Generous donors and grantors have enabled the Redlands Adult Literacy Program to acquire a wide selection of literacy materials that are available for checkout by anyone in the community. These materials may be helpful to students who want to improve their reading and writing skills, and adults who want to improve their English literacy skills. You are invited to peruse the adult literacy collection at A. K. Smiley Public Library where you will find: fiction and nonfiction stories, biographies, abbreviated classics, graphic novels, audio books, and workbooks that enhance learning for those who are working to improve their literacy. Literacy books are written with themes that appeal to adult readers, but with grammar and vocabulary that make the books easy to understand.
The adult literacy collection includes contemporary stories that are available to everyone regardless of their reading level. The Gemma Open Door Series books are quick and easy to read. One of these books, The Cell Phone Lot by Greta Gorsuch, was chosen by the adult learner book club for their November selection. The book is a story about a young woman who lost her job and found herself unable to pay her bills. This resilient young woman found a way to generate income by working for a ride-sharing company. Through this new endeavor, she built relationships with people she met as they waited for riders at the cell phone lot.
In 2017, the Redlands Adult Literacy Program chose The Circuit : stories from the life of a migrant child as a community read book for the year, and invited author Francisco Jiménez, to visit Redlands and speak about his books and his life. To read more of his story, the literacy collection includes his entire series of books: Breaking Through which describes his middle school years, Reaching Out that details his college experience, and finally, Taking Hold which follows his journey to Columbia University where he completed his PhD. We invite you to read more of Dr. Jiménez’s books.
Reluctant readers may enjoy reading graphic novels. These are illustrated stories with contemporary messages that are made all the more powerful because of the art associated with the story. Take a trip with Alpha as he searches for family members in Alpha Abidjan to Paris by Bessora Barroux. Simple drawings in the book enhance the story and add visual details to the author’s journey. Congressman John Lewis’s March series documents the civil rights movement from his point of view with color illustrations that bring the story alive on the pages.
Donations from The Redlands Community Foundation have enhanced the literacy program’s audio collection. Audio book packs include a book and a recorded version of the book. These book packs allow new readers to listen to the book as they read along with the audio version. By hearing words read aloud by a good reader, a reader builds fluency, word recognition, and pronunciation skills. This collection includes popular books like I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.
The literacy collection includes workbooks to help reinforce vocabulary, grammar, or writing skills. Many of these workbooks are in a series that allow the reader to decide which workbook best serves their goals. Writing, grammar, comprehension, and vocabulary workbooks are available at a range of levels from very basic through advanced. Language Builder workbooks begin with a short grammar pre-test and lead the reader directly to pages that explain concepts that are new or forgotten.
The pandemic has not slowed down adult literacy activities. If you are interested in becoming a tutor or if you would like help in reading and writing, please call Diane Shimota, adult literacy coordinator, at 909.798.7565, ext. 4138, or email her at email@example.com. The literacy program is free to all participants. If you have any questions about the adult literacy collection, please call or email the adult literacy coordinator.