Reading is a fundamental skill that too many adults in our community lack. Reading Connections is on a mission to change that.
“By educating parents and educating their children, we’re working towards breaking that cycle of illiteracy and thereby breaking the cycle of poverty,” said Allison Welch, Literacy Manager with Reading Connections.
“We serve adult students, both native English speakers as well as immigrants and refugees, and we help them improve their English literacy skills,” said Welch.
Since 2006, it’s offered The Family Literacy Classes — a 10-week course for parents and their children.
“One of the main motivations is to support their children’s education,” said Welch. “Be able to communicate more effectively with their child’s teachers and help their children with their homework and school success.”
At Oak Hill Elementary in High Point, the number of families involved doubled last year. A High Point Community Foundation grant allowed the program to hire another instructor and purchase more educational material.
“Our hope is that with this program, children who experience poverty or children whose primary language is not English, can get this extra literacy instruction to help them to be on track and close that achievement gap,” Welch said.
For now, Reading Connections is offering distance education programming and providing their families a bit of stability during these uncertain times.
“They’re dealing with job loss and filing for unemployment and many other things that many other folks are dealing with during this difficult time,” Welch said. “But the fact that our students continue to seek out these opportunities to improve their English skills is awesome.”