicated and enjoy their work

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Send more productive people out into the world - and build stronger families and communities.

Ways to make it better...

I had access to basic testing materials

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The weak economy is limiting donations from citizens and major organizations

One thing I'd also say is that...

Please support Literacy Partners it is an investment in people and the future.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

that I feel it's very important for this program to continue. They provide a service that's invaluable... it's a gift to the world and encourages people to discover their purpose and passion in life, and sometimes they find it by reading.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Students’ 1. Enhancing vital skills and broadening the general knowledge base. 2. Renewing self-confidence. 3. Providing an environment with a special comfort level 4. Renewing former goals and dreams. 5. Creating newly reachable ones.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

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've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a tutor/teacher, I have personally seen students progress through the program at an amazing rate.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing my students' test scores improve and seeing some of them move up to a higher level class. Even with those students who have remained in my class, I see their confidence increasing and their motivation is continuous.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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