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2007 LORI Grants Awards

The Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative (RIFLI)

Amount Awarded: $45,000
Applying Agency: Providence Public Library
Grant Administrator: Louise B. Moulton

Description: In its tenth year, the partner libraries of RIFLI - Cranston, East Providence, Pawtucket, Providence and West Warwick - have a mission of "providing families with high quality literacy programming so that they can reach their full potential by developing the skills needed for upward mobility, for engaged citizenship and for leading strong families and communities."  In September 2007, RIFLI had a waiting list of over 140 adult learners for beginning and intermediate level ESL classes despite enrolling over 178 learners. The largest single group of learners is Hispanic females. They represent at least 40% of all learners. 

Classes are held in urban, underserved, high poverty communities. RIFLI offers a comprehensive intake and orientation process, skill leveled classes, and teacher office hours. Woven into classroom ESL activities are skills to access library and information services. Individualized instruction is based on learner goals. Through the support of the OLIS/LSTA subgrant, the menu of offerings for 2007 included more individualized and specialized classes for beginning and intermediate level ESL learners.

OLIS/LSTA subgrant funds have also been directed toward support of a Student Support Specialist to assist learners in addressing barriers faced in participating in RIFLI classes, make social services connections, make educational and related referrals, network with community agencies, and share this information with teachers and learners. In addition to locating classes in libraries with accessible public transportation, scheduling classes at convenient times for students, providing child care for learners' children during class time, and offering financial assistance when needed for transportation to classes, the Student Support Specialist was added as another critical support to help learners "persist" in their learning.

Phone: (401) 455-8134
Website: Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative

Central Falls Public Library Literacy Program (CFPLLP)

Amount Awarded: $20,000
Applying Agency: Central Falls Public Library
Grant Administrator: Laura Marlane

Description: This is a second year OLIS/LSTA subgrant to the Central Falls Public Library Literacy Program. The program targets its services to Low English Proficient (LEP) residents of the area, predominantly low-income South and Central American, Caribbean and African adults, including individuals with disabilities and people with limited functional literacy or informational skills. The age range is 18-80. According to the 2000 US Census, there are 9,889 residents in Central Falls who are (LEP) including 6,909 without high school credentials. Centrals Falls is a high-immigration city. LEP and low literacy levels are barriers to civic participation, access to services, and employment opportunities. Central Falls Public Library has consistently had 100 to 150 people waitlisted since the Literacy Program was initiated in 2006.

The program aims to improve the English and basic literacy skills of the targeted population. This population is served with English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes, enhanced resource development and promotion at the library, and parallel services that allow greater use of the library among the traditionally underserved. High quality ESOL classes are offered in 15-week semesters and one 7 week term in 2008. The program offers beginning, high-beginning, intermediate and advanced ESOL classes. A significant program objective is to continue development of evidence-based program innovations that promote both intensity and duration of student persistence.

Phone: (401) 727-7440

Literacy Volunteers of Kent County, Inc.

Amount Awarded: $10,000
Applying Agency: Coventry Public Library
Grant Administrator: Stephanie S. Eddleston

Description: Since 1980, Coventry Public Library has been in partnership with Literacy Volunteers of Kent County (LVKC) to help Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language (ESL) learners in Kent County to improve literacy skills through one-to-one, free, confidential volunteer tutoring. According to the 2000 Census, 20% of Kent County’s population is below the lowest literacy level.

Lesson plans are designed around the students’ personal goals. The LVKC program trains volunteers to use the methods of ProLiteracy America in proven learner-centered techniques which include the Language Experience Approach, Whole Language, and Competency-Based instruction. Critical to the OLIS/LSTA subgrant project is the recruitment and training of new tutors. OLIS/LSTA subgrant funds provide staff time to present 3 tutor training workshops and 2 in-service programs yearly; to match, support and assess tutor/student pairs; and to provide information, access, and connections to literacy resources and “Start Here!”, a small group program for ESL students. In this program, students are introduced to the Coventry Public Library and its services. OLIS/LSTA funding supports approximately half of LVKC program staff time. The Coventry Public Library Reference Librarians are available to aid tutors in using the literacy collection and other resources.

Tutoring is free of charge and confidential. Each 18 hour tutor workshop provides instruction in learner needs, tutoring techniques for both Basic Literacy (BL) and (ESL), lesson planning, goal setting, and an introduction to the resources available at Coventry Public Library.

Phone: (401) 822-9103

RILINK and Destiny – online access for school libraries to resources and information

Amount Awarded: $40,000
Applying Agency: Rhode Island Library Information Network for Kids (RILINK), with the East Bay Educational Collaborative
Grant Administrator: Dorothy Frechette, Executive Director, RILINK; Jerry Kowalczyk, Executive Director, East Bay Educational Collaborative

Description: RILINK will complete the process of moving all of its members to our shared online, web-based library automation system, with three additional libraries added to the system. Funds will also be used to purchase a subscription to World Book Online enabling students and teachers at all RILINK schools to access World Book Online resources for their classroom presentations, research, and lesson planning. RILINK is a cooperative effort by Rhode Island school libraries to share their resources through an interactive, web-based union catalog of library materials. Students and teachers at RILINK member schools can use the catalog to look for, and request, books or other items at member libraries. Currently, sixty-nine school libraries working together form RILINK, sharing their books, audiovisual materials and expertise to provide better service to their 48,000 students and teachers.

Phone: 245-4998, ext. 320
Website: RILINK