Mission: The mission of the Adult Reading Center is to provide free instruction to adults with limited English literacy skills. We provide a nurturing environment that improves reading, writing and basic communication skills in order to help equip: • Parents with the language skills needed to empower their children; and • All adults with the language skills needed to succeed in the workplace. We do this by providing classroom instruction, individual tutoring, and computer-based training. We partner with community organizations that provide opportunities to transition into career training.
Results: In FY2011-12, over 930 individuals were impacted by the services the Center provides without charge through 24,970 instructional contact hours which include work skills assistance. In addition, we had over 200 individuals who volunteered in ways other than tutoring for a total of 4,414 hours. The total cost benefit returned to the community at $21.91 per volunteer and professional instructional hour was $643,808.
Target demographics: Any adult 18 years of age or older wishing to improve their literacy skills, obtain their GED, or become a U.S. Citizen.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 1000
Geographic areas served: Brazoria, southern Harris, western Galveston and eastern Fort Bend County, Texas
Programs: • Adult Basic Education. For learners who need assistance in reading and writing, we offer instruction in a non-threatening, supportive, self-paced environment with a one-on-one volunteer tutor or in a small group. Unique in our area, we teach adults with dyslexia and related learning disorders how to read and write using the Orton-Gillingham based Barton Reading & Spelling System designed for one-to-one multi-sensory instruction by volunteer tutors or professional instructors. • GED. Classes with intensive instruction in math, writing, social studies, science, and reading are taught by certified instructors preparing individuals to take the GED exam. • English for Speakers of Other Languages. For learners who need assistance in reading, writing, and speaking English, we offer classroom instruction at various skill levels to meet each learner’s needs or they may meet with a volunteer tutor one-on-one or in a small group. • Family Literacy. Our Family Literacy Project strengthens family literacy and parental involvement in their child’s education as both parents and their children participate. The project is designed to establish family reading routines and involves family reading, vocabulary development, and English-language development for the parents and their children. • Citizenship Classes. The classes for learners desiring U.S. Citizenship include lessons on American history and civics in preparation for the citizenship exam and are funded by a two-year grant from the Department of Homeland Security, one of 11 grants awarded nationwide out of over 300 applicants. At the end of the first year of funding, we surpassed our goal of providing instruction to 100 individuals (189 served) and met our target of having 15 individuals become U.S. Citizens. • Computer Learning Lab. The lab, with FREE access to the Internet, is available for use anytime during the 65 hours per week that we are open. Self-paced interactive learning software is installed on each computer. Learners are introduced to the Computer Learning Lab and learning websites in a mandatory one-hour Introduction to the Computer Lab class. Computer literacy and job search skills classes are held each week. If space is not available in classes or with a one-on-one tutor, adult learners are encouraged to begin their learning experience in the Computer Learning Lab. • Workforce Education and Job Soft Skills Training. Workforce education and employability skills such as interview skills, resume writing, online job searching, and basic computer skills complement learners’ increased literacy skills and enable them to obtain jobs that provide a living wage for their families. The ultimate fulfillment of many of our learners’ goals is a transition from literacy education into the workforce, job training, or higher education.