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Literacy for Life

Amy T. Wilson | Executive Director | Mid-State Literacy Council

Literacy Council Impacts Multiple Generations

The lack of literacy is a barrier that creates isolation, depression, and disconnection. Because transcending the intergenerational cycle of illiteracy uplifts families, the Mid-State Literacy Council equips adults with reading, writing, computer, math, English, financial and health literacy skills. Funded by local donations, the literacy council team and about 200 trained volunteers provide instruction, encouragement, and opportunity.

A new program, Literacy for Life, impacts multiple generations. Our community is experiencing an increase in grandparents raising their grandchildren. Mid-State Literacy Council is receiving requests for essential computer training because grandparents need to

access healthcare and school information to help their grandchildren. Increased school success will propel the young children to opportunities and hope for their futures. New volunteer tutors were trained in January to teach basic computer skills and include information on school handbooks, rules, and helping a child become a better reader. Tutors are available to help in small group settings and one-to-one. Currently, free workshops for grandparents are scheduled in Bellefonte, State College, Philipsburg, and Centre Hall. The program is supported by State College/Downtown Rotary Club and The Hamer Foundation.

Adults in the workforce benefit from Mid-State Literacy Council’s tutoring programs. Employer’s needing to build their workforce refer part-time employees to tutoring with the promise that if the employee learns to read better, they will promote them to full-time employment. This leads to many congratulations and celebrations.

With participation and support from Penn State’s Biobehavioral Health and Health Policy Administration students, adults enrolled in literacy council programs also increase their access to healthcare and health information. The literacy council includes women’s health, men’s health and English for Doctor’s visits instruction.

Walt Disney said, "There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." Reading is exercise for your brain the way that exercise is for your body. The many health benefits of reading include positive mental health and well-


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