Adult Literacy Project
In the U.S., 22 percent of adults function at the lowest levels of literacy. In Palm Beach County, that’s over 70,000 adults! Simple tasks present huge barriers:
- Completing a job application.
- Reading a medicine label.
- Registering to vote.
- Opening a bank account.
- Helping a child with homework.
A highly rewarding experience awaits you!
- Volunteer a few hours each week and make a difference.
- Teach an English-speaking adult to read and write.
- Materials and training are offered free-of-charge.
Adult Essay Contest Honoree:
"…When you become an adult, but you cannot read and write, you are living in darkness and are empty. It is so hard in life, you cannot find your way and people use you. …When I say I can’t find my way, that means I can’t do anything for myself. …I have an idea of what I want to do, but I can’t do it for myself. If I receive a letter, but don’t know what it says, it could be a matter of life and death but I wouldn’t know. It’s like having a veil over my eyes. … If you cannot read, you are at the mercy of others."
We are recruiting volunteers who can tutor at the Acreage Branch, Belle Glade Branch, Greenacres Branch, Loula V. York Branch (Pahokee), Main Library (Summit Boulevard) and the Okeechobee Boulevard Branch. Registration is required to participate. Tutors must attend all sessions to volunteer with our program.
Workshops are based on student demand. Please call the Volunteer Desk at 561-894-7510 for more information.
Literacy Resources: Useful Links for Students
These general ESOL websites offer many types of activities (grammar, listening, pronunciation, vocabulary, reading, etc.) for language learners of all levels. We have also included some useful non-ESOL links for reading and math. Show Me
Grammar and Written English
- About ESL Grammar - This site has many useful grammar lessons for all levels.
- About Grammar - Choose from 25 important grammar lessons.
- Activities for ESL Students - Grammar reviews, bilingual quizzes, vocabulary with pictures, and much more.
- BYKI - Learn English with BYKI. Register to use this interactive ESOL site. An e-mail address is required.
- Dave’s ESL Cafe - Grammar reviews, slang, pronunciation, and idioms are covered.
- English Learning Site for Spanish Speakers - This is a great website for Spanish speakers who are just starting to learn English or are having a difficult time using English language sites. The site provides grammar lessons at different levels.
- ESL Blues - Choose from a variety of grammar quizzes.
- Grammar Topics - This site offers a comprehensive grammar review. Lessons are not sorted by level.
- Learning Center Study Zone - This user-friendly site provides a comprehensive grammar review for all levels. Lessons are followed by quizzes.
- Learn on the Go - Offers practice in reading English, learning new vocabulary, and listening to stories about different topics.
- Live Mocha - Practice grammar, reading, writing, listening, and pronunciation in an interactive online community. An e-mail is required to register for the site.
- Adult Learning Activities - Students listen to relevant stories while reading along. Stories are followed by vocabulary and spelling exercise. Non-ESOL students can also benefit from this site.
- Advanced ESL Listening Practice - Listen to a variety of stories in English. Reading speed may be adjusted.
- English Listening Lessons - This website gives students the chance to practice listening to conversations in English. Each conversation is about a unique topic and comes with a transcript, comprehension quiz, and vocabulary explanations.
- ESL Lab - Listening comprehension quizzes.
- Voice of America Learning English - This site gives students the opportunity to listen to news articles in simple English. The stories come with a transcript and a number of activities that focus on reading comprehension, vocabulary, and listening skills.
- Perfect Pronunciation Practice - This site allows you to practice pronunciation, syllable stress, and intonation.
- English Pronunciation Videos - Video lessons on a variety of pronunciation issues.
- Sounds of English - Practice your pronunciation with exercises, explanations, and games.
- Merriam Webster’s Learners Dictionary - An online English dictionary for language learners.
- Merriam Webster’s Visual Dictionary - An online English dictionary that provides thousands of images for English words.
- Free TOEFL Practice Tests - Choose from 14 TOEFL practice tests.
- Learning Express - Study for the TOEFL and take TOEFL practice tests online. Online registration is required
- Test Preview TOEFL Practice - TOEFL practice tests that cover grammar, reading comprehension, sentence completion, and writing. Practice tests can be printed.
- TOEFL Test Preparation - This site provides a number of TOEFL practice questions and lessons.
Reading and Math
- Adult Learning Project - Students can read and listen to stories. Vocabulary and spelling exercises follow.
- Khan Academy - Students learn math skills using this interactive site. Learning activities start at a very basic level and gradually increase in difficulty.
- Learn on the Go - Practice reading, math, and learn more about computer skills.
- Learning Express - Study for your GED, ABE test, citizenship test, and much more. To use the site you need to register online.
- Math Review - Review your math skills at this website.
- Times in Plain English - Current news stories are written in plain language. Great site for advanced ESOL or non-ESOL readers to use.
Literacy Resources: Useful Links for Tutors
These links include useful resources for our tutors. Show Me
- About Grammar - Choose from 25 important grammar lessons for ESL lesson plan ideas. Quizzes are provided.
- Citizenship Test Study Materials - If your student is trying to obtain citizenship, this site provides great study materials.
- Florida Literacy Coalition, Inc. - Florida's Adult and Family Literacy Resource Center offers a Tutor Help Center focusing on literacy/ABE and ESOL strategies.
- Florida TechNet - Valuable resource for tutors developing lessons plans for literacy students.
- Free English Video Lessons - This website provides tutors and teachers with great lesson ideas.
- Learning Center Study Zone - This site provides a comprehensive grammar review for all levels. Lessons are followed by quizzes. Tutors can find lesson plan ideas and print grammar quizzes.
- Learning Disabilities Association of America - Provides support to people with learning disabilities — information on learning disabilities, practical solutions, and a comprehensive network of resources.
- Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County - “The mission of the Literacy Coalition is to improve the quality of life in our community by promoting and achieving literacy.”
- Math Fact Cafe - This site allows tutors to build their own math worksheets.
- Palm Beach State College – Center for Languages - Designed for ESOL students who want to improve English communication skills.
- ProLiteracy Education Network - Offers reading, comprehension, and vocabulary activities for use by students. Lesson plans are also provided for adult literacy tutors.
- School District of Palm Beach County-Community Educator - Guide to Adult and Community Education Classes with a locator map listing schools that offer ESOL and GED classes.
- Teach English Using Current Events - This site provides current news stories in plain English and accompanying lesson plans.
- Tutoring ABE Video - This video is an example of the first tutoring session. During this session the student and tutor get to know each other and set goals.
- Between Us Newsletter - Student newsletter written for and by students includes announcements, accomplishments, and Literacy*AmeriCorps member information.
- Tutor Talk Newsletter - Includes upcoming events, student/tutor interviews, tutor tips, and helpful websites.
Library Literacy Friends, Inc.
Library Literacy Friends, Inc. is an organization comprised of volunteers, students, and other concerned community members who recognize the basic literacy needs of adults in our community. We are committed to support, promote, and expand the presence and effectiveness of the Palm Beach County Library’s Adult Literacy Project in providing one-on-one tutoring for adult basic literacy learners.Our members devote their time and talent to achieve the following:
- Create public interest in the cause of adult literacy.
- Increase awareness of the Adult Literacy Project.
- Encourage community participation in the program.
- Support volunteer tutor training and staff development.
- Provide educational materials.
- Sponsor tutor and student workshops and cultural events.
It is the mission of Library Literacy Friends, Inc. to support and fund the program in all aspects to ensure the continued success of the Palm Beach County Library’s Adult Literacy Project.Download the Library Literacy Friends, Inc. Brochure
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is enrolled in the Adult Literacy Project? Open or Close
English-speaking adults who read below a fifth grade level.
Is there a charge for the program? Open or Close
No, free reading lessons with volunteer tutors and study materials are provided.
Can ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students
benefit from this program?Open or CloseYes, as long as they can communicate and understand reading instruction.
What if an ESOL student reads above the fifth grade level? Open or Close
Students are referred to their local Adult Education site or Palm Beach State College’s Language Institute to improve pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and writing skills.
How does a student get a tutor? Open or Close
Call the Literacy Office for a brief interview and schedule an appointment for evaluation.
Do you need experience to become a reading tutor? Open or Close
No prior experience is necessary.
What is required of a volunteer? Open or Close
Volunteers take a twelve-hour pre-service tutor training workshop and make a twelve-month commitment working one-on-one with a student. Tutors are encouraged to participate in ongoing training opportunities.
How often must a tutor meet a student?Open or Close
Twice a week for a total of three hours
Where do tutor/student teams meet?Open or Close
In most Palm Beach County Library locations and many cooperative libraries
What program materials are used to teach an adult to read? Open or Close
“On Our Way” is a sequential reading system based heavily on phonics and syllable division. It is designed to help a new or problem reader “attack” unknown words. Additional materials focusing on grammar, writing, and critical thinking skills are introduced as the student progresses.