Colorado Gives Day spotlight: The Literacy Project |

Colorado Gives Day spotlight: The Literacy Project

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

For over 23 years, The Literacy Project has been on a crusade to eliminate illiteracy in Eagle County and its damaging and pervasive impact on individuals and our community. Often when people think of someone as illiterate, they think the person simply cannot read. The Literacy Project goes beyond teaching just basic skills: The nonprofit takes a comprehensive individual approach. The Literacy Project teaches English to speakers of other languages, it teaches financial and health literacy and it prepares students for their GED. Each and every student receives all the support services they need to succeed, not just in the Literacy Project program but in life.

During 2012, the group offered literacy education services to 300 Eagle County adult and youth learners, each of whom received an individualized education evaluation, learning plan and free, confidential one-on-one tutoring.

Forty families enrolled in the curriculum-rich “Family Literacy Program,” which emphasized language, pre-literacy and pre-numeracy activities as well as parental involvement and parenting education. On a weekly basis, 500 families received bright red bags filled with award-winning books through Raising A Reader. In addition, Reading Buddies paired 75 elementary school children with teen mentors for extra reading practice after school throughout the school year. One-hundred twenty-five middle school students increased their grade performance, attendance and self-esteem through the support of a one-to-one adult tutor who guided them throughout the school year.

Adult students who lack reading and writing skills or want to work on their English as a Second Language skills sought help and enrolled in either small group instruction or one-to-one tutoring.

“The better I know the language, the better I feel,” said Rosie McFarland, an English as a Second Language student.

Involvement in the program is a choice students make for themselves, illustrating their motivation and dedication to accomplishing their goals.

Volunteers are the heart and soul of The Literacy Project. The group could not educate students without the critical support of dedicated volunteer tutors. All tutors are given comprehensive training before being assigned to a student. Every week The Literacy Project volunteers are striving not just to educate, but to empower students and enrich their lives.

For more information contact The Literacy Project at 970-949-5026.

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