Hundreds of people each year benefit from the Pioneer Library System’s Adult Literacy Services program. The library offers tutoring for both English as a Second Language students as well as native speakers of English, who work one-on-one with volunteer tutors to help the learners meet their goal, whether that is to earn a GED or just speak and read the language better.
Here is the story of Yolanda
Looking for help
Yolanda came to the U.S. from Chihuahua, Mexico. She married her husband just before he was deployed to Iraq and Yolanda was left living with family in Oklahoma City. Not long after her husband's deployment, Yolanda found out she was pregnant.
The story was just starting.
Her son had been diagnosed on the autism spectrum, but due to the language barrier, Yolanda felt she was not able to actively work with the schools to best meet her son’s needs. So she turned to the library to look for help and received an English Language Tutor, named Cap, in her hometown.
Little by little, word by word, lesson by lesson, the language came to Yolanda - and, collaboration with her son’s school helped her son. She eventually was able to apply for U.S. citizenship, which she received in an official proclamation in late 2013.
Lending a hand
Yolanda’s story has the chance to be retold in many other families thanks to an expansion of literacy services aimed directly at helping English language learners on the path to U.S. citizenship.
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries is offering an immigration and citizenship services program funded through the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) Grants to States from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The grant for PLS Literacy Services is for $15,000 and is split three ways between Cleveland, McClain and Pottawatomie counties. It will be used to purchase citizenship study materials from the publisher New Readers Press.
There are Literacy Corners set up in five hometown libraries (Norman Central, Moore, SOKC, Shawnee, and Purcell) with a variety of information about what libraries are offering for citizenship help as well as general information sheets on first or next steps in seeking U.S. citizenship.
PLS trains tutors interested in working with those wanting to gain U.S. citizenship. The tutors prepare students by helping them improve their English skills and their proficiency in reading, writing and speaking. The process is individualized to meet the student’s needs.
A new life
“It’s extremely satisfying to see Yolanda come through everything she has come through,” her tutor says. “I know it felt good for her and it felt good for us.”
And the story comes full circle. Yolanda herself is now one of the newest volunteer tutors for PLS, and her first student is a lady that Cap has been tutoring for several months.
“For me, it changed my life, and I wanted to pass this on to others.”
If you are interested in becoming a literacy tutor or learning more about our services, please complete this form.
LIBRARY CITIZENSHIP RESOURCES
Adult Learners → Prepare for the US Citizenship Test
Adult Learning Center → Become a U.S. Citizen
Learn English as a second language
Citizenship Books & DVDs
Study guides and video discs
U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship
Prepare for the civics portion of the naturalization test.
Legal Information Reference Center
Access to thousands of legal forms
Cleveland, McClain, and Pottawatomie County Literacy Services provide free, confidential assistance to adults who want to improve their English, develop their reading and writing skills, or work on promoting reading as a regular family activity.
In Person Services for Adult Learners:
Adult Basic Literacy - Provides one-on-one tutoring to those wanting to learn to read or improve their reading skills
English As A Second Language (ESL) - Teaches English to speakers of other languages through one-on-one tutoring
New Readers Book Club - A monthly reading and conversation group for all ESL and Literacy students and tutors
Materials and Resources - All learning materials print and non-print, are provided free of charge.
Online Services for Adult Learners:
Learning Express - Offers the practice tests, exercises, skill-building courses, eBooks, and information you need to achieve the results you want—at school, at work, or in life.
Mango Languages - Learn English and other foreign languages at your own pace from the comfort of your own home.
Brainfuse - Online tutoring from 2pm - 11pm every day. Covers all subjects from Kindergarten to College level.
Legal Information Reference Center - Providing online access to legal reference books and thousands of legal forms. Topics include immigration, travel, citizenship and more.
El Sistema Bibliotecario Pioneer ofrece clases de ingles o ayuda individualmente para adultos de 18 anos o más. Para mas información llame al 701-2664.
En Servicios personal para la Educación de Adultos:
Capacidad de leer y escribir en ingles - Ayuda individualmente o en clase para aprender ingles para hablantes de otro idioma.
Club de Nuevos Lectores - Grupo de lectura y discusión para todos nuestros estudiantes y tutores. Se reúne mensualmente, Materiales y Recursos- Todos los materiales de aprendizaje que se necesiten son gratis.
Centro de Referencia de Información Legal- Propiciando acceso en línea a libros de referencia legal y miles de formas legales. Temas incluyen inmigración, viajes, ciudadanía y más.
Servicios en línea para la Educación de Adultos
Learning Express – Ofrece examines de practica, ejercicios, cursos de habilidades, eBooks e información que usted necesita para lograr los resultados que quiere – en la escuela, en el trabajo o en su vida.
Mango Languages - Aprende ingles y otros idiomas en su tiempo libre de su propia casa.
Brainfuse - Clases particulares en línea de 2pm -11pm todos los dias. Cubre los temas desde preescolar a nivel universitario.