Help An Adult Read Better

Do you remember the moment you could read? Do you remember struggling with sounds or reading over and over your favorite story and practicing words you had just learned? 

For most of us, reading was a gradual process, introduced in elementary school, fine-tuned in high school, and critically important in adulthood. However, for many adults right here in the city of Orange, literacy has eluded them. They struggle with text the reader takes for granted: street signs, medicine labels, children’s school notes and homework assignments, e-mails, recipes, and so much more.

It’s amazing how human nature learns to cope with just about everything. For adults who can’t read, they’ve learned ways around this impediment. They memorize; they “forget” their glasses as they ask others to read for them; they copy the same messages that were previously written by others; they use abbreviations to avoid spelling. Whatever it takes to get the job done. Until they’ve run out of options or want an end to this tiring cycle of keeping a secret.

That’s where the Orange Public Library comes in. This past year our Library received a grant to start a program for English-speaking adults who need basic literacy skills. Volunteers are trained to work one-on-one with a student in the Library’s Literacy Lab. Days and times are flexible, and it’s free.

Do you know someone who could benefit from knowing about this program? Could you post a flyer in your company’s lunchroom or storefront window? Help get the word out that this program exists. The struggling reader won’t see this, but you did. Give someone the Library’s literacy phone number. Call to register for the next tutor training workshop. There’s an adult out there who will be glad you did.


Orange Public Library is located at 407 E. Chapman Avenue in Orange. For info, www.cityoforange.org/library or call the Literacy Office: (714) 288-2467

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