A CLASS ACT:|
Literacy Class Praises
Greater Homewood CC
by Adult Literacy Students
UNIQUE? Perhaps not. Cause cél`ebre? You bet! In the most positive sense, 3100 Wyman Park Drive has been and continues to be a number that works for us.
The place, the people, and the programs have offered opportunities and challenged our thinking in ways we never imagined possible.
We are applauding the Adult Literacy Program of the Greater Homewood Community Corporation (GHCC) for the renewed sense of direction and interest it has awakened in us.
As the program prepares for its 7th anniversary celebration, we want the community, and beyond, to know that the people here-the staff, the instructors, and the volunteer tutors-are the keys to our success.
We invite you to read our stories:
T.L.C. can stand for tender loving care, but today I'm using this abbreviation to mean The Literacy Connection. This is my story about how I became a part of the Greater Homewood Community Corporation Adult Literacy Program.
I came to GHCC about three years ago. When I walked in the door, I knew I was at the right place for me. I felt a great source of comfort and courage; I felt at home. After each class, I felt renewed. In particular, I liked how our teacher pulled things out of us; she has a lot of patience. I had been looking for a program like this all my life, but God has a way of placing you where you belong in His time. The teachers, staff, students and tutors have been wonderful. I have a new outlook on life since coming here.
Another pleasant discovery here was to find out that my girlfriend, Genie, is on staff; that almost blew me away!
Thank you, Greater Homewood Adult Literacy Program.
A Game That Made A Difference
Walking through the doors of the Greater Homewood Center, I found the air filled with exciting discoveries of the English language that entice my mind and keep me coming back for more knowledge. On one particular evening in class, we played a word game similar to Bingo. We pronounced the words and found them on the cards until we had Bingo. The reward was learning new words. We were so pleased we learned from this game, and we played again.
Knowing that each class is unique in its own way of learning, I feel blessed to have a chance to improve my English.
A New Beginning For Me
Homewood Literacy Program was advertised on television. After seeing the advertisement, I went to the library and then took some follow-up steps such as getting the phone number to Wyman Park, meeting with the person in charge of the program, completing the placement test, and enrolling in class.
One day at a time I am still learning, because Ms. Ruth is a very special teacher.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The essays above were written by three of the 11 students in an adult literacy class taught by Ruth Fuller.
GHCC To Hold
ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20 at 7:30 p.m., the Greater Homewood Community Corporation will hold its 7th annual Literacy Celebration to recognize the progress and contributions of learners and volunteer tutors.
The event will be held in the auditorium of Union Memorial Hospital. The keynote speaker will be City Council President Lawrence Bell.
The program serves about 300 adult learners over the course of a year, according to GHCC literacy program director Marte Mirman. They are taught by approximately 150 volunteer tutors. Sessions are one-on-one or in small groups, depending on student placement.
"Progress varies by the individual," said Ms. Mirman, who was a GHCC volunteer tutor herself before assuming her position nearly five years ago. "It depends on where they start, their prior education and experience, and other factors."
Though many students have attended school, they may have experienced prolonged absences due to illness or family situation, such as frequent moves or the need to take care of younger siblings at home. Without having the necessary learning continuity, they fell behind and had no way to catch up. The adult literacy program is designed to fill in gaps in basic learning.
The GHCC Literacy Program operates on a budget of about $150,000 a year. Primary funding comes through the United Way of Central Maryland and from a federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) administered by Baltimore City. Contributions from individuals and area businesses are much appreciated, according to Ms. Mirman. "Donations are always welcome," she said.
The tutoring is offered free of charge to the learners. There is a $15 materials fee requested of those enrolled in GHCC's English as a Second Language (ESOL) program.
The learning takes place at GHCC's offices at 3100 Wyman Park Drive. Tutoring is available in the evenings and on Saturdays as well as on weekdays. While most learners and tutors come from the Greater Homewood area, participants are welcome from throughout the city. Those interested in becoming learners or tutors should call 889-7927 for more information.
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This story was published on February 6, 1997.