Aberg Center for Literacy
Aberg Center for Literacy is building richer lives, stronger families, and better communities through programs in English fluency, preparation for high school equivalency in English and Spanish, early childhood education, and family literacy. Due to COVID-19, we had to stop delivering services in person and were forced to cancel our spring fundraiser that we anticipated would yield over $60,000 net in critical operating funds for the agency. Following spring break our staff called all students to ask a series of questions, provide information and link them to resources to help them navigate the frightening landscape. As of March 26, 50% of our students’ households experienced loss of income, 59% did not understand the “shelter in-place order’, and 32% did not know what to do if someone gets sick. We also assessed their needs and capability for distance learning, and 92% expressed interest in online learning. This affirms that our services are needed now more than ever to increase understanding of the current crisis and help our students continue to strengthen their skills to provide economic sustainability. Staff assessed options for platforms and content and devised a plan to shift classes for both adult and children to an online platform. While we will not be offering as many class hours as we do with in-person operations, we are trying to provide an offering that is impactful and acknowledges the high levels of stress that our students are currently experiencing. Our goal is to provide a space for students to continue learning and stay connected. We will continue to provide resources for emergency needs and a safe space for emotional support. In addition to devoting class time to assist with resources, we will continue to use our social media channels and WhatsApp groups to educate our students and the public and to keep students informed about community resources. We need funding to pay for the online platform and for staff to continue serving our students as we journey together through this crisis.