The purpose of The Literacyworks Center is to assist underserved, below-basic-skills adult students in solving the many educational, personal and logistical challenges they must face to stay in school and succeed in work. The Center is providing advising, mentoring and scholarship support (through the Adult Literacy Awards) that help break persistence barriers to school completion such as transportation, childcare and tuition. As a further service, The Center is also dedicated to creating a stronger pipeline between qualified students seeking good jobs and local employers.
The Center is partnering with adult students to achieve their goals by providing personalized support, long-term educational advising and performance- and need-based Adult Literacy Awards to help break persistence barriers. Our experienced and caring staff is supporting highly motivated students in charting a course towards a more prosperous future.
The Center is collaborating with our local partners, including Santa Rosa Junior College, Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, West Marin Community Services, Center Point of Marin and Sonoma County Library Adult Literacy Program, to refer highly motivated adults from their programs.
The Center is collaborating with state and national institutions, post-secondary schools, literacy organizations, service agencies, employers, workforce development partners and others to increase their capacity to effectively support the populations they serve, particularly with a focus on at-risk or underserved populations. The Center is linking theory and practice through research, professional development and partnerships, building and sharing best practices through national educational connections with the goal of becoming a national model and resource.
We want to sincerely thank our founding funding partners: the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, The Codding Foundation, Marin Community Foundation and our many individual donors. We also want to acknowledge our current referring partners: Santa Rosa Junior College, the North Bay Children’s Center, Center Point of Marin and West Marin Community Services.
The Literacyworks Center, partnering with Santa Rosa Junior College, opened July 1, 2015 on the SRJC Petaluma Campus. Providing face-to-face and digitally enabled personalized support, and long-term monitored advising, The Center is helping underserved adults in the North Bay complete their educational goals and increase the likelihood of career success. With the support of the North Bay community, The Literacyworks Center looks forward to providing many years of service fulfilling its ultimate vision of a stronger local community and economy through education.
Literacyworks Center Year Two Accomplishments 2016/2017
The Center served 105 new and returning individuals in the academic year 2016/17. Most are part-time students and most are working full-time. Twenty-five of these students are from West Marin, an area that has historically been underserved, with little access to higher education. Many live on ranches and are isolated from social services. One gentleman told staff that he wants to learn to speak English better so he can talk to his boss more effectively and do a better job on the ranch. One mother told us she wants to learn to read better so she can help her children with their schoolwork.
In our second full year of operation Literacyworks Center continues to support adults with low literacy skills get access to education that improves their quality of life and employment opportunities. Basic literacy and numeracy are critical for individuals to climb the social latter and achieve their personal goals as well as to contribute to society and their local community. We see literacy as a matter of social justice.
By providing financial, educational and counseling support to our highly motivated adult learners, they can prepare for the GED, or improve their English, writing, and math skills, or explore vocational programs. Through a series of small group workshops the staff of Literacyworks Center attempts to strengthen student confidence while exploring personal goals and challenges. It is our intent to have these cohort groups become mutually supportive of one another to further enrich their educational experience.
The workshop topics cover time management, study skills, goal setting and how to register for classes. We are planning to add financial literacy, health literacy and a family parent reading program focused on the importance of parents reading to their young children. We see the Center as a family literacy program.
Demographics profile of our students:
- 72% are female
- 36% between 22- 29 years
- 56% between 30 – 49 years
- 7% 50 years or over
- 5% American Indian
- 2% Asian
- 6% Black
- 72% Latino
- 11% Multi-Ethnic
- 1% Pacific Islander
- 3% White
ADULT LITERACY AWARD CRITERIA
The award goes to our students who are:
- Accepted into the Literacyworks Center program or vetted by Literacyworks
- Highly motivated as determined by referral partners and Literacyworks Center staff
- Economically disadvantaged
- Low basic literacy skilled
- Enrolled as an SRJC student (includes non-credit Basic Skills and ESL courses)
- Maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.00 (if applicable)
- Preference is given to economically disadvantaged students under 30 years of age, or students over 30 years of age with children.
STORIES ABOUT A FEW OF OUR STUDENTS
Juan is a hardworking man often putting in 60 plus hours a week at his construction job. He is supporting four dependent children and his wife. Juan successfully completed his ESL class in fall of 2016 and is now taking college level English. He wants to continue taking classes and eventually become an electrician.
One of the Center’s participants is a single mother of two. She has struggled in school her entire life and as a result lacks confidence. She attends GED preparation classes four days a week. She recently contacted program staff to report she had passed the first area test of the GED. She was crying with happiness.
A student from West Marin, who has three young children and was, recently widowed supports herself by cleaning houses. She is taking ESL classes at night on the Santa Rosa JC Petaluma Campus. Literacyworks Center has provided her with financial support and one to one tutoring. She is extremely enthusiastic and is doing very well in school. She is confident that she will reach her educational goals.
Center's Congressional Recognition
The Literacyworks Center received special Congressional recognition by Congressman Jared Huffman on the opening of our new Santa Rosa Junior College classroom saying, “Your collective work to ensure that all individuals have the skills, support and opportunities to thrive in a complex and inter-connected world through literacy is making a positive difference in many, many lives. Thank you for your effective programs and generosity of spirit, and congratulations on your grand opening.”
Here are a few examples of how grateful our students are for the support the Literacyworks Center is providing them. All these quotes are from letters written to us this year: