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Learn English and Reading Now, Inc.

Fishersville, VA

www.learnva.org

Amount Requested: $2,500 for Expanding Outreach to native Spanish Speakers

Mission: To increase opportunities for adults in our community through literacy.  We do this by offering free literacy tutoring, either individually or in small groups, to adults who read at or below the 3rd grade reading level.  We also offer citizenship training to those requesting it.

Constituents Served: Any adult living in Staunton, Waynesboro, or Augusta County who reads at or below the 3rd grade level or who desires to learn to speak English at a higher level is eligible for our free services. We served 51 people last year, representing a 41% increase from last year.  This includes 2 adults age 18-23, 36 adults age 24-44, 9 adults age 45-54, and 4 adults age 55-69.  The largest part of this growth has been in the target population of native Spanish speakers.  We have partnered with St. John Church in Waynesboro to hold tutoring in their facilities, addressing two huge barriers to participation: transportation and child care, both of which the church is providing.

Program Overview: We want to continue to expand our outreach to native Spanish speakers by having a larger presence in neighborhoods where they live, by more targeted outreach through materials and a native speaker on staff to represent LEARN, and by offering joint programs with the children of these learners to enhance family literacy.  We will continue to work with churches, Augusta County Library, and local schools and Head Start to build a family-centric program.

Our goals include increasing the number of people we serve by 50%, replicating the success of our partnership with St. John Church at other sites, emphasizing joint family literacy programs where families learn together, hiring a native speaker to be the voice of LEARN in Hispanic communities, training more tutors to work with this population, increasing our available materials to enhance learning, and developing more family friendly programs to involve children.

Current Operating Budget: $28,211

Program Budget: $9,500