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September 22, 2010

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September 22, 2010

I became involved with Literacy Partners as a volunter on the special events committee. In keeping with our mission, we are committed to events which are linked to books and reading. Visiting classes if very moving, it's wonderful to see the commitment of students struggling to sound out words and improve their reading skills. Working with Fleet Bank (now Bankof America) we created the Fleet Scholars, a program to support and sponsor particular students. In honor of past board member Sonny Sloan we helped fund a class room at headquarters which is dedicated to her. Supporting Literacy Partners enables us to increase the number of adult New Yorkers we are teaching to read. We are hoping to obtain additional and improved teaching computers and to expand programs to teach particular practical skills. The board is made up of particularly committed members who contribute time and real effort toward helping the organization function effectively.

The Great!

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

Visiting classes I have had the chance to meet and talk with students and to see and hear how grateful they are to learn to read and to be able to function better in their daily lives.

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

seeing the delight of adults who find themselves able to read.

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

very committed and innovative in their approach to developing effective ways to teach and to measure results.

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

teach even more students how to learn to read. In addition the staff could further develop effective teaching methods and take a leadership role in helping other groups learn how to teach more successfully.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 21, 2010

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September 21, 2010

Literacy Partners does great work rescuing students who failed in the conventional educational system. I had the rewarding experience of interviewing one such client of Literacy Partners who had been tutored by Virginia Koenig, the author of “How to Learn-How to Teach: Overcoming the Seven Barriers to Comprehension.” It was fascinating to hear how Ms. Koenig applied the principles discussed in her book, along with those of the Montessori method of which she is a practitioner, to rescue the student and recover and empower his ability to learn. Basically, the underlying principle is that we all have the ability to learn — but the big issue is: what gets in its way? Ms. Koenig applied the answers to this question with her student to recover him. It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm for learning he now possesses along with the confidence he has in his abilities as a successful student.

The Great!

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

I have not been a client of Literacy Partners, but have seen the results of its work with quite a number of its clients, and the results a stellar . . . they are saving lives from ruin.

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

Their dedication to helping folks.

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

wonderfully dedicated.

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

reach more people and render more help . . . . but more importantly, it would be able to benefit our society so much more.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 21, 2010

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September 21, 2010

I have been involved as a volunteer with Literacy Partners for five years. During that time I have tutored dozens of students, some of whom have made wonderful progress, passed their GEDs and moved on to the next phase of their lives. I have been so impresses with Literacy P. The energetic staff offers the adult students every chance to become literate. The staff works tirelessly and cheerfully to make the best of everyone's potential and to provide the emotional support as well as learning skills that are needed. More funding is needed, more staff is needed, more materials are needed, but Literacy Partners thrives despite this.

The Great!

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

my tutoring.

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

the connection with students.

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

Terrific.

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

Buy more teaching materials and books. Hold more classes (there is a waiting list)

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 21, 2010

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September 21, 2010

My experience has been so positive that I encourage everyone I know to try volunteering here. I was concerned at first because I didn't have prior experience, but the students are terrific. They come to class with questions, ask questions throughout, and often stay late with more questions. The atmosphere is very positive and everyone encourages everyone else to do their best. That's greatly helped by our teacher, who combines the work with a good sense of humor.

The Great!

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

Seeing the progress made by individual students, both in reading comprehension and in pronunciation.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 19, 2010

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September 19, 2010

I found out about Literacy Partners, Inc. through a Google search. I went to an oreintation and after completing my paperwork and getting referrals I was accepted into the tutoring program. I started out by registering students who have been accepted into the program. What I saw over the next few Monday evenings opened my eyes even wider and made my desire to become part of this program even stronger. I met students who dropped out of school, some students that were moderately educated in their homelands and some students that had very little reading experience. All of the students gave me the same feeling-they all wanted to learn to read to better themselves and to regain their pride. It was a feeling that I have never felt before in my entire life. It is one that I want to continue to experience for a very very long time to come.

The Great!

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

ways that I never could imagine.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 17, 2010

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September 17, 2010

Literacy Partners does great work in NYC to work with people learning English and increase their proficiency in reading, writing, and math. The volunteers are well-trained and well-supported in their efforts. Literacy Partners staff offer professional development, provide relevant resources, and communicate well with both the volunteers and clients. There is a consistent effort to grow and change as an organization (reflected in their responses to volunteer suggestions). The clients are also well-supported. The learning atmosphere is very comfortable and the students receive frequent feedback on their progress. The intake process is very smooth and clients begin classes with a good idea of where they stand and what to expect. I am always inspired by my fellow volunteers and their dedication. Many have been volunteering for years and years and they are a great resource.

The Great!

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

the students! It is gratifying to both the students and the volunteers to see their improvement. I also feel that through my training and interaction with staff and other volunteers I've become a more effective teacher.

Ways to make it better...

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

provide more resources and funding! I'd love to have manipulatives, flashcards, or math games. And there are sooo many clients on the waiting list!

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

my interactions with the clients. Not only are my students funny, energetic, and intelligent but many of them have also surmounted incredible odds to get back to the classroom.

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

super supportive and dedicated.

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

reopen several closed sites, buy useful resources, train more tutors, purchase their own classroom locations....and get more NYers reading!

Ways to make it better...

I personally knew more about the education system (NYC schools) in general and teaching techniques for the non-traditional learner in particular. However, the staff has been doing a really good job with supplemental training.

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

funding.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 16, 2010

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September 16, 2010

Great charity! We helped 3000+ adults in NYC learn how to read last year, making them better parents and members of their communities.

The Great!

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

I have seen our clients in person. The impact of learning to read changes someone's life.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 16, 2010

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September 16, 2010

I've only been with Literacy Partners since the spring, having taken the training during the winter of 2010. It was rigorous and professional--a good introduction to the organization itself. Students come to class ready to learn. Although it's free to them, the quality of the master teacher's instruction is high and attendance is steady. I love the international flavor of the class; with the exception of a small cluster of students from the Dominican Republic, everyone's from some place different! That fact alone encourages them to speak English in class. LPI has built a strong reputation on a small budget; they stand for excellence in the field of adult literacy. The volunteers and teachers are as dedicated as the students and the results speak for themselves.

The Great!

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

seeing how the students' confidence grows and their horizons expand

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 15, 2010

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September 15, 2010

I live in New York City with my husband and daughter, who is about to apply for college. Having some free time, I wanted a volunteer experience helping others to read English. Literacy Partners offered a training program for volunteers that went into many more areas of teaching than just helping adults learn to read. It was a revelation to me while taking the training, to realize different methods and procedures for teaching: how to begin with basic vocabulary, build with sentences, keep track of grammar, comprehension, pronunciation, conversation, where a student struggles and how to assist with it while continuing a lesson, and working with adults from different educational backgrounds. I have the blessing of an excellent master teacher who is endlessly patient, innovative and creative, while maintaining a good sense of humor but also being firm when necessary. It's wonderful getting to know adults who attend every day in order to learn English. Often I hear that they travel long distances in order to attend the class. Each session follows a certain order - the study of vocabulary words, sentence building, dialogue practice, grammar practice sheets, and then a coffee break. I noticed from the first class that the master teacher made a point of preparing and serving coffee to the students himself, asking if they wanted coffee and how they liked it. Students brought snacks, and volunteers do this also, so we share the refreshment together. After a 15 minute break, the class divides up and I take half for a reading comprehension lesson. My master teacher gives me a different lesson each week, and it is composed of a reading passage followed by many different oral and written exercises. It is at this point of the class that I feel most like a real teacher, as "my" students take turns reading and going through the exercises. We all help each other through them, and it's beautiful to see how students will do anything to help someone who is struggling. I am so humbled by how hard they work, and how they thank me at the end of each session. I always praise them out loud to the master teacher, who is in the room, listening to how the volunteers conduct this portion of the lesson, and he helps and comes over periodically to share in the teaching, as necessary. He has always told me that if I ever had a challenging situation or needed him, to let him know immediately, and of course we have each other's telephone numbers and email addresses. It has never been necessary. I am pleased that my teacher has met my family and I have attended many Literacy Partners events throughout my time as a volunteer. Often, there are little parties, trips to museums and outings for picnics or to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center - so appreciated by everyone. I learned that many newcomers live alone or with distant family members, and being a part of Literacy Partners gives them a new set of friends. It's hard to believe that I completed my training in the Fall of 2008 and began volunteering in January of 2009 - I feel as if I've done it all my life.

The Great!

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

volunteering once a week in an ESOL class - the students' English improves all the time with the adult literacy lessons provided. We also share education-appropriate literature and newspapers.

Ways to make it better...

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

expand the classes for additional sessions even more than we have already, and have so much time that we could give individual time to students who might need the extra time with a volunteer or teacher.

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

Literacy Partners provides great supervision for volunteers as well as students. I am so comfortable when I volunteer because I know the administrators are in the building, along with my master teacher.

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

Experienced, caring individuals who understood the practical needs of those who have to function in this country without English.

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

Hire more adult literacy teachers and expand into more classes, so that every individual struggling to read, write and speak English could be helped.

Ways to make it better...

I'd love to someday have the time to work on an individual basis with students, although I love doing group lessons.

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

Funding, because when a student is in the middle of learning a new language, it's essential that his or her program not be cut or reduced while learning is taking place.

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

Teaching someone to read, write and speak English is watching someone gain in strength, and I hope my volunteering is helping this need.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 15, 2010

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September 15, 2010

I've been working with Literacy Partners for about a year, after going through the training program that is required of all volunteers. Although I expected I'd be helping students with reading, it's turned out that I work more on math. I really love the 3 hours I spend with students each week. They are astonishing in their dedication and hard work. I'm also constantly impressed with the way they work together and encourage each other (often across generations and cultures). Many of them are so smart -- but they think they're not. I try to help them see that they know a lot more than they realize they do, and they're definitely not stupid.

The Great!

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

They seem to have a well-run admission system, with orientation and placement testing, so that when a student arrives in class they have a good idea of what to expect.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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