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Literacy News:
California State Library AmeriCorps grant 
aids literacy services

The AmeriCorps logo

In late 2003, the California State Library (CSL) and its partners, the National City Public Library, LiteracyWorks, and Wal*Mart, received through the governor's office on service and volunteerism (GOSERV), an AmeriCorps grant. Through the grant, CSL and National City staff will place 43 AmeriCorps members in 18 public libraries around the state to work in library literacy services.

The libraries have each assigned an AmeriCorps "site supervisor" to recruit members from local communities. Some libraries have been able to identify adult learners and/or tutors to fill some of the member positions. The AmeriCorps members will tutor local youth and adults, recruit volunteers for one-on-one literacy tutoring, an enormous boost for community members who cannot read.

AmeriCorps, a national organization (like the international Peace Corps), is a sub-program of the Corporation for National and Community Service. AmeriCorps members do services such as work in parks, tutor children and adults in schools and local libraries, clear hiking trails, and serve homeless families. When AmeriCorps members have completed their service, AmeriCorps partially pays for members’ college or other education fees.

Contact Carla Lehn, Literacy Consultant, Library Development Services, California State Library at (916) 653-7743 clehn@library.ca.gov for details.

California Library Literacy Services at a glance:

Adult Literacy Services - Adults with low literacy skills are tutored one-on-one or in small groups by trained community volunteers, to help them achieve personal life goals associated with improvement in their literacy skills, such as “able to read prescription bottle instructions,” “able to read to my children,” “able to read the ballot and vote.”

Families for Literacy (FFL)/Library Literacy and Books Services (LLABS) -- designed to break the cycle of illiteracy, FFL provides skills and techniques to help develop early literacy skills in pre-school children. In libraries and colorful buses we reach geographically isolated families at migrant camps, Headstarts, churches and low income housing areas.

English Language Literacy Intensive (ELLI) Program - provides after school tutoring to teacher-identified K-12 students with limited English language skills.

Related Links:
www.literacyworks.org/clls/americorps
www.literacyworks.org/clls
www.goserv.ca.gov/index.asp
www.literacyworks.org

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