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Adult Reading Center Inc

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult Education, Economic Development, Education, Employment Preparation & Procurement, Family Services, Human Services, Job Training

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.

Community Stories

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

I have been involved with this organization for several years. I see miracles every day! Dale and her staff go out of their way to help the students in all aspects of their lives. I am honored to be a volunteer there!



Rating: 5

I took the tutor training and started volunteering at the Adult Reading Center in April, 1990 as a one on one tutor. Since that start I have tutored many students, either one on one or small groups. It still amazes me how appreciative the students are that I would take my time to help them learn to read, write and speak English. I've had students with every little education on up to students with a number of degrees and no matter what level they are it is a real enjoyment to me to be a part of the ARC helping them to improve. Other then the tutoring I also have served on the Board of Directors and try to take care of maintaining the facility.

The center provides a path for anyone who has the desire to improve their status in the community and is willing to dedicate their time, work hard reap the results.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am presently a member of the board and have been associated with the Adult Reading Center for over 20 years. I have been a tutor, board member and maintenance provider. The Center started as a small operation teaching adults to learn how to read and speak English, with a few students, to the present that provides instruction to multible classes throughout the week. Students in the beginning were primarily of Spanish decent whereas at the present there are over 30+ languages seeking to learn English. Besides improving there English skills, students can learn how study for their GED, write a resume, operate a computer, interview for a job or study for the citizenship test. All the programs offered are free to the student. The Center plans to expand its opeation to provide the resources necessary to meet the growing demand of adults wanting to improve their status in life.



Rating: 5

I have been a Board Member for a year. I have seen and heard a lot ot testominies from people who have received their services and just to see the progress is such a great achievement.


Rating: 5

I’ve been a fan of the Adult Reading Center since I came for a tour with the Pearland Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class seven years ago. I was pretty blown away by everything I learned that day about the Center’s mission/purpose, the people whose lives are changed by this place, the people who work and volunteer here and by all the good things that are accomplished in this tiny blue house. Every time I hear the Center's Executive Director, Dale Pillow, give the Center’s Annual Report to our Board of Directors, the same sense of amazement washes over me. It’s still hard for me to believe that such a small staff along with some truly dedicated volunteers can make such an incredible difference in so many peoples’ lives.

Of course, it’s the students who actually do all the work but I think once they muster the courage to come to the Center, it’s our teachers’ and staff’s encouragement that keeps them coming back.

I occasionally help one student who graduated in May by reviewing her college English papers. She told me when she first came to the Center, she had no confidence. Zero. She said it’s her teacher, Al LeBlanc, who gave her the confidence not only to earn her high school degree (by completing a portion of the TAKS test) but to enroll in classes at a local community college. He just kept telling her she was smart and that she could do anything she put her mind to. She said if not for his faith in her, she would have given up.

Recently one of our students, who I’d guess is in his mid 60s, was treated to his first birthday party EVER by his volunteer tutor right here in our little kitchen.

People who never thought they’d earn a GED, drop in to announce they’re starting classes at a community college or they’ve landed a new job that will make life easier for their family.

Immigrants who have overcome so many hurdles to come to our country, manage not only to learn our language, but to flourish and go on to become citizens.

I’m not sure of many places a person can volunteer where little miracles and little moments of true inspiration happen around you and with great frequency. This place does more than educate, it lifts people up in more ways than I can name.

A-Better P.


Rating: 5

My experience as an Adult Reading Center volunteer has been wonderful. I've been able to take part in several functions and working with their staff and fellow volunteers has been very rewarding. Their mission is clear and their staff is unstoppable! It is wonderful to volunteer for an organization that is so dedicated to the community and it's citizens.



Rating: 5

The Adult Reading Center in Pearland is a positive place full of energy creating a comfortable learning environment for students to learn English, study for their GED, prepare for citizenship, and prepare for job search. Volunteers work hard to ensure all students are successful in reaching their goals.


Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at the Adult Reading Center since Nov., 2012 and love the work, interactions with the dedicated staff and appreciative of the great accomplishments.



Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at the Adult Reading Center for many years. I see the students and hear their stories every day and am humbled by them. After having lived in Europe for 4 years I realize how hard it is to move to a new place and learn a new culture. I like to think we are helping our students by making it easier for them in their day to day lives.