From July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2009 LIFT served 8, 325 adult learners. The only other group that teaches more adults to read than LIFT in North Texas is the DISD. Most literacy organizations in the US average serving 300 adult learners a year. So, how do LIFT stats drill down?
- 31% (2,550) participated in Family Literacy Workshops. When you take into consideration that each parent participating averages 2.5 children, approximately 6,375 were reached by this program.
- 18% are enrolled in Adult Literacy classes. 20% of this group read below the 2nd grade level, 50% read between the 2nd and the 4th grade level and 30% read above the 4th grade level.
- 51% (4,296) participated in ESL classes.
During this time frame, 8,070 classes met for 121,182 class hours (including 1,507 computer lab hours). LIFT still maintains a 64% course completion rate among its adult learners, compared to the national average of 10%.
So how does LIFT manage to serve so many adult learners in a year? First thing that comes to my mind is determination and the passion to fulfill the mission of raising adult literacy rates in Texas. LIFT manages these goals with a staff of 9 full time employees.
Many literacy programs employ the one on one tutoring method. For many reasons, LIFT chooses to employ the classroom method. If we are one on one and you are the tutor and I am the adult learner, when do I get to be the smart one? Never - but in a classroom setting, Sam helps Marcia, Marcia can help Greg and so forth. Confidence is built, lessons are reinforced when adult learners help each other. A bond is built between our adult learners and there is an accountability factor. When an adult learner misses a class, his/her classmates notice. Sometimes they even call and urge that adult learner to return to class. A community is built and the community is committed to making sure its members succeed.
Next post we will explore why we think LIFT has such a great retention rate among its adult learners.