RIFLI receives $10,000 to support adult literacy

Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative Receives $10,000 Grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to Support Adult Literacy Programs

Grant will specifically support adult literacy & citizenship instruction Cranston Libraries

– Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative (RIFLI), based at Providence Public Library PPL), was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation in support of statewide adult literacy programs.  According to Karisa Tashjian, Director of RIFLI and PPL Adult Literacy Services, the grant will specifically support literacy and citizenship instruction for 125 adult immigrants at the William Hall and Auburn Libraries in Cranston, RI, for 2015-16.  Six classes will be offered: A Beginner level ESL class at each library; an Intermediate level ESL class at each library; and a Citizenship Preparation class at each library.  RIFLI has partnered with the Cranston Public Library system for 17 years.

“RIFLI's mission is to equip adult immigrants in our communities with the literacy skills necessary for upward mobility, engaged citizenship, strong families and lifelong learning,” said Tashjian.  “We have a strong history of bringing together the best practices, staff and resources to lead high performing literacy programs in Rhode Island's libraries most in need of these services, and support such as this grant from Dollar General is critical to our achieving our grass roots goals.”

“It is exciting to see the impact grants from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation make throughout the country, especially as we cross the $100 million threshold in overall donations and the difference it has made to nearly six million people,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General's chairman and CEO. “The Dollar General Literacy Foundation truly embodies the company's mission of Serving Others throughout the communities we serve.

For the Beginner and Intermediate ESL classes, RIFLI's instructional model includes the building of academic, digital literacy, work readiness, systems navigation and English language skills. The simultaneous building of skills is critical to students' success, providing a pathway for them to enter and succeed in educational and job opportunities that result in livable wage employment. The Citizenship classes will serve the 7.2% of Cranston area residents who are not U.S. citizens. They will be focused on the skills and knowledge necessary to pass the citizenship test and the language skills needed for the interview leading to naturalization.

RIFLI is a collaborative that offers classes for immigrants in the urban ring communities of Providence. Our English as a Second Language (ESL), citizenship preparation, college and career transition, External High School Diploma, computer and family literacy classes are designed to provide immigrants the skills they need to overcome social, economic and educational barriers to achieve their goals. These goals include entering, retaining and advancing in employment; participating in post-secondary education or training programs; obtaining citizenship; supporting their children in their schooling, and fully participating in their communities.  RIFLI classes are mainly library based and provide connections to important community services and resources. RIFLI also has classes in public schools, cultural organizations, employment centers and factories.

RIFLI is also a member of the five-member RI Citizenship Consortium and partners with other immigration and citizenship organizations in the state and jointly offer training for teachers and students. RIFLI also coordinates services and offers effective referrals for students for helping them meet their goals.

(release from Cranston Public Library)