Agency Spotlight: Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County
The Literacy Coalition has been a Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agency since 1994. They promote and achieve literacy through programs meeting the needs of children, adults, families and workplace employees who have limited English and reading skills.
One program funded by the Town of Palm Beach United Way is Literacy AmeriCorps. This program recruits, trains places and supervises up to 40 recent college graduates who provide a year of service as reading tutors, mentors, graduation coaches and college readiness coaches.
Education was not a big part of Nick’s life. No one in his family had gone to college. His sister became pregnant and dropped out of high school. When his graduation coach first met him, he had a 1.5 GPA and was behind in credits and community service hours. Nick and his coach started meeting at least twice a week. To build rapport and trust, the graduation coach helped him with homework and gave advice about life. Nick struggled, but he worked hard and brought his GPA up to a 2.5. He is now earning enough credits and community service hours. He was able to graduate from Lake Worth High School and is now enrolled at Palm Beach State College.
How It Makes a Difference
Children become more confident and have a more positive attitude towards school and learning when their reading skills improve and their grades increase. Youth are also more engaged in their learning as their skills increase and their confidence builds. Before working with an AmeriCorps member, many teens feel that no one cares whether they succeed or fail. During the year, as the trust builds and relationships deepen, they realize that they are not alone and work hard to meet expectations for success.
How You Can Help