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Literacy Program Receives Dollar General Grant

Literacy Program Receives Dollar General Grant

Learn to Read of St. Lucie County was recently awarded a $10,000 Dollar General Foundation Grant to help purchase and Implement CASAS (Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System). According to Learn to Read St. Lucie County Executive Director Matt Anderson, “CASAS is the most widely used competency-based assessment system in the United States designed to assess the relevant real-world basic skills of adult learners. CASAS measures the basic skills and the English language and literacy skills needed to function effectively at work and in life. Use of the CASAS skill level descriptors and assessment for ABE (Intermediate Basic Skills) and ELL (High Intermediate Level) in all five skills areas (Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing, Interactions) to establish learning program objectives for all learners.”

According to Anderson, Learn to Read St. Lucie will utilize CASAS’ web-based data collection and reporting system to help accurately and efficiently provide actionable data for guiding instruction, improving programs, and ensuring accountability. CASAS is the only assessment program whose reading tests are approved for NRS reporting for both Adult Basic Education and English and a Second Language Programs, and the Dollar General grant will help ensure that Learn to Read St. Lucie County continues to help provide the gift of literacy to anyone aged 16 or older through free, confidential instruction in reading, writing, and speaking English. Learn to Read St. Lucie County also provides assistance in helping train individuals in the technological skills necessary to navigate life in the 21st Century.

For nearly 40 years, CASAS, a nonprofit organization backed by a National Consortium of education and workforce professionals, has been dedicated to “assisting adults functioning at or below a high school level in attaining the basic literacy skills to function effectively on the job, in the community, and in the family.” To help accomplish this mission, CASAS assists state and local education, training, social service programs and businesses in the design and delivery of quality education and training programs that meet the needs of the participants by providing products and services in curriculum management, assessment and evaluation systems.

Learn to Read St. Lucie County was created in 1981, when Dorothy Brennan read a newspaper story about a child who nearly died of an overdose because his mother couldn’t read the instructions on a medication bottle. Brennan couldn’t bear the thought of this tragedy happening to one more family, so the Fort Pierce woman created Learn to Read St. Lucie County, a nonprofit organization which would provide free literacy services. Nearly thirty years and thousands of students later, Learn to Read St. Lucie County honored Brennan by dedicating its new facility as the Dorothy Brennan Learning Center.

Since its inception, Learn to Read St. Lucie has assisted thousands of individuals in St. Lucie County through Literacy Services offered by volunteer tutors who are trained and certified in the Laubach method, a four-level, time-tested curriculum which has assisted millions of adults in gaining independence through reading, even those with little or no preliminary skills. Tutors work one-to-one or with small groups of students depending upon the students’ needs. In addition to literacy assistance, Learn to Read St. Lucie County also provides English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) tutoring and classes, United States Citizenship training and assistance, English Conversation classes, and job and career preparation.

To volunteer, or to learn more about the organization, call Learn to Read St. Lucie County at (772) 464-2747 today.

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