Introducing the Literacy Relief Fund
Posted by Jessica Gilmour on August 11, 2020 in categoryStudent Stories categoryStories from the FieldcategoryNews

ProLiteracy is proud to announce the launch of the Literacy Relief Fund. The Literacy Relief Fund was created to provide direct relief to adult literacy programs, tutors, and students. ProLiteracy recently surveyed its member programs and New Readers Press customers to gauge how local literacy programs and their students are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. From these results, we were able to identify their specific needs.

Adult literacy programs across the United States are struggling to connect with learners remotely and are in desperate need of training, books, and digital/print curricula. Contributions to the Literacy Relief Fund will give these programs access to both digital and print learning materials needed to provide education remotely.

While everyone continues to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, people with lower levels of education are hit harder. Historically, individuals with less than a high school education and people of color are the first to lose jobs and the last to recover from economic recessions. This emphasizes the value of education, which starts with access to literacy, high school equivalency preparation, and English language services.

Adult literacy programs’ needs

Key findings from ProLiteracy’s survey are highlighted below.

  • 85% of adult literacy programs indicated that while their classroom location is physically closed, they are reaching students through some method(s) of remote learning.
  • Programs cited “training for staff on digital learning tools” as their top remote learning need (59%). 
  • Programs also need “digital English language learning content” (50%), and “print instructional content that also has a digital component” (48%) to scale remote learning impact.
  • While the research shows that the majority of adult basic education students have smartphones, programs indicated that students need larger screen format devices (e.g., tablets, laptops) to effectively learn, study, and communicate online.
  • Many adult basic education students can’t afford the broadband or Wi-Fi connections that are needed for a remote learning environment.

Programs are struggling

The Education Resource Center (ERC) at the May Dugan Center in Cleveland, Ohio, is just one program that has been experiencing financial constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It does not have extra funding in its budget to provide new online learning tools for students studying for either the HiSET® or GED® exams. The digital literacy tools provided by New Readers Press offer the ERC a way to engage students remotely and help them reach their high school equivalency learning goals. 

In a tremendous time of need, you can help provide direct relief to adult literacy programs like the ERC and its students through the Literacy Relief Fund. Your gift will give these programs access to both digital and print learning materials to provide education remotely.

You can help provide direct relief today.

Make a Donation to the Literacy Relief Fund


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