Record-High Interest Levels!
Can you help expand services for students?
Dear Friend of Literacy Network,
In summer 2022, more than 250 community members expressed interest in Literacy Network’s classes and tutoring programs—the highest-ever number of adults to reach out during registration! To enroll and serve these potential learners, we urgently need to expand our Student Services department. Donate here to help!
Literacy Network responded quickly and efficiently to the COVID-19 pandemic with a shift in programming and services. We pivoted to virtual programs and became a vital resource serving the new needs of our learning community. We added robust wraparound supports to help learners connect with other services and resources needed to make it through unanticipated challenges. As we have learned to live with the ongoing pandemic, Literacy Network has continued to adapt to the needs of our learning community. As a result, interest in our programs has grown rapidly. We now offer virtual, in-person, and hybrid programs to meet the needs of our learners. Since we started offering this variety, 60% more learners have expressed interest than in prior years.
Virtual programs ensured continuity during the height of the pandemic and have provided an important ongoing opportunity for learners who can study from home. Offering both online and in-person study options allow more community members to participate at Literacy Network. One mother of young kids who recently registered for summer classes is excited to study virtually so that she doesn’t have to arrange for childcare; meanwhile, another is happy to take classes in person because she doesn’t have her own dedicated study space at home. We are glad to be able to provide programs that fit both of these mothers’ needs.
New learners have shared that they appreciate the variety of classes Literacy Network has to help them reach their goals, as well as our flexible schedules. Many people who reached out this summer found us through recommendations from family and friends. Others enrolled this year because they have studied with us before. Tien was in Literacy Network programs pre-pandemic and returned this summer because he knows that “the teacher is friendly and welcoming.” Mamta had also previously taken our classes; she reconnected because she wants to increase her reading level to be able to move into a management role at her job.
Adults come to Literacy Network to build skills and work toward their goals. About 1 in 4 new learners this semester said they have a goal of getting a new job or a promotion. Aisha shared that she was excited she found Literacy Network because she wants to improve her English skills and eventually get her GED so that she can get a job when her youngest child starts school. Natalia dreams of opening her own beauty store; she first wants to improve her conversation and computer skills.
Student Services dedicates hundreds of hours to registering adult learners like Aisha and Natalia in their initial program enrollment. Once enrolled, Student Services staff provide persistence support, crucial resource connections that respond to immediate needs, advising, mentorship, and re-enrollment services. Offering a variety of programs and schedules allows us to meet our learners where they are. Our team learns about participants’ hopes and dreams and helps them along the way. This means deeper services and stronger outcomes, but it also means additional staff time.
We expect the rising trend of interested learners to continue; fall semester is typically our busiest time. To meet our community’s needs, we urgently need to increase capacity in our Student Services department. Adding staff allows us to reach the growing waitlist of potential students. Literacy Network needs to raise $85,000 to fully staff Student Services and serve adults in our community who want to work toward their employment and education goals.
New learner Liliana said when she registered that she joined our programs because she had seen videos of our learners and “saw how Literacy Network changed people’s lives.” With strong programs and essential supports, learners in our programs increase their language and literacy skills to increase the financial stability of their families, more easily access healthcare, engage with their children’s schools, participate in community activities, and more. Please help us continue to change lives and support adults working toward their goals.
With sincere appreciation,