August brings a return to school, and this year that return looks very different. Students will be doing more work at home and online, leaving parents with more responsibility to help with regular schoolwork on top of homework.
Parents and caregivers are often ill-prepared to help with this work and may have limited technology access. The Neuse Regional Libraries recognized the need to develop an effective whole literacy program and through conversations with library staff, local partners and non-profit agencies, the Literacy Without Barriers program was born.
In order to best serve the needs of the community, the Neuse Regional Libraries will support several types of literacy through programs and services that address the intergenerational nature of literacy. The program reinforces the role of parents as the first teachers of their children while also providing literacy tutoring to the adult learner.
Through the support of federal funds awarded and administered by the State Library of North Carolina, Neuse Regional Libraries are creating literacy centers at four locations within the region to meet essential educational and technology needs of families. For the adult learner, there will be one-on-one adult literacy tutoring by trained staff and volunteers that promotes economic growth, increased self-esteem, and empowerment. Children will have access to homework help to prepare them for success in school and life experiences through tutoring. The program will also provide interactive literacy activities between parents and children, and access to technology and internet connectivity to eliminate homework gap barriers.
The Adult Literacy program will be available in four library locations: Kinston, La Grange, Snow Hill, and Maysville. Adult learners and tutors will meet twice a week for a one hour-long session. The learner and tutor will set realistic goals and monitor progress. For any adult learners that have children, ten minutes of their session will be spent assisting the parent with review of children’s school work and they will receive informational handouts. There will also be an opportunity to check out a laptop and hotspot to help support their family’s educational achievements at home.
The Homework Help program will be implemented in Kinston, La Grange, Snow Hill, and Pollocksville. This afterschool tutoring program will focus on homework help and tutoring in math, reading, and writing by contracted teachers, and volunteers.