There are still illiterate adults even in a First World country. These people are usually the kind who did not have better choices in life. Some are immigrants who need to learn English. Others simply need to improve their skills in reading, computing, and writing. These adults are lucky that some communities have adult literacy programs. With these programs, they are taught the skills that they need at no additional cost. This kind of program is free and requires volunteers so not all communities can afford to have one.
Are you interested in organizing an adult literacy program in your community? Here are the steps that you should take:
- Determine the need for adult literacy in your community. To cut down on costs, you can first do a survey on what type of adult literacy program is needed in your community. The results of your survey will show the type of course that you can start on. You can just add more courses as the need arises.
- Gather your pool of adult learners. Finding adult learners may seem simple but it is not. Adults are busy people and most likely will not have time for a literacy program. You can prepare brochures of your program in churches, community colleges, town halls, or during neighborhood events.
- Prepare paraphernalia for screening applicants. There are standardized tests that you can use in screening applicants. Other than the tests, you should also consider these factors:
o Must be over 16 years of age and out of school.
o Reading and computing skills must be below 9th grade level.
o Must have limited English proficiency.
- Find and train volunteer tutors. You can use the same brochure that you used in gathering adult learners to find volunteer tutors. You can also find reliable tutors in organizations like the Retired Service Volunteer Project and other civic and church organizations. You may need to train you volunteer tutors first before deploying them to teaching tasks.
- Design your instructional program. The instructional program should be appropriate for your adult learners. You cannot use ready made instructional materials for elementary and high school students because the material should give examples that they can relate to. You can ask help from education professionals for this.
- Keep your records organized. Each adult learner should have an individual folder where his application form, attendance records, and pre-tests and post-tests are filed for easy reference.
- Cooperate with your local library. You can inform your local librarian about your program so you can have better access to more learning materials for your adult learners.
- Cooperate with your community officials. You cannot have the full support of your community if they are not aware of your initiatives. These agencies can refer your program to funding from sponsors.
Adult literacy programs not only provide the skills that illiterate adults need. These programs also bring them confidence and pride in being part of a highly literate society. With concerned individuals like you, these adults can now have more choices for a better life.