The Literacy Project to continue remote learning through spring

  • ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 11/15/2020 2:37:45 PM

GREENFIELD — The Literacy Project’s executive director says “surprising” and “wonderful” aren’t words most people associate with a pandemic, but for its adult students, forced remote learning has provided new opportunities for success.

“We knew from the start that our success depended on getting computers to our students and getting them connected online,” Executive Director Judith Roberts said. “Our donors stepped up to help us do just that.”

An adult literacy and high school equivalency program in Greenfield, Orange, Amherst, Northampton and Ware, The Literacy Project moved quickly in the spring to offer its classes online. Students now have the opportunity to study at home any time of the day. The program recently announced it will continue to teach classes remotely for the rest of the school year.

Since mid-March, when the pandemic hit the area, The Literacy Project has provided 66 laptops to students, allowing them to study from home or wherever they’d like. The agency also supplied dozens of calculators, workbooks, notebooks and novels for classes to read together.

The program’s students attend classes through Zoom video conferences and do math problems at home using Google Classroom. Roberts said teachers work from home, providing educational opportunities and points of connection with students.

Roberts said education is more important than ever for adult students to obtain jobs.

“We also see that classes at The Literacy Project are a ray of hope during hard times,” she said.

One student, Kayla, who wanted to use only her first name, said The Literacy Project means everything to her.

“I left school to be the caretaker of my younger brother and sister,” Kayla said. “Now that I have a son of my own, I want to prove to him that anything is possible if you work hard for it.”

The nonprofit headquartered on Bank Row offers free classes thanks to funding from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, private foundations — including the Bete Family Foundation, United Way of Franklin County and Greenfield Savings Bank — and individual donations. It is one of 85 programs in the state that provide adults the opportunity to obtain their High School Equivalency Test, better known as HiSET, formerly called the GED.

For more information, call 413-774-3934, ext. 17, or visit literacyproject.org.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or afritz@recorder.com.


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