Recent reports indicate that 16% of adults in Santa Clara County lack basic literacy skills, resulting in personal, social and economic disadvantages. The Library’s free Reading Program addresses this issue, pairing a volunteer tutor with an individual student to improve basic reading, writing, math and computer skills. Every SCCLD library location offers this program which helped over 200 adult learners this past year improve reading and life skills. As one learner told us, “Thanks to my tutor, I can now go to the doctor without an interpreter.” Tutors and learners are assessed, trained, and supported by 2.5 literacy specialists. Currently 27 people are waiting for an open spot in the program.
There is an average wait time of between two to six months. It takes courage for the potential learner to ask for help. It is our goal to eliminate the wait time and to immediately be able to assess the new learner. To reduce the delay in delivering this critical service, the Program requires an additional $66,000 for a half time Literacy Specialist.