The READ Center

Black History Month – How it got started and events and activities to celebrate

Negro History Week was first celebrated in February 1926 during a week which encompassed Frederick Douglas’s and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. The week was the result of the work of Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, who believed “that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over justice”.  The celebration and study of the contributions of African Americans to our country and the world continued and grew. Fifty years after the first celebration in 1976, the first African American History Month was held....

Throwback Thursday – Stories from The Student Voice

The Student Voice is a newsletter of articles, poems and stories written by READ Center students. Writing is an important part of literacy instruction. Students become better readers, writers and thinkers when reading and writing activities are woven together. Writing gives READ Center student opportunities to express their ideas, hopes, dreams, and sometimes pain and sadness. Here is a look back at a few articles written by READ Center students that have appeared in The Student Voice over the years. How I Survived Without Reading  By:...

Tutor Spotlight

How long have you volunteered with The READ Center? It will be five years in February. What is your current volunteer role? My current role with The Read Center is tutor. What motivates you to work with READ? Having a chance to make a positive difference in someone’s life, is what motivates me. Do you have a favorite memory of volunteering with READ? There have been so many fond memories that it’s really hard for me to pick a favorite. If you could encourage someone else to volunteer...

READing the Bible by Kay McCall

“I want to read this book more than anything else in this world, but it is just so hard.” “I think I’m going to quit my Sunday school class.  I keep getting called on to read, and everybody can see I can’t do it.” “I looked for Psalms in my Bible, but I couldn’t find it.  Psalms begins with an ‘S,’ right?” “I want to be a leader in my church, but I’ve got to be able to read this book.” READ Center Students...

The READ Center Helps Adults Map a Path to Literacy

Last week, READ Center teacher Janet led a discussion about the famous Captain John Smith. After reading Smith’s biography in an easy-to-read information book that included, fun facts, trivia, and activities. The class then began a short lesson on the history of the first permanent English settlement in the New World, Jamestown, Virginia. In addition to learning about Jamestown and John Smith, READ students also had a lesson on world geography. With a world map in front of them, they navigated...

America Has A Major Financial Literacy Problem – even for those who read well

Did you know? 2/3 of American adults can’t pass a basic financial literacy test. 44% of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency. 43% of student loan borrowers are not making payments. 38% of U.S. households have credit card debt. On average, they owe $16,048. 33% of American adults have $0 saved for retirement. These statistics are from a recent Forbes article on how badly America is failing at financial literacy. They are for all Americans not just for those who have literacy problems....

READ Center Tutor Spotlight

How long have you volunteered with The READ Center? I started volunteering March 2016 so over 2 1/2 years. What is your current volunteer role? Tutor in class. What motivates you to work with READ? Being able to read is such an important part of my life, I cannot imagine not having that skill so I want to help others learn to read. Do you have a favorite memory of volunteering with READ? At the end of my first class, the group I had been working with...

Shh (It’s a Secret)

Class field trip to the Secret Sandwich Society By Don Wilms, retired educator and READ Center teacher How do you get to know your way around?  Explore, of course.  My students knew how to get from their homes to class, but couldn’t name streets or intersections or tell me how many blocks to their bus stop.  I figured I could at least solve this problem for the area surrounding the Franklin Library, where my classes are held. During our summer semester I floated...

READ Center Director Wins State Literacy Award

READ Center Executive Director Karen La Forge was named the winner of the Virginia Literacy Foundation’s 2018 Nancy Jiranek Award. The Virginia Literacy Foundation, which provides funding and technical support to private volunteer literacy organizations throughout the state, issues this award annually to individuals who exemplify the best in nonprofit management. “It is an honor to be recognized by the Virginia Literacy Foundation with the Nancy Jiranek Award,” said La Forge. “It is a privilege to be part of The READ...