The importance of literacy in Houston continues to grow, as the gap in skilled labor widens and the diversity of the city increases. There are many people who lack only the English or reading skills to be able to succeed in middle-skill jobs; preparing them to do so is an investment in the future of the city. Up to one million people in Houston currently fit this description.
Every year, around 75% of Literacy Advance students tell us that employment is among their top reasons for wanting classes. Students also list computer skills, further education, financial stability, and family needs among their top goals.
Our basic literacy classes provide foundational skills, but students often need extra support to move on to next steps. Transition services provide that extra support, bridging the gap between basic classes and long-term goals – such as obtaining a High School Equivalency or vocational training certification, gaining financial stability, becoming computer literate, getting a living-wage job, or supporting children’s education.
Transition services include:
One-on-one coaching: Adult students at Literacy Advance can meet with our Transition Coach to identify goals, barriers, and create a plan of action. These meetings help set direction for the next steps.
Students can meet with the coach again as needed, to discuss ways to address more complex barriers to employment, learn about other services, and to make both short- and long-term career plans.
Referrals: Students' goals usually involve steps beyond their classes at Literacy Advance, and Transition services can link them to other community resources. Through our many partnerships and collaborations, including being part of the United Way THRIVE network, we have a robust referral pipeline with service providers in the Houston area that are experts in certifications, financial education, banking, basic needs, higher education, specialized job training, citizenship, legal services, and more.
Supplemental Classes: These classes target specific areas of interest, such as work readiness, resume development, computer literacy, financial literacy, math, or citizenship, and offer a short-term intensive focus on one topic area to supplement the more general learning taking place in the students’ English or reading classes.
Supplemental classes are led by volunteers, or guests from partner agencies, and are coordinated by Transition staff, allowing them to respond to the needs they see during meetings with students and to ensure that the class schedule covers a variety of topics.
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- 175 adult students took reading classes (Adult Basic Education, or ABE)
- 1,165 adult students took English classes (English as a Second Language, or ESL)
- 770 classes of all types (reading + English + supplemental)
- 99% of students made progress toward a life goal
- 260 volunteer tutors
- 10 Family Literacy Events
- 850 Family Literacy attendees
- Over 2,000 new books given out to kids
- 600+ check-in phone calls made in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey