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Spotlight:Provider Initiative

Mon, Jan 9th 2017 03:00 pm

In this vein, we encourage all providers to let us know what you are doing—and if you have anything you want to share, please send it along. Our focus today is on Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara Inc. (LNYBN) who is kicking off a new initiative designed to increase literacy services throughout their region.

LNYBN struggles with poor literacy levels in their local area. The City of Buffalo's 30% functional illiteracy rate—ten percentage points higher than the national average--requires resources, action and community collaborations.

With recent economic advancement in the Western New York region, LNYBN has seen a surge in requests for literacy services tied directly to job preparation and placement. Many adults lack the proper reading comprehension to participate in entrance examinations for even entry level positions. At present time, demand for literacy services far exceeds LNYBN's current capacity, yet their student population continues to grow.

Literacy New York is specifically highlighting LNYBN's response to their challenge.

LNYBN developed a strategy to address their needs, and will launch a geographically diverse Neighborhood Drop-In Center Initiative. Funding will directly support the installation, set-up and maintenance costs of Literacy Drop-In Centers at convenient, neighborhood-based locations for easy access by adults and families.

The first Drop-In Center opened in September at the First Presbyterian Church in Buffalo's Allentown neighborhood. It was actually a re-opening as a Drop-In Center had operated there years ago. The next Drop-In Center in will open in late January in Lackawanna. Additional Drop-In Centers locations will be announced in Spring 2017.

Drop-In Centers offer adults immediate access to tutorial services in Basic Reading or English as a Second Language. This access helps low income adults complete job applications, review resumes, read health forms or other similar activities requiring rudimentary literacy knowledge. Likewise, Drop-In Centers reduce the waiting time for new adult learners enrolled at LNYBN to access tutorial services. Literacy Drop-In Centers are safe places for adults to confront their difficulty in reading and literacy anonymously. LNYBN will serve approximately 100 in the Drop-In Centers this year.

LNYBN put together multiple funding sources to enable this project.  The John R. Oishei Foundation and the Tegna Foundation both provided grants to support this undertaking.

For more information, visit http://www.literacybuffalo.org or call 716-876-8991.


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