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After a two-year hiatus due to the spread of COVID-19, Livermore’s Civic Center Library showcases a new exhibit for the month of January to promote their literacy program. 

According to Carey Jones, the current literacy coordinator, the initiative began 35 years ago for non-native English speaking adults to improve their grammar with resources such as one-on-one tutoring help and collaborative conversational meetings.

“The program’s philosophy is that both the tutor and the participant are working side by side. It’s more of a partnership,” Jones said. As a result, many of the adult learners form close bonds with their instructor. 

In this month’s showcase, titled Our Celebration Stories, various stories written by 19 learners address the importance of this bond. Many give thanks to the education they’ve received by sharing their achievements including passing written exams, feeling confident in oral interviews and even acquiring American citizenship.

“The library provided me with a tutor. She helped me prepare for the Citizenship Test. And I became an American Citizen!” said Valentina Fedorova, one of the writers featured in Our Celebration Stories. Fedorova eventually took to paper to write about her story and suggested the idea of a poster gallery after many had their own personal anecdotes to share.

Fedorova’s experiences with the program along with her peers’ can be viewed at the entrance of the library thanks to the help of Judy Pickett, a loyal library volunteer, who worked alongside Jones to organize the event. 

As others view the exhibit and read the remarkable stories, I hope they recognize the hard work, dedication and talent of the authors and appreciate the skills that the writers are developing through their participation in the Literacy Program,” Pickett said.

While this exhibit comes to a close at the end of January, the literacy program continues to guide residents of the Livermore community. For more information about the program and additional resources for English learners, visit the Livermore Public Library official website.

Sophia Sipe is Editor-In-Chief for The Express. Follow her @sophiasipe.



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