In the US, 36 million adults struggle to read and write simple English. Responding to this critical challenge, the Literacy Council offers free, confidential, one-on-one reading and English language instruction to adult learners in Frederick County, 90% of whom are non-native English speakers. Group classes help students further hone their skills, providing additional coursework in pronunciation, writing, civics, and computers. On-the-job classes at small businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, make attendance easier for employees working multiple shifts or even multiple jobs. And the Literacy Council regularly offers extra support for learners who need assistance with GED prep, citizenship tests, social services applications, and more. Last year, 162 volunteers provided 17,500 hours of service to 262 learners. Illiteracy is a multi-generational challenge: a motherís reading level is the greatest determinant of her childís academic success. Letís break the cycle.
Tutoring and class instruction programs use distance learning platforms, something that LCFC had always wanted to do but in which it had not previously been able to invest the time. Prior to COVID it had been teaching workplace literacy classes for hotel housekeeping staff. LCFC worked closely with hotel management and was able quickly to integrate new hotel industry cleaning/sanitizing vocabulary and protocols into its workplace curriculum.