Adult Reading Center
The mission of the Adult Reading Center is to transform lives through education. 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. Our vision is to achieve 100% literacy through 100% community engagement.
Core Literacy Programs
With the following key initiatives, the Adult Reading Center will take adult learners from learning to read, write and speak English to obtaining a GED and a job earning a living wage while becoming contributing members of our community.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In FY2013-14, over 750 individuals were impacted by the services the Center provides without charge through 22,000 instructional contact hours which include work skills assistance.
Volunteer opportunities with the Center include tutoring (Math, ESL, GED, Barton), clerical assistance, computer lab coaching, day-of event set up and clean up, committee membership and community outreach.
Since I am currently in between IT jobs I was asked about volunteering to tutor at the Adult Reading Center. While I was a bit reluctant to get involved as a volunteer in a classroom environment with actual adults I agreed to be brought in as an observer. Upon my first classroom session the instructor, Al LeBlanc, treated me with utmost respect and always stopped his teaching whenever I had something to input or add to the discussion. I have learned a tremendous amount about how to interact with students from watching his teaching style. These opportunities gave me confidence to continue the dialogue each time I was in the class to help out.
Mr. LeBlanc also has given me the reins to start working with students and assist them with assignments whenever they needed it. I received several chances with an entire group while he tested others in a separate session. This turned out to me more enjoyable than I realized or expected. The students turned to me for guidance and we had a great time while learning. They were always most respectful and thanked me for assisting. This experience has taught me that we all have something to offer if we just learn to get out of our comfort zone and take a few risks. I will always value this time with the students and helping them to reach their goals.
- Elias L. Zuniga-
It is so rewarding to see a student's eyes light up when they start to understand what they are reading. There is an added bonus when you see them gain pride and confidence as their reading skills continue to improve.
- Karri Axtell-
My experiences with the organization come from the perspective of a board member. When I joined this organization I knew generally what its mission was but didn’t fully grasp the impact it makes on people’s lives. It wasn’t until the first Red Hat Luncheon that it all came together. I was a member of the planning committee for the luncheon and right away I sensed its importance. Our committee worked very well together and we formed a bond that helped prepare in advance of such an undertaking. This is when I really began to gel with other board members and understand the importance of our organization. The event was outstanding and the testimonials even more so. There’s nothing better than hearing a success story come from an organization that you are a part of.
- Jacob Williamson, ARC Board Member-