National Book Fund Helps Put High School Equivalency in Sight

As a teenager, Elizabeth got pregnant, left high school, and never went back. 

“I was a mother at a young age. I came from a very violent home. … Teachers didn’t want to help me. So, if you don’t have a good home and teachers that are willing to help, then you just have no will to stay in school and learn. There was no will for me. Like, ‘Oh, you can’t help me? Well then, I don’t need to be here.’” 

On top of that, she had dyslexia that was undiagnosed. 

Elizabeth, now 39, took the first steps almost three years ago to obtain her high school equivalency. She had an idea to open her own business, and this would be the first step. Literacy of Northern New York, a ProLiteracy member program, connected Elizabeth with Jessica who would tutor her at the library. 

“On September 8 it will be three years [since they started meeting],” Elizabeth said. “It was the first day of school for the kids, and it was the first day of school for me, too.” 

In that time, the two women have gotten to know each other. Occasionally they’ll eat while studying or trade stories about being moms to teenagers. But with only a few hours together at a time, Jessica said they are usually focused on staying on task.   

“Elizabeth is so dedicated,” Jessica said. “Other than illness or parenting stuff we don’t usually miss our appointments." 

With a grant from ProLiteracy’s National Book Fund, Literacy of Northern New York is able to provide the pair with instructional resources to meet Elizabeth’s needs. Each year, the National Book Fund provides programs in need with grants for New Readers Press print resources. 

“We really like the Scoreboost for TABE,” Jessica said with Elizabeth agreeing. “We like the way those are set up. They’re very manageable. The lessons are laid out in a way that works for us.” 

Elizabeth’s trying extra hard on math—a subject that her dyslexia can make challenging. 

“Math is the most hard. Numbers just jump all over the page,” she said. 

Having a great tutor like Jessica, as well as access to books like Scoreboost that appeal to her learning style, helps keep Elizabeth motivated.  

It wouldn’t be possible without the National Book Fund. 

Help put more resources into the hands of learners like Elizabeth:  



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