July 21, 2009

Literacy Program Benefits Library

Tags: Press Release

Burbank Public Library is the Reading Horizons Site of the Month for August

August 2009

Burbank, CA – July 21, 2009 – Reading Horizons has chosen Burbank Public Library as its featured Site of the Month for August. As Site of the Month, staff at the library will receive, among other things, 25 percent off of all purchases of Reading Horizons materials and one year of free access to Reading Horizons Online Reading Workshop.

Since 1992, Burbank Public Library has provided free, one-to-one literacy services to members of the surrounding community. In the 17 years since then, more than 1,500 volunteer tutors have assisted over 1,600 adult learners in their quests to learn to read. Their efforts have been greatly aided by Discover Intensive Phonics (DIP), adopted in 1998 as the library’s core reading program.

"Discover Intensive Phonics works because it is a systematic method of teaching basic concepts and adding layers of skills at each learner’s pace," says William Byrne of the library staff, who is also a certified DIP instructor. "Our learners often tell me that, at long last, they finally have a tutor who can explain the differences between a, at, ate, and eat. It really does give learners independence and confidence to read on their own."

Byrne mentions Adwa, one such learner who has progressed from very basic ideas, such as letter sounds, to more-advanced concepts, "such as identifying nouns, pronouns, verbs, and adjectives," in a short time using DIP.

"Adwa is proud that she is able to apply what she has learned," he remarks. "She enjoys speaking English with the customers on her job. She is better able to help her daughters with their homework."

"We also have a ‘Ready to Read’ youth program for 4th through 12th graders reading below grade level," Byrne adds. "We use a combination of direct instruction along with the (DIP) software on a network of five computer stations."

Additionally, he comments, the library will begin to offer "Literacy Building Blocks" workshops in the fall for parents who wish to work directly with their own children.

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