Shasta County literacy program opens doors for adults

Aug 12, 2014 6:15 PM by Charlene Cheng

24-year-old Lisa Arnett has some lingering regrets about dropping out of high school during her sophomore year.

"If I could, I would go back and redo everything. I'd go back to school for sure, from the get-go," she said.

Two months ago, she decided to enroll in the Shasta Library's Adult Literacy Program with the goal of getting her GED, and to set a positive example for her three-year-old daughter.

"I'm going to make that a goal of hers when she gets older, make sure she finishes high school, because that's very important, now that I know," Arnett said.

That encouragement is something that she didn't necessarily have growing up, leaving her with ninth grade reading and math abilities.

Arnett isn't alone.

The Shasta Literacy Program works with a number of adults who don't have their GEDs.

And even more alarming, about 12% of adults in Shasta County are illiterate.

"We have one gentleman who has begun reading at a higher level, and now when he's traveling with his mom, he's able to read the backs of the cars in front of him in traffic, which is a huge accomplishment for him, just being able to read things out in the real world," said Aimee Stroup, a mentor in the program.

One of the lasting goals that program coordinators are hoping for is breaking the cycle of illiteracy for the families of the participants.

"It doesn't end. Now that Lisa is getting to a point where she's doing high school work, once her child grows she won't be limited with homework help, she'll be able to grow right with her," said Literacy Coordinator Kayla Menne.

The Shasta Literacy Program is completely free for anyone who wants to sign up.

It's also available at the Anderson and Burney libraries.

You can call (530) 245-7237 for more information.


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