Parents who support their child’s learning contribute to their child’s success both in school and in life. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and children now being homeschooled this is even more true and relevant than ever before. Yet parents and caregivers are often ill-prepared to partner in their child’s learning due to multiple factors including limited technology access.
The Literacy without Barriers project expected to roll out in September 2020 is a progression of steps taken by the Neuse Regional Library (NRL) to build strong mutual partnerships with the public school systems, county health services, county social services, and Lenoir Community College to help address the intergenerational nature of literacy, and support parents as the first teachers of their children.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, “Children of parents with low literacy skills have a 72 percent chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves. These children are more likely to get poor grades, display behavioral problems, have high absentee rates, repeat school years, or drop out.” Without access to resources, services like tutoring programs, and internet connectivity the cycle of low educational attainment will continue indefinitely. The Library hopes to present reading and learning as experiences that can be valued and enjoyed by the entire family, and consequently, begin to alleviate the cycle of illiteracy in our communities.
The NRL seeks to support several types of literacy through programs and services that address the intergenerational nature of literacy, and support parents as the first teachers of their children. The NRL will create literacy centers at four locations within the region to meet the essential educational and technology needs of families through (1) one-on-one adult literacy tutoring by trained staff and volunteers that promotes economic growth, increased self-esteem, and empowerment; (2) homework help to prepare children for success in school and life experiences through tutoring;
(3) interactive literacy activities between parent and child; and (4) access to technology and internet connectivity to eliminate homework gap barriers.
The Library hopes that the Literacy without Barriers project will act as a bridge to support parents and develop stronger partnerships with local organizations that have the same goal of increasing 21st century literacy skills throughout our region. The Library will be seeking volunteers to serve as tutors for either adult learners or school age students. Volunteer tutors will be required to participate in a twelve-hour volunteer orientation program led by the Craven Literacy Council who will provide instructional training for participants at the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library in August. If interested in becoming a Volunteer Literacy Tutor, please contact Melanie Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. The Literacy without Barrier program will be offered in Lenoir, Jones, and Greene County beginning in September 2020.
Last but not least, on behalf of the Neuse Regional Libraries thank you for your continued support of our libraries during these difficult times. Both the staff and I miss seeing your smiling faces, and look forward to opening our doors once again. As little token of our appreciation, the Library is offering Grab ‘N’ Go free book bundles! These bundles are free and limited to one bundle per person, per day while supplies last! Drop by your local library today. For more information about current library services, please call 252-527-7066, Ext. 134.