An Introduction to The Literacy Project
The Literacy Project provides education in basic skills for adults at community learning centers throughout western Massachusetts.
A community-based non-profit formed in 1984, The Literacy Project (TLP) covers a 1,100 square mile region, serving Franklin and Hampshire Counties, and western Worcester County. Classes are offered in Greenfield, Orange, Northampton, Amherst, Ware and Warren. We serve over 400 students each year with a staff of approximately 20.
We believe that literacy and basic education are the building blocks of democracy.
To participate fully as a decision-maker at home, at work and in the community, adults need a range of skills, including communication, conflict resolution and critical thinking – as well as reading, writing and math. In addition to teaching the academic basics, we study community issues and discuss current events of concern to us all.
Each student brings a unique history and story.
Most of our students left high school without graduating. For some students, personal or family problems, illness, or addiction made it difficult to stay in school. Others left to have children or support families. Still others found the social or educational environment of high school difficult to tolerate.
Many students overcome significant challenges and barriers to attend our classes.
Many of our students are parents, striving towards their own educational and career goals for the sake of their children. Some are homeless and living in shelters. Some have been court-ordered to obtain their GED. Some are in recovery from addiction or mental illness. Most are struggling to survive economically.
Most students are working towards the GED, the high school equivalency exam.
Earning a GED opens the door to jobs, higher education and military service. The GED test includes five subject areas: reading, writing, math, science and social studies. It offers students a significant challenge and is designed so that 40% of graduating high school seniors cannot pass.
Others have personal or professional goals.
Students may also be studying for professional certification, such as the Certified Nurses Assistant Exam. They may be high school or GED graduates who want to brush up on their skills before entering college. Or they may have personal goals, like feeling confident when they help their children with homework.
Small classes and individual attention help students meet their goals.
With no more than 15 students enrolled in any class, instructors and volunteer tutors from the community are able to tailor instruction to the needs of each student. We offer a comfortable setting where adults can study together at their own pace, towards their own goals.
Community volunteers contribute thousands of hours each year.
Over 80 volunteers each year contribute their time and skills to our classes and programs. Volunteers offer thousands of hours each year, bringing diversity of experience, depth of knowledge, connections in the community and enthusiasm for teaching and learning to our students. Their contributions are invaluable.