Help Project Read provide the gift of literacy

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on February 4, 2010

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Project Read Menlo Park is hosting a benefit at Cafe Zoe tomorrow night that’s a win-win for attendees and beneficiaries.  Listen to some good music – provided by Chris Jones and Monsters Are Not Myths – in a relaxing atmosphere and give people the gift of literacy.

“We have helped 2,000 adults learn to read since our inception in 1985,” says Nidhi Chanani, one of the organization’s literacy assistants. “Our learners have become volunteers as well – a wonderful way the program benefits the whole community.  They’ve volunteered at the Friends of the Library book sale and helped the Chamber of Commerce and the Menlo Park firefighters.”

Project Read volunteer tutors are trained to work one-on-one with adults to help them improve reading, writing, and pronunciation skills in English. The program is funded by the City of Menlo Park, California Library Literacy Services, Friends of the Menlo Park Library, and local contributions.  Currently there are over 90 tutors and 125 learners.

Reports one grateful recipient of Project Read services: “Before I was a limited person;  I was afraid to talk with anyone.  I did not know how to communicate and I did not understand what they were saying.  If I saw that someone was going to speak to me, I tried to avoid them.  Now I can talk and write a lot better in English.  Now I have more self confidence and am not afraid to talk with people.”

Another reports: “I’m here now at Project Read Menlo Park where nobody laughs at you. They support you, they help you, and they make you grow as a person, as a human being.”

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