LAI offers several levels of reading and writing, mathematics, and GED preparatory classes at our main campus in downtown Atlanta, as well as electives in digital, health, and financial literacy. Most core classes are offered in 8-week quarters, with specialized programming during the summer. In 2018 we are piloting two innovations to better serve the diverse needs of our students: “fast track” programming at select levels offering double the contact hours to help students meet their goals faster, and a digital learning lab where students have the opportunity to supplement classroom instruction with 1:1 online support individualized to their specific learning needs.
Three levels of English as well as conversation classes in local libraries are available to adult learners from a variety of backgrounds. Literacy Action also offers specialized and localized programming for refugee-serving organizations, local housing authorities, and school districts. The pilot programs mentioned under Adult Basic Education are also available to ESOL students.
Literacy Action is committed to helping adult learners overcome the barriers that may prevent them from achieving their goals. Admissions counselors work with students to provide transportation assistance, referrals for childcare, and even access to a mobile vision clinic for free eye exams.
The Digital Literacy program empowers adults to utilize technology as a tool to self-sufficiency. Adult learners are taught to become active participants in the digital age by acquiring skills such as accessing email, using word processing software, applying for jobs online, or navigating a smart phone.
LAI prepares low-literate adults for the workforce, including those working adults seeking advancement by honing their digital, financial and general literacy skills. LAI is engaged with Technical College System of Georgia, Per Scholas, Westside Works and others to help more people receive the basic education skills they need to be competitive in the workforce. LAI’s academic programming is complemented by transitions services, through which students receive support in areas such as resume building, interview skills, professionalism, and financial aid access so that they are prepared to achieve their work and life goals once they have achieved their academic goals with LAI.
There is a strong correlation between parental literacy and children reading on grade level. LAI’s family literacy programs foster reading for the entire family, ensuring parents and grandparents have both the literacy skills and knowledge of strong learning behaviors that they need to reinforce what their children are learning in school and assist with homework. Offered in partnership with Atlanta Public Schools, as well the DeKalb County School District, family literacy classes highlight the caregiver’s role in a child’s academic success and help foster a culture of learning within the family.
We have a citizenship preparation education program to help permanent residents – representing over 70 nationalities – achieve their goal of U.S. Citizenship. It is a privilege to help create dozens of new citizens each year. This program is funded by the Department of Homeland Security.
Contributing to the field of adult literacy is a core value of Literacy Action. Georgia State University, the University of Memphis, the University of Toronto, Kennesaw State University, and Emory University have all had researchers conduct studies at Literacy Action. Two Ph.D. dissertations have been written on Literacy Action’s programming.