South Madison Literacy Program Expands
By Tana Elias - Web Resources Coordinator
South Madison Branch Library selected to receive American Dream Starts @ Your Library® literacy grant for English language learners
The South Madison Branch Library is one of 70 public libraries in 21 states selected in April 2010 by the American Library Association (ALA) to receive $5,000 grants as part of The American Dream Starts @ Your Library® literacy project. This initiative is funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.
The South Madison Branch Library joins libraries in large cities and rural towns throughout Dollar General’s market area. The library will use these funds to build innovative literacy services for adult English language learners living and working in our community. The library has hosted a successful series of conversation clubs called Talk Time @ Your Library, aimed at providing English language learners the opportunity to practice their English skills. The grant will allow Talk Time @ Your Library to expand into multiple series of ongoing conversation circles, beginning in late summer 2010.
Talk Time @ Your Library helps English language learners feel more comfortable using their oral English skills in a social setting as well as in formal settings such as work or school. It gives learners a safe place to practice and make mistakes without fear of ridicule or rejection. All participants, the volunteers and the learners, benefit from this program by making new friends, learning about new cultures and enriching one another’s lives,” said Chris Wagner, South Madison Branch Librarian.
For more than a century, public libraries have been a cornerstone of the American Dream, providing equal access to information of all kinds. In fact, libraries are among the first American institutions immigrants turn to for help in learning how to read, write and speak English. The 2005 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) found that one in 20 US adults have such limited English skills that they can’t read a newspaper or help their children with schoolwork.
“The American Library Association deeply appreciates Dollar General’s generous support and applauds their vision for a more literate America,” said Dr. Camila Alire, ALA 2009-2010 President.
For more information on Madison Public Library’s American Dream Starts @ your library programs, visit the library or call 608-266-6395.