We are entering our 15th year! of attacking the global problem of illiteracy locally, amongst the impoverished in the downtown area of Over-the-Rhine (OTR), Cincinnati.
We are blessed to be housed rent-free by our partner organization, Over-the-Rhine Community Housing.
We are a volunteer-driven program. Our diverse tutors represent various zip codes, ages, races, faith traditions, and education levels, and all are trained to be fully prepared to take on the challenge of working with adult learners.
Nearly all of our students have had some connection to OTR in the past, but many come to us from outside the neighborhood. Those who do live close walk to class. Others take the bus or drive. Nearly all of our students are African American. We have served teenagers to adults over 80 years old. Almost all have low income challenges.
Our effectiveness especially stems from two distinct ways that we operate. One is the way that we place students well, in appropriately-leveled curriculum, either in:
the Basic Reading Program, for non- or low-level readers (or Kindergarten through 4th grade)
the Bridge to GED Program, for students who need to increase their junior high reading level to better prepare for GED test preparation in other programs (5th to 8th grade readers)
And secondly, we are the only program we are aware of in which students are placed one-to-one with a tutor for the most optimal learning. We often find that we are basically the last chance for many of our students to reach their literacy life goals.
Each active Basic Reading Program student improves one grade level per year.
Developmentally disabled students whose skills have plateau-ed often choose to remain students and continue to hone their skills slowly, and exhibit big confidence and self-esteem boosts.
Even though student retention is notoriously low in adult literacy programs nationwide, we focus on the now for every new student, and give them our all, regardless of whether they stay for years (our longest—over 13 years so far!) or a month. Learning occurs in every session.