Pollard memorial library adult literacy program
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Pollard Memorial Library Adult Literacy Program. The Program. The Pollard Memorial Library’s Adult Literacy Program began in 1983. It is affiliated with the Library Volunteers of Massachusetts (LVM) LVM does the grant writing and acquires funding for the program

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The program
The Program

  • The Pollard Memorial Library’s Adult Literacy Program began in 1983.

  • It is affiliated with the Library Volunteers of Massachusetts (LVM)

  • LVM does the grant writing and acquires funding for the program

  • They also provide training for the tutor volunteers

  • In return the program must comply with all Department of Education expectations


The program1
The Program …

  • Offers one-on-one teaching

  • Currently has 52 learners and 49 volunteer tutors

  • Approximately 80 individuals are on a 6-12 month long waiting list

  • Most of the publicity for the Program is done by word of mouth

  • 90% of the students are English Language Learners.


The program continued
The Program continued …

  • The Pollard Memorial Library Adult Literacy Program Coordinator is Julie Iatron

  • Ms. Iatron has been a community planning librarian for four years

  • She spends about ten hours a week coordinating the program

  • She also developes a “New Reader” collection at the library, which is organized by category (e.g. citizenship, health, mathematics)


Tutor training
Tutor Training

  • Tutors attend 18 hours of training

  • All tutors are trained by the LVM

  • There are separate ABE and ESOL trainings

  • Tutors are taught about learning disabilities, sensitivity to different cultures, and a general awareness for other factors which may affect learning

  • Tutors are also taught lesson planning


Esol program
ESOL Program

  • Lowell has a large Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese speaking population

  • Initially learners are given proficiency tests for need-assessment reasons

  • Learners are then matched with tutors accordingly

  • Learner/Tutor contracts are created early in the process (attend all sessions, meet in a public place, do not bring children)

  • Concurrent Conversation Circles run in four-week intervals


ABE

  • The library coordinates with other agencies such as Lowell Adult Education.

  • Adult learners are tested using TABE and MAPT assessments

  • Many students are interested in building computer literacy and health literacy skills

  • There are far fewer ABE students than ESOL learners


The library literacy connection
The Library Literacy connection

  • Non-library based programs do not always know how much the library has to offer

  • Tutors and librarians give tours to increase learner awareness of all the Library has to offer them

  • Adult Literacy Program demands often add strain to a limited library staff

  • Much of the Library collection is geared toward Adult literacy needs


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