In May, ProLiteracy received a $265,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to continue to build a replicable and scalable model of creating adult literacy programming within non-literacy service networks such as in agencies that serve migrants, the homeless, or victims of abuse.
In the pilot year of the Expanding Access program (EAP), ProLiteracy worked with agencies in El Paso, Texas, San Antonio, Texas, and Little Rock, Arkansas. EAP expanded to Ardmore, Oklahoma, in its second year. In all four communities, ProLiteracy is working with local organizations to expand access to literacy and English language services for children and adults, and to build prosperity for the entire community through literacy and education.
The program in Ardmore includes other national partners that have come together to produce change focused on one rural community. Together, the partners offer services, resources, and programming in citizenship preparation; family literacy; GED/HSE preparation; learning English as another language; basic reading and writing; and technology. Ardmore, located in south central Oklahoma, 90 miles from both Oklahoma City and Dallas-Ft. Worth, has a population of 35,000, 93 percent of which are over the age of 18. Dollar General is a major employer in Ardmore.
Ardmore Literacy is a collaboration of The American Library Association; The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy; The Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce; Jobs for the Future; The National Center for Families Learning; and ProLiteracy, and local partners Ardmore Barbara Bush Literacy Corps; Ardmore Chamber of Commerce; Ardmore Public Library; The Grace Center of Southern Oklahoma; New Dimension Literacy Council; St. Mary Catholic Church; and Ardmore City Schools.
The Expanding Access project continues through 2015 with the completion of a national awareness raising initiative and the dissemination of a model blueprint that other communities can adapt to implement the same type of services.
For more information about ProLiteracy’s Expanding Access, contact Jane Hugo, senior project coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.