The Redlands Adult Literacy Program partners with organizations in the community to better meet the needs of adult learners. The new partnership between the Redlands Adult Literacy Program and YMCA of the East Valley which began last summer continues to thrive by offering meeting space for adult learner teams and programs that have grown out of Adult Literacy, including Family Literacy, and Conversation Corner, a program that helps adults practice their conversational English.
The Adult Literacy Program is grateful that the YMCA provides space for individual learner-tutor teams and for group instruction in literacy. All tutoring sessions are learner-driven; volunteer tutors help adult learners reach their individual literacy goals such as reading a book, writing a letter, getting a job, or helping children with their schoolwork. At the group literacy meetings, teams of learners and tutors work together, and then gather for group instruction by reading a book together and building their vocabulary and comprehension skills.
The Family Literacy Program is an extension of the Redlands Adult Literacy Program and was designed to support adult learners who are currently enrolled or plan to enroll in Adult Literacy. Participants have family-oriented goals such as reading a book to their child, or helping their children with schoolwork. Parental literacy is directly linked to the success of children in school. Recently, participants in the Family Literacy Program met at the YMCA of the East Valley. The families talked about what a “sport” is and why sports are important and each identified their favorite sport. Everyone learned that the game of basketball was introduced in 1891 by James Naismith, who worked at a YMCA in Massachusetts and published the first rules for the game. The children were introduced to three new sports: gymnastics, basketball, and soccer. Every child received a book about sports to add to their own home library.
Following the meeting, one mother commented that the family literacy meeting “encouraged exercise and being healthy.” Another mom said that her son enjoyed learning about sports. Adult learner Lida Gadea shared, “The Family Literacy Program allows my daughter and niece to make new friends and try new things. The meetings are fun for the adults as well. We appreciate today’s book because it teaches about many different sports.”
Conversation Corner helps adults who are trying to learn conversational English, so that they have the conversational skills required for enrolling into the Redlands Adult Literacy Program. Conversation Corner participants meet Tuesday mornings at 11:30 at the YMCA’s Heritage Room. Instructor Renee Kennedy welcomes adults who would like to practice speaking English in a friendly environment. Renee Kennedy shared, “Conversation Corner participants have talked about grocery products and favorite recipes, and practiced useful skills such as ways to introduce themselves to people they encounter in their daily lives. This informal setting is a great way to practice speaking English.” These meetings have a hybrid format with a Zoom option for those who are unable to meet in person.
If you know of someone who needs help in reading, writing, or English conversation, please encourage them to take the first step in changing their lives by contacting the Redlands Adult Literacy Program. All services are free and confidential.
The Redlands Adult Literacy Program seeks additional volunteers who can help motivated adults improve their reading and writing. If you would like to volunteer with the Redlands Adult Literacy Program, please contact Diane Shimota, Adult Literacy Coordinator, at (909) 798-7565 ext. 4138, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Adult Literacy website, akspl.org/literacy.