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Literacy Delaware

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult Education, Education, Job Training

Mission: The purpose of Literacy Delaware is to help adults improve literacy skills and thereby realize their potential to be confident, self-sufficient, and productive employees and community members. We deliver services and programs in reading, writing, English language, math, workplace, and computer skills. Literacy Delaware works to create public understanding of the impact of illiteracy and advocates for literacy solutions.

Results: Since the program began in 1983, over 2000 functionally illiterate adults have received tutorial assistance from volunteer tutors on a one-to-one basis. Over one hundred volunteers are trained annually. Many of the tutors have continued long after completing the 100 hours of their initial commitment.

Target demographics: The Literacy Delaware program trains volunteers to tutor adults in basic reading and/or conversational English skills. This free tutorial service is provided to adults who read below the fifth grade level, or are non-native speakers.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 125 on average

Geographic areas served: Throughout the state of Delaware

Programs: Services provided locally by Literacy Delaware address issues of poverty, unemployment, family relationships and community involvement include one-to-one tutoring, small group tutoring and English/Civics classes. Literacy Delaware seeks to serve those hardest to reach adult learners: those reading below the 5th grade level and non-native speaking adults with poor English-speaking skills. Literacy Delaware specializes in offering "contextualized instruction" or instruction in life skills that help adults increase their productivity in the workplace, improve their understanding of the responsibilities of citizenship and to improve their family/parenting skills.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our library started a literacy program in 2014, but we needed help from a more experienced organization to help us grow. We called Literacy Delaware and have now become a satellite of that organization. We started helping just native English speakers and are now tutoring English Language Learners as well. We have 25 students so far, with some tutors taking more than one student. Literacy Delaware is making a difference in Sussex County, Delaware. I volunteer both as the coordinator of the Sussex County satellite and as a tutor. Without Literacy Delaware, Sussex County would have no adult literacy program.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Literacy Delaware done an astounding job filling a critical need for refugee families resettling here in Delaware. Through training and coordinating their excellent volunteer tutors, Literacy Delaware has provided intensive ESL for every family who has arrived this year. The results have been remarkable, and while working with these refugee families I have seen the amazing transition from non-English speaker to English speaker in just a matter of months. This organization deserves the highest praise possible!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a tutor for Literacy Delaware. I have had the privilege of tutoring 2 adults who needed help in learning how to read and write in English. Both of my students are single parents, a mother who is raising 3 children whose native language is Spanish and a single father of 3 whose native language is Turkish. Both students have full time jobs in the food service industry. They are barely above minimum wages in their profession. Both students have expressed their appreciation for this program and it is changing their lives. Their children and employers have complimented them on their noticeable progress and continuing facility in speaking, reading and writing in English. I am amazed at their determination and commitment in their journey for an education that they were unable to attain in their childhoods'. I am truly humbled by their fortitude and strength and how they both have made me a better person. I have received more satisfaction in watching them grow then they could imagine. Literacy Delaware is a wonderful non profit organization that makes Delaware a great place to live and learn.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Learning materials and staff support is excellent. Enjoy seeing students make progress with their literacy and math skills. Very fulfilling volunteer experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Not being able to read is an incredible handicap and working with a learner is a wonderful experience. We need tutors and the training is terrific. Come join the movement.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer ESL tutor for this organization for about 16 years and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. Teaching English to adult learners who are so in need of better language skills has helped give me a much greater appreciation of how difficult it is for people who have taken the unbelievably brave step of leaving behind their native cultures to try and make a better life for themselves and their families. I have come to know so many of their life stories and have learned from them at least as much as I have taught them. I have helped mothers and fathers gain the confidence and courage to connect to their new communities with a better knowledge of our language.

It is a huge step, for so many of them, to be able to make an appointment with a doctor or dentist, to be able to help their children do their homework, to attend an open house at their kid's school and speak to the teacher. To help teach basic things which most of us take for granted like not being afraid to ask directions from a stranger or to ask an employee at some business for help in finding an item or getting some kind of service. It is such a wonderful feeling to hear that one of my students can now bargain for a price or for a raise in their wages or to ask for extra instruction at their work so they can advance to a higher paid position. Helping others to be able to help themselves is a thing that one cannot put a price on and by passing along our compassion and love, we make ourselves better people as well. Literacy Delaware has enabled me to do truly meaningful work in my life and I tell everyone I know that it is one of the most soul fulfilling experiences of my life.

The employees and other volunteers who I have met in this organization are some of the most caring and giving people who I have ever met and I am so proud to be associated with them.

Barbara283

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been with Literacy Delaware for two years now, working with the same student. We have seen plenty of progress and have gone through a lot together. Literacy Delaware has expanded their reach to cover the entire state of Delaware now and are working hard to reach as many people as possible. As with most volunteer efforts, I've benefited from this experience so much!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Literacy Delaware provides an important service to those wishing to improve their English and adults who want to complete a GED degree. Both efforts, enable these members of our community to find and improve their employment options, support the education of their children and more fully participate in civic life. On a personal level, students gain confidence and form friendships. Learning about their cultures and answering questions about life in the US is enriching to me as an instructor. I'm happy and proud to serve Literacy Delaware.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Literacy Delaware for about 15 years. My students have been both basic readers and English second language. My current student is about to be interviewed for her citizenship.

The staff is there to help the student succeed through the teacher. There is ongoing training that enables the teachers to keep up-to-date on the latest techniques. They are only a telephone call or email away.

The students are tested periodically to ensure that they are moving along on grade level. All of the students with whom I have worked love the program and often tell their friends about it.

To summarize, this is a group that helps many and makes their lives more productive.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great, supportive, caring organization. I'm a volunteer tutor. The gentleman I am working with is a wonderful and dedicated learner.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization does incredible work helping adults improve their English language, literacy and math skills. They do it all on a shoestring budget and largely through trained volunteers. The have touched and improved the lives of many many adults in Delaware and are extremely worthy of support.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Holding the Keys to Literacy
In 1992, I was a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) Volunteer in Wilmington, Delaware. I was assigned to the Literacy Volunteers of America office, where I recruited adult literacy tutors and adult learners. I assessed adults who needed help with basic literacy and English as a Second Language skills. I recruited and assessed in the community at large and in the men and women's prisons in Wilmington, a city that has recently been dubbed, 'Murder Town'. I took on this assignment, at a time when I was uncertain of my own path, as I entered into adulthood. It was through my many gritty, heartbreaking and inspiring experiences that I committed myself to the teaching profession. It was here I realized that I felt 'called' to teach reading to children. I am committed to helping kids, who are emergent readers. Trouble shooting learning differences and figuring out ways to teach and learn, so that every one of my students is successful, is imperative. I strive to develop inspiring, hands-on lessons that will capture a child's imagination and breed success. READING, is the key to employment. Working with so many adults who were experiencing unemployment, under employment, incarceration and recidivism due to the fact that they could not read. I am now in my eleventh year as an elementary school teacher...who helps to give the gift of reading to children, everyday.

Review from #MyGivingStory