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National Family Literacy Day; Pikes Peak Library District's programs

National Family Literacy Day; Pikes Peak Library District's programs
Posted at 7:09 AM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 09:39:55-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Pikes Peak Library District offers several literacy programs aimed at helping children and adults who wish to improve their reading and English skills.

The children's literacy program focuses on literacy in the womb, offering prenatal classes for parents to engage in. Those teaching the courses stress the importance of starting to read, talk and sing to children in the womb. The program offers traditional baby time, story time, and sensory story time for children with processing disorders.

“It’s like a light bulb goes off with parents because they say, "You know, I knew this, but having that reminder, and then seeing that, oh my baby actually does talk at four weeks old and it’s incredible to see the outcomes,” said Melody Alvarez of Family & Children's Services, Pikes Peak Library District.

Since 1991, the Children’s Literacy Center at the Pikes Peak Library District has been working one on one with families to develop a plan to help a struggling reader to become a successful reader. The nonprofit has a 95 percent effective rate and offers help at several locations in Colorado Springs. Tutoring sites are located at the Monument, Penrose, and Sand Creek Libraries.

Part of family literacy is adult literacy which allows adults to be role models for their children. The Pikes Peak Library’s Adult Literacy offers a variety of free programs to help adults struggling with literacy. It also allows adults who wish to receive a high school diploma, improve their reading skills, and learn English as a second language to succeed. I spoke with the library district’s director of adult education, Tammy Sayles. She tells me she sees lots of improvement from students in these programs.

“Our main focus and our objective for our department is to really meet that student where they are. So, when a student comes to us and says, “I want to complete my high school equivalency, we do an assessment, we figure out where their skills are, and we start their education from that point,” said Sayles.

Career Online High School is the online high school diploma program the library district offers, and select individuals are eligible for scholarships to complete this program. ESL classes to improve English language proficiency in writing, speaking, listening, and reading are offered, along with classes that help students pass the GED and other exams to begin college.

The library also has a path to citizenship program for adults who want to gain citizenship. For more information on the Pikes Peak Library District Programs, visit here.