The Redlands Adult Literacy Program has chosen the book, Harvesting Dreams, Defying the Odds to Achieve the American Dream, by Erica Alfaro as this year’s Community Read. The book was selected because of its focus on the life-changing impact of education, how determination can overcome adversity, and its invitation to everyone to dream BIG. Erica will share her challenging journey from immigrant, teenage mother, domestic abuse survivor, to earning her master’s degree and becoming a spokesperson for sharing your story and achieving your dreams.
The Redlands Adult Literacy Program invites the community to meet author Erica Alfaro on Saturday, March 9th, 2024 at the Contemporary Club, 173 S. Eureka Street, Redlands. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 2:00 p.m. This is a free event open to everyone.
Harvesting Dreams has been read by over 100 members of the adult literacy community. They were moved by the challenges that Ms. Alfaro overcame in her quest for an education. Many adult learners who read her book said they could relate to her story and were inspired by her strength and courage.
Cinderella Tran, an adult learner in the Adult Literacy Program, expressed her appreciation to the author by saying, “The book inspired me to think about how we have to encourage our children to get an education to better themselves.” Salma Marquez, a fellow-adult learner, said, “I think this book is inspirational for a lot of people especially Mexican people who came to this country. It is hard. Erica Alfaro is very strong.”
Reading about the difficulties faced by Ms. Alfaro in her marriage, Yesenia Jimenez reflected, “I admire Erica for being a brave girl, even though she was very young, she knew how to take her place as a woman and distance herself from her boyfriend.” In her book, Erica shared that her boyfriend often discouraged her from continuing her education. Jeanne Fortier, an adult literacy tutor, reflected, “For Erica, giving up on her dreams for herself and her son was not an option.”
Tutors and learners are well aware of the struggle that many people face to advance their education and they understand the courage and dedication necessary to advance themselves and their families in this ever more complicated world.
This event is made possible through generous donations to the adult literacy program through the Friends of A.K. Smiley Public Library and support from the A.K. Smiley Public Library Endowment Fund. Copies of Harvesting Dreams are available for checkout at the Library.
The ability to read and write at a level necessary to achieve your dreams is an essential need for everyone in the community. Because the Redlands community has so many wonderful volunteers who donate their time to help others, the Redlands Adult Literacy Program is able to provide one-on-one tutoring in reading and writing for adults who need to improve their literacy skills to get better jobs, further their own education, help their children with schoolwork, or read a book.
If you know someone who wants to improve their literacy, or if you would like to volunteer as an adult literacy tutor, please call 909.798.7565, ext. 4110, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit A.K. Smiley Public Library and ask for the adult literacy coordinator. All information is treated confidentially. You may also wish to visit www.akspl.org/literacy, to read more about the Redlands Adult Literacy Program. The next tutor orientation class will take place on Tuesday, January 23, 2024. Please contact the literacy coordinator if you are interested in attending this class.