ZOOMING IN TO LITERACY
Naples, FL – Literacy Volunteers of Collier County (LVCC) is pleased to announce its new virtual learning programs that help keep up the momentum of learning during these difficult times. By using this time of adversity as an opportunity for reinvention, LVCC has been able to continue its mission of teaching English to non-native speakers. As a nonprofit organization that relies on volunteers, making this change means a true labor of love for many unpaid individuals who are dedicated to giving the gift of literacy.
In partnership with Collier County Public Schools Head Start program, LVCC’s innovative Children and Parents Reading Together program (CPRT) focuses on kindergarten readiness skills for ages 4-5. There are many non-English speaking parents in Head Start schools. Using children’s books provided by LVCC, the program is designed to teach parents how to help their children acquire early literacy skills while also helping parents learn English. This in-school program where the tutors go into the schools and work together with parent and child has now switched to using video conferencing platforms so children and parents can attend classes from home. Parents are excited that their children will be able to see their classmates, who they are missing now more than ever. LVCC expects to continue this new virtual delivery program for all parents and students until June 30, 2020, and to make it part of their continuing programs for the future.
Shoshanna Dorfman, Director of Family Programs, states, “Serving nine different schools and reaching up to 35-40 families, we are very excited about the use of virtual learning as well as the promising results we are seeing. Tutors with an early education background have been recruited and trained and activity packets have been mailed to the families so they’re ready for their weekly lessons. We are providing online training to parents to help them understand how to use this conferencing system. Interactive learning provides the child, parent and tutor a sense of purpose during this time of isolation. It is all about connecting, feeling part of something and having fun with their online classmates.”
LVCC’s Adult Literacy program is also active for online learning. Tutor volunteers have been encouraged to conduct their classes virtually for one-on-one tutoring as well as larger classes using ZOOM, Skype, Face Time and other conferencing platforms. LVCC is providing online training for both students and tutors. “The goal is to run our adult tutoring as smoothly and as normally as possible so students do not have any gap in learning. For second language learners, it is critical to be exposed to their new language as much as possible and we are encouraging our students to register online,” says Veronica Pavon-Baker, Director of Adult Literacy. “We are here to help our dedicated volunteer tutors and students as much as we can.”
Literacy Volunteers of Collier County, a 501c3 organization, teaches English as a second language to adults and families of Collier County. For more information on its programs or how you can support literacy, please visit www.collierliteracy.org or contact Susan Spry, Executive Director.