Literacy Volunteers of America, Essex and Passaic Counties (LVA) Provides free tutoring in basic reading to adults who are 16 years and older Recruits and trains volunteer literacy tutors Funded by New Jersey Department Education grant and individual donations Serves parents and care givers who need literacy training and whose children experience learning difficulties in school
Need: I want to write better. Some of LVAs students who achieve a seventh grade reading level do not opt to attain a GED for various reasons: Lack of confidence in their academic abilities Financial difficulties Time management issues Family obligations, etc. Still, these students recognize and articulate their need for instruction in basic composition. Also, our digital society demands basic computer skillson the job and at home.
Solution Establish a basic writing and computer literacy curriculum for LVA students who have achieved a seventh grade reading level. With help from Verizon Foundation, the LVA could enrich its literacy program by offering this alternative for students who want to develop their writing and computer communication skills.
How Develop Writing with Pen and Computer (WPC), a one year pilot program that will implement a structured curriculum of four courses in a classroom environment spanning two semesters.
Plan Objectives Engage an education consultant to assist with recruiting the right professional English teacher to develop and teach the WPC writing curriculum. Engage a volunteer LVA tutor to teach a basic computer literacy curriculum. Secure a classroom or computer lab at Essex County College or Bloomfield Public Library. Purchase five laptop computers a computer projector, and texts and workbooks. Build a WPC website for resources and references relevant to course lessons and assignments.
LVA students who are reading at a seventh grade level will receive brochures notifying them of their eligibility to participate in WPC and encouraging them to enroll. At the consultants discretion, the teacher and substitute positions might be advertised. A press release will announce the launch of the WPC program and note the participation of Verizon Foundation. The Verizon Foundation logo will appear on all printed items funded by the foundation.
Project Manager and LVA tutor, Beverly Morris Education Consultant English Teacher Substitute Teacher
FIRST SEMESTER Consultant to assist during preparation and assessment phases.$700 Teacher and substitute part-time salaries for – month pilot program3200 Recruitment advertising for teacher and substitute300 Hardware and software3500 Supplies for producing workbooks, brochure, and class handouts200 Text Books (Grammar, vocabulary, literature)300 Miscellaneous unforeseen expenses500 Total cost for First Semester pilot project$8,700 SECOND SEMESTER Teacher and substitute part-time salaries for – month pilot program$3200 Supplies for producing workbooks, class handouts, and final report to stakeholders (Verizon Foundation, LVA Board and facility provider) 500 Miscellaneous unforeseen expenses500 Total cost for Semester 2 pilot project$4,200 TOTAL COST FOR PILOT PROJECT$12,900
Benefits to Students Improved writing skills will enable LVA students who are parents of school age children to participate in their education and interact with the school system. Improved writing skills will better enable LVA students to advocate for themselves, family, and friends who are dealing with social service agencies and other service providers. Successfully completing a structured, graded course of study will enable LVA students who are not GED-bound to accomplish an education.
Benefit to LVA Successful implementation of the Writing with Pen and Computer program will enhance the LVAs ability to carry out its literacy mission and attract more prospective students. Increased demand along with demonstrated success in building students writing skills could justify increased funding from the LVAs traditional sources.
Benefit to Community The community will benefit economically from an increased pool of reading and computing workers.
Benefit to Verizon Foundation A successful pilot program will demonstrate Verizon Corporations commitment to advancing literacy in the communities it serves through its Education and its Internet Safety grant programs.