Mission: Our mission is to provide opportunities for lifelong learning and learning for life. Our vision is for adults to have the skills to transform their lives, sustain their families and strengthen their communities.
Programs: In the 32 years of service to the community, more than 13,000 adults have received literacy and basic education instruction free of charge. Instructional services include one-to-one tutoring, small group instruction, large group instruction, distance learning and computer based individualized programmed instruction. Prior to placement in an instructional program, each adult learner participates in individualized assessment. The assessment process involves an interview, standardized assessment and informal assessment, including reading profiles, supports and barriers assessment and learning preferences. After assessment is completed, the learner and the student coordinator create an individualized learning plan that includes goals and instructional methods and content. Students are encouraged to participate in a minimum of six hours of instruction each week and are able to participate in as many hours as they are able. The literacy council engages adult learners in follow-up assessment every fifty hours. Students take standardized tests to measure learning gains and goals are evaluated and adjusted. In 2016-2017, the literacy council met or exceeded the performance standards set by the national reporting system for enrollment, student achievement, job attainmnet, job retention, hse attainment and transition to post-secondary education.
the literacy council provides students with the option of one-to-one tutoring. Tutors volunteer their time to work with an adult learner. In 2016-2017, the literacy council trained 72 new volunteer tutors and 112 active tutors. The first step to becoming a tutor is to apply to the agency. After an application has been reviewed, suitable candidates participate in an interview with the tutor coordinator. The next step is to participate in a six-hour pre-service training that prepares the tutor for his or her first student. The literacy council has transitioned to a research based tutor training model that provides on demand technical assistance and formal monthly in-service training. In 2016-2017, tutors were able to attend training sessions on evidence based reading instruction, evidence based language instruction, teaching math, contextualized learning, learning differences, hi set, using technology in the classroom, teaching software for employment, and english forward. In 2016-2017, staff tutors provided more than 13,000 hours of instruction. In program year 2016-2017, 1,183 students were served in the program. 307 students met an employment goal. 73% of students, with the goal of college, transitioned to post secondary education. 79% of students improved their skills. 16 students got a ged and 50 passed portions of the test. The literacy council embraces collaboration and actively works in a variety of collaborative settings. The literacy council is a member of the lancaster county refugee & immigrant coalition and works closely with our adult education family literacy partner in our community to enable us to align and connect services and produce new programs and innovative stratigies to address the education needs of adults in our community.
the literacy council promotes literacy by reaching out to the community. The literacy council maintains a website, a blog, publishes a newsletter three times a year, and produces an annual report. The literacy council also maintains a facebook page, a twitter account and an instagram account. Staff members actively seek opportunities to speak at service organizations such as rotary clubs,lion's clubs, kiwanis clubs and many others. It is important for the community to understand the significant role that literacy plays in daily life. In the two counties served by the literacy council, there are more than 64,000 people over the age of 16 who lack basic reading skills. These adults struggle to find and keep life sustaining work. They struggle to help their children succeed in school. They are unable to fully participate as informed citizens. Our outreach goal is to raise awareness so that the community knows about our services and can refer people who need help to us and encourage support for the organization's work in the form of donations of time, talent and resources. Another way the literacy council participated in community outreach is through providing imagination library in the east petersburg borough, south annville township, columbia borough, and city of lebanon. Imagination library is a program started by dolly parton and the dollywood foundation that provides a free book each month to a child for the first five years of life. All children who reside in a designated area are eligible for the program.