716.651.0465 | Airport Commerce Park | 303 Cayuga Rd., Suite 180 | Cheektowaga, NY 14225

Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara Opens Drop-In Literacy Center at Buffalo & Erie County Central Library

Social Worker On Hand in an Innovative Approach to Help Students

Mon, Oct 16th 2017 12:00 pm

They have opened a Literacy Drop-In Center in the West Room (next to Fables Café) at the Buffalo & Erie County Central Library as part of a larger outreach project aimed at boosting access to literacy assistance throughout Western New York. The center will run on Fridays from 1:00pm-3:00pm.


LNYBN developed the Drop-In Center project to spread the availability of literacy services and to reduce the length of time new learners must wait before they begin working with a tutor. Drop-In Centers are being opened in geographically diverse, convenient, neighborhood-based locations for easy access by adults and families. In the past year, LNYBN opened Literacy Drop-In Centers at the Lackawanna Public Library and the First Presbyterian Church in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood. To date, 75 adult literacy students from 23 countries have received a total of 1,273 hours of tutoring services.


A Social Work Intern will be embedded within this newest Drop-In Center. This special feature is in response to recent research that encourages libraries to employ social workers to fully address emerging community needs. The intern will start on October 20th and will be available from 9:00am-4:00pm. He will provide information to people about where they can access services like healthcare referrals, heating assistance, SNAP, WIC, free meals, temporary shelter, and legal aid. Literacy Drop-In Center tutors will be on hand to help people fill out social service applications and other paperwork that may be confusing for low literate adults.


Drop-In Centers offer adults immediate access to tutoring services in Basic Reading or English as a Second Language. This is especially important because the demand for adult literacy services far exceeds LNYBN’s capacity.  Right now, 76 people are waiting to be matched with a tutor. Drop-In Centers provide much quicker access.


This access helps low literate adults complete job applications, review resumes, read health forms or other similar activities requiring basic literacy knowledge. Literacy Drop-In Centers are safe places for adults to confront their difficulty in reading and literacy anonymously. LNYBN will serve approximately 100 adults in their 3 Drop-In Centers this year. Funding for the project comes from The John R. Oishei Foundation and the Tegna Foundation.


The Need

With recent economic advancement in Western New York, LNYBN has seen a surge in request 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. Student population continues to grow—and with the City of Buffalo’s 30% functional illiteracy rate—ten percentage points higher than the national average—we need to act with creative strategies and new approaches.

comments powered by Disqus