Meeting The Need
Walworth County Literacy Council (WCLC) provides educational programs to adult residents to help them improve their reading, writing, mathematical and language skills; acclimate to a new culture; achieve financial security; and develop a productive relationship with their families and members of their community. All WCLC services are free of charge.
By the Numbers
Adults with lower literacy skills are:
as likely to be incarcerated
as likely to be in poor health
as likely to be in poverty
more likely to be unemployed
In 2019, 60 volunteers tutored 150 adults in English as a Second Language (ESL), reading, writing and math, or citizenship preparation throughout libraries in the county. Forty incarcerated individuals were taught reading, writing and math by volunteer instructors at the county jail.
Oanh Llewellyn immigrated from Vietnam to the United States as an adult. She married, had two children, and set out several goals for herself.
In 2017 she was matched with a WCLC tutor to improve her English skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking. As a result of her determination, Oanh is better able to understand and participate in school conferences. She is employed at her children’s school and can interface with school personnel. In 2019, Oanh was selected to speak to a group of 30 people in a local library. The attendees were moved with Oanh’s success and ability to communicate in her new language.
Another goal for Oanh was to attain U.S. Citizenship. She passed the requirements of the Naturalization interview for speaking, reading and writing and correctly answered the civics questions. Oanh became a U.S. citizen in 2020 and also obtained her U.S. Passport the same year.
Developing basic digital skills is a challenge she is also tackling. Oanh has been using library computers to check and respond to work email and was able to study for the Naturalization test online.
Despite the many challenges of a new language and culture, Oanh is committed to continued learning. With her tutor’s guidance, Oanh is investigating further education in English and other adult basic education classes offered through Gateway Technical College and Walworth County Literacy Council.
In today’s global, multicultural, digital economy, Walworth County Literacy Council empowers the student beyond basic adult education of reading and writing. WCLC programming benefits are many.
● Dedicated labor force.
● Greater opportunities for sustainable employment, job advancement and increased earning capacity.
● A parent's level of reading skill is the greatest determinant of a child’s academic success.
● Language skills enable parents to communicate and engage with child’s school.
● Higher income earners contribute more to growing the local economy.
● More stable community. Students’ success transfers to their children, other family members, co-workers and others for generations to come.
● Decrease in crime.
● Healthcare system is more easily accessed.
● More effective communication with providers.
● Increased confidence and ability in advocating for self.
● Greater overall community involvement including, voting, volunteerism, and social cohesion.
Give the Gift of Literacy
The need is great for adult education. Fifty-five percent of literacy councils nationwide have student waiting lists. Walworth County Literacy Council is no exception to this.
The support from WCLC volunteers, community partners and generous donors helps students become productive and self-sufficient residents of Walworth County.