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SLO County Libraries offer free adult literacy program

City of San Luis Obispo Library
San Luis Obispo County Public Libraries
The San Luis Obispo Library at Osos and Palm.

A new library program is working to help underserved people in San Luis Obispo County with literacy tutoring. It is volunteer-based and encourages learners to read and write.

The Literacy Connection specializes in adult literacy, English as a second language and family learning tutoring. Michelle Haddad is the program’s coordinator. She said the classes work to serve underrepresented groups with a hands-on approach.

“They're in a vulnerable position already kind of reaching out and saying they need help and they're adults so they have full lives. They have jobs. They have children. They have a lot to manage already,” Haddad said. “So we really try our best to accommodate them to make this successful.”

Each class is curated around individual learner’s goals, whether that is practicing basic reading skills, working on English pronunciation or using family literacy kits. Tutors work one-on-one or in small groups with learners, accommodating their schedules and locations.

The sessions are confidential and offered across 14 library locations, with about 30 volunteers. Additionally, the program has an ESL tutor based in the SLO County Jail to help inmates.

According to Haddad, the Literacy Connection is always looking for more tutors to support learners in different locations.

“We have a big county. So, you know, if you're looking to help don't be shy we are happy to take you on so I'm just really impressed with the generosity of their time,” Haddad said.

Haddad says she hopes to expand services in the future, like having monthly family literacy activities or hosting graduation ceremonies for learners.

Sessions usually occur once a week for an hour and half at a time. They are free and confidential.

For more information on services, visit the Literacy Connection page on the San Luis Obispo County Library website.

KCBX Reporter Sarina Grossi is currently working to earn her Journalism degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She also works as a news anchor and reporter for KCPR Radio and as the Digital Manager for Mustang Media Group. Sarina was editor-in-chief of her community college newspaper. In her free time, she likes to read, watch movies, do arts and crafts, and go to thrift and antique stores.
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