The READ Center

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...

READ Center Tutor Spotlight

About 130 volunteer adult literacy volunteer tutors work in READ Center classrooms and as one-to-one tutors each year. We are grateful for the time and caring they give to READ students.  To recognize the importance and impact of  our tutors, The READ Center has started the “Tutor Spotlight” which shares the experiences of a READ Center tutor.  Enjoy learning about why Martha became an adult literacy tutor with The READ Center and what she has learned. Volunteer tutors attend an orientation, have an opportunity to...

How Literacy Rates Have Improved Since 1776

Today, 1 in 6 adults — approximately 35 million Americans — possess reading skills below the level of a fourth-grader. Studies show that adult literacy rates have not improved over the past 25 years, but many believe that this is still a marked improvement from where we were before the creation of the public school system. There’s a common misconception that Americans were illiterate before the 1830s. But in reality, that’s not quite true. In fact, the answer to...

My Life Struggles with Reading by Joanna Ford

  I am a middle-aged woman who struggled with reading and writing for a long time.  Although I am a high school graduate, I still have trouble reading.  I did not understand how important those two things were until later in life.  When I heard about the Read Center I decided to attend. It has been ten years and I am still attending the Read Center.  It has help me appreciate the value of reading.  Without the Read Center I don’t thing...

It’s the family that makes the difference

This week is National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. The goal of the week is to raise public awareness about the need for and value of adult education and family literacy. So it is fitting to kick off the week with an article on the importance family plays in education. If you missed Mareen Downey’s article in the Richmond Times Dispatch last week, It’s the family that makes the difference, it’s worth reading. The article reviews the findings of a...