Two AmeriCorps members have joined the Redlands Adult Literacy leadership team. The California Library Literacy Services (CLLS) and Literacyworks, a nonprofit that supports literacy programs, recently collaborated with California Volunteers/AmeriCorps to build capacity in adult and family literacy programs throughout the state of California. Through the CLLS AmeriCorps Initiative, A.K. Smiley Public Library was awarded two part-time AmeriCorps members for one year to help enhance literacy programs in Redlands.
AmeriCorps is often referred to as the “Domestic Peace Corps” as its members are engaged in service to local communities. AmeriCorps members help communities prosper and bring Americans together by working with communities to ensure that people have access to the help they need.
The mission of AmeriCorps closely aligns with the Redlands Adult Literacy Program’s goal to provide one-on-one tutoring to adults who are working to improve their reading and writing skills in order to improve their and their family’s lives. The AmeriCorps members are working under the direction of Diane Shimota, Adult Literacy Coordinator, to provide additional tutoring, assist with tutor training, promote continuing education, and expand literacy outreach efforts within Redlands.
Ann Sandin is a literacy tutor who joined AmeriCorps because she wanted to apply her background as an educator in a new, more community-based manner. She began her AmeriCorps service at A.K. Smiley Public Library on November 1st. In addition to tutoring two adult learners, she provides drop-in tutoring on Saturday afternoons for adult learners who are waiting for tutors or who want a little extra help with computer basics. Her goals are to help expand literacy services throughout the Redlands community, make tutor training more interactive, and to deepen her own understanding of the literacy challenges facing so many adults.
AmeriCorps member Melany Chong has been active in the family literacy program at Smiley Library for over a year. The family literacy program is designed to involve parents enrolled in the adult literacy program with the opportunity to help enhance their children’s learning by providing educational experiences and books that encourage reading. The parents’ involvement with family literacy highlights the value of education in these families.
Melany is a college student who plans to become an elementary school educator with an emphasis in bilingual literacy. She provides creative input during the planning of monthly family literacy meetings and co-leads the meetings by reading books aloud, leading program activities, and patiently teaching crafts to children. Melany joined AmeriCorps because of her desire to gain real-world experience and be more involved in the Redlands community, where she grew up. She said, “I like to see how the children progress meeting after meeting and witness the growth of their enthusiasm for literacy.”
The Redlands Adult Literacy Program focuses on the goals of individual adult learners and their families. Program speakers are available to meet with organizations that are interested in learning more about the Redlands Adult Literacy Program. Please call Diane Shimota, Adult Literacy Coordinator, at (909) 798-7565 ext. 4138 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more about the adult literacy speaker program.
The Redlands Adult Literacy program relies on its wonderful volunteer tutors to provide free instruction in reading and writing. Contact Diane Shimota if you are interested in attending the next volunteer tutor orientation scheduled for Tuesday, January 17, 2023, at 6:00 pm in the Library Assembly Room. If you know of someone who needs help in reading and writing, please encourage them to contact Diane Shimota at A. K. Smiley Public Library. All literacy services are free and confidential.