2000 - 2001 Grant Recipients
New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries Janet M. Welch has announced that the State Library's Division of Library Development has awarded Adult Literacy Service Grants totaling $200,000 to eleven public libraries and two public library systems. The thirteen projects have already begun and will end June 30, 2001.
Grant funds from the State Education Department will enable adults, reading below the sixth grade level or learning English as a second language, to take part in library activities to improve their reading and conversation skills. Students in this year's projects will participate in classroom instruction, one on one tutoring, computer assisted instruction, and public access computers connected to the Internet. Other projects will serve the learning disabled and the migrant and minority populations as they develop new and enhanced literacy skills for employment, promotion, and self improvement.
Anne E. Simon, the State Library's program officer for youth services and adult literacy, noted an increase in family literacy projects. "We believe family literacy is one of the most exciting and effective approaches to adult literacy today and for future generations because it is fun, non-threatening, and positive. It helps to break the intergenerational cycle of illiteracy and often acts as an incentive for parents to seek educational services and give themselves another chance at learning."
Library Development staff and outside specialists reviewed 31 applications seeking funds totaling $441,643. The following is a list of public libraries and public library systems that received Adult Literacy Service Grants.
BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY (Kings County) $16,000:
Brooklyn Public Library (BPL)will continue to staff the Family Reading Center at the Brooklyn House of Detention and develop, implement, and disseminate a new Computer Aide training curriculum that will help standardize computer training at BPL's six Learning Centers. To accomplish these goals BPL will collaborate with Brooklyn House of Detention, the New York City Professional Development Consortium and the Literacy Assistance Center.
CLINTON-ESSEX-FRANKLIN LIBRARY SYSTEM (Clinton County) $14,800:
A collaborative project with LVA-Clinton County this project will target the county's Northern Tier region along the US-Canadian border. New businesses in the region have immediate job openings, but there are few job applicants, for their entry-level positions. Project activities will train tutors to work with learners in their immediate neighborhoods and to provide high interest/low level job skills books and software. CEF staff will provide computer and job skills training workshops. CEF staff will also collaborate with New York State Library staff on a statewide meeting/workshop to be held with literacy project directors.
FLORIDA PUBLIC LIBRARY (Orange County) $7,100:
Florida Public Library serves an expanding population of Spanish-speaking seasonal and resident farm workers and their children in southern Orange County. Building on a bilingual Bookstart program for parents, this project will support the recruitment and training of tutors through Literacy Volunteers of America workshops, the purchase of a permanent collection of easy reading materials, and consumable workbooks for adults.
GUERNSEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY (Chenango County) $20,000:
The Discover Reading Project is a collaborative outreach project addressing adult and family literacy needs in Chenango County through a combination of workshop services, resources, and training offered at the library. The project builds on several existing family literacy initiatives that are already taking place in partnership with Head Start, Even Start and broad-based community collaborations. The main goals of the project are to promote and foster adult literacy by engaging adults and their children in literacy activities that will create a new generation of library users and lifelong learners.
HEMPSTEAD PUBLIC LIBRARY (Nassau County) $12,000:
In cooperation with the Department of Occupational Resources (DOOR) the Library will provide writing classes using laptop computers and word-processing software. These classes will train students in computer literacy and help them learn to write well enough to pass the GED. The Hempstead Library will use the textbooks and workbooks of a Lawrence, MA, writing curriculum which was used in a former project.
LYONS SCHOOL DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY (Wayne County) $15,720:
Literacy Information for Employment (LIFE) will improve the employment rate in Lyons and Wayne County by providing basic literacy, computer literacy, and English instruction geared to employment for adults with limited reading or English skills who have never used computers. In a collaborative effort between the Library, Literacy Volunteers of Wayne County, and Even Start Literacy Partners, the project will provide participants with skills to access community resources while finding, improving, and retaining employment.
MONROE COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM (Monroe County) $20,000:
Developed by the Monroe County Library System's (MCLS) Literacy Services Advisory Committee, this project will work in close collaboration with five area literacy provider agencies to increase the literacy skills for adults with learning disabilities. The goals of the project are to provide training to library staff and tutors in learning styles, to acquire materials more appropriate for those with learning disabilities, and to strengthen the collaboration between public libraries and literacy provider agencies.
THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY-THE BRANCH LIBRARIES (Bronx, New York, Richmond Counties) $20,000:
The New York Public Library, in cooperation with the Riverside Language Program, will offer six evening English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes at the newly reopened Chatham Square Regional Branch Library in Manhattan. ESOL classes will be offered to adults in low to moderate income communities that serve predominately Chinese speaking immigrants, but will also include Spanish speakers from a variety of countries: Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
OLEAN PUBLIC LIBRARY (Cattaraugus County) $17,204:
Olean Public Library and Literacy Volunteers of America of Cattaraugus County, in cooperation with the city of Olean Housing Authority (OHA), will plan and administer a project to promote literacy and provide life-skills education to adult residents of the OHA low-income housing units. In addition to group presentations by recognized experts, participants will have an opportunity to attend educational opportunities at BOCES and Jamestown Community College. This project will focus on adults without children while a companion LSTA literacy grant award focuses on adults with children.
ONEIDA PUBLIC LIBRARY (Madison County) $17,381:
Principal focus of Project Read is to address literacy problems in the Oneida Public Library service area. The goals of the project are to establish a coalition of community support organizations, expand the "Family Ties" resource center and the volunteer program, and recruit over 100 students. The secondary focus is to institute a county-wide literacy program which will involve most, if not all, of the Madison county libraries.
QUEENS BOROUGH PUBLIC LIBRARY (Queens) $18,975:
Queens Borough Public Library will expand its English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program to serve students with few or no literacy skills in their native language by providing ESOL Literacy classes. Because of the growing need to serve this population and the shortage of trained teachers, the primary goal will be to develop a model of training and instructional materials for use by other ESOL teachers.
WEST SENECA PUBLIC LIBRARY (Erie County) $15,000:
Working Together For Success is a program to increase the reading, writing, critical thinking, and vocabulary skills of sixty adults in a suburb of Buffalo. The target group will be parents of students attending two elementary schools serving families in a low income area. Book discussions and small group interaction at the library will be combined with parents reading to their children at home. The children will be involved in their parents' literacy progress and, in turn, parents will be empowered to assist their children in school. Participants will also increase writing skills by contributing to a computer-composed newsletter.
WYANDANCH PUBLIC LIBRARY (Suffolk County) $5,820:
This project will enable the Wyandanch Public Library and the Western Region satellite of LVA-SC housed at the library, to provide a library orientation program for basic literacy and English for Speakers of Other Languages. The goals are to encourage adult learners to overcome their reluctance to use the library and to encourage them and their families to make full use of their library's resources- including print materials and public access, Internet connected computers.