Library uses grant to help English learners

By Keely McDowell: CNJ staff writer

Clovis-Carver Public Library was awarded a $5,000 grant last week by the American Library Association to add or increase their literacy services to adult English language learners.

The grant was funded by the Dollar General Foundation, and was awarded to 34 public libraries across the United States, according to an ALA press release.

According to Marilyn Belcher, Clovis-Carver Public Library director, the money will be spent to help the Hispanic community to improve their English comprehension and fluency and to aid in studying for naturalization tests.

Working with Clovis Community College, the library purchased computer programs to assist in learning English and obtaining American citizenship. CCC recommended to the library the computer programs most successful for their students. Also purchased with the grant money were listening stations where children can participate with their parents, and books and CDs for home study.

Belcher is hoping to expand on the already existent bilingual and Spanish sections.

“The bilingual, Spanish, and children’s Spanish sections are quite popular, and I hope to add more,” Belcher said.

According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 11 million U.S. adults have such limited English skills they can’t read a newspaper, understand the directions for medication, or help their children with schoolwork.