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Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara opens drop-in literacy centers in Niagara Falls & Lockport; looking for volunteers


Mon, Jan 15th 2018 11:15 am
Commemorates MLK Jr. Day with Niagara County literacy initiative
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara Inc. is announcing an expansion of its initiative to increase adult literacy services in Niagara County. It will open literacy drop-in centers in the cities of Niagara Falls and Lockport as part of a larger outreach project aimed at boosting access to literacy assistance throughout Western New York.
LNYBN will operate the Niagara Falls drop-in center at the Earl W. Brydges branch of the Niagara Falls Public Library, and will open the Gary Baxter literacy drop-in center in Lockport at Grace Episcopal Church.
A call for volunteers is being launched, specifically in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who once asked, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is - what are you doing for others?"
LNYBN is looking for volunteers to serve as tutors at the new drop-in centers. Tutors will be trained to teach students how to read, write and speak English. They are needed for two hours per week, though scheduling can be flexible.
Trainings will be held in Niagara Falls and Lockport, both beginning on Feb. 7. The Lockport training will be held at Grace Episcopal Church while the Niagara Falls training at the Niagara Falls Public Library. Those interested in tutoring can call Marco Notaro at 716-876-8991 or email [email protected]. Tutors must be at least 21 years old with a high school diploma.
About Literacy Drop-In Centers
Literacy drop-in centers offer adults immediate access to tutoring services in basic reading or English as a Second Language. This is important as the demand for adult literacy services exceeds LNYBN's capacity. Right now, 56 people are waiting to be matched with a tutor. Drop-in centers provide 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 75 adults in the new Niagara County drop-in centers this year. Funding for the project comes from The John R. Oishei Foundation, Dollar General and Yahoo Community Benefit Fund.
In the past year, LNYBN opened literacy drop-in centers at the Lackawanna Public Library, First Presbyterian Church in Buffalo's Allentown neighborhood, and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library in downtown Buffalo. To date, 86 adult literacy students from 28 different countries have received a total of 1,460 hours of tutoring services.
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 Niagara Falls' 25 percent functional illiteracy rate - 5 percentage points higher than the national average - LNYBN seeks to act with creative strategies and new approaches.
About Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara
Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara is the region's sole provider of free, one-on-one adult and youth literacy services. For more information, visit http://www.literacybuffalo.org or call 716-876-8991.

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