The following is an article published on November 18, 2017 in the Barnstable Patriot newspaper
Cape Cod Literacy Council program takes off at Centerville Library
This fall, the Centerville Public Library added something new to its already impressive list of community events: classes called focus study groups for English language learners.
Taught by volunteers from the nonprofit organization Cape Cod Literacy Council in Hyannis, classes at the library are designed around learners’ needs and consist of small groups of 3-5 students. “The program is very focused,” said Pat Steacy, library programming and development assistant.
The Literacy Council’s aims are to be a source for people who need instruction in fundamentals such as reading or English as a second language and, even more specifically, to assist students in whatever capacity in studying for (or learning to study for) tests such as the High School Equivalency Test (HISET) or the GED.
“We can help if a person with little or no English needs to take this test,” said Rafi Chaprut, who has volunteered with the Centerville Library for eight years and with the Literacy Council for four; he was named Massachusetts Literacy Champion for Volunteer Work by the Boston Herald in 2011. Chaprut, born in Turkey, studied in Israel before moving to the US. He said he can empathize with members of the Cape’s growing population of people who arrive from other countries with little or no English.
With a network of 120 volunteers, most assist in classrooms at Cape Cod Community College’s Adult Education Center and at classes through the Hyannis Portuguese Foursquare Church; however, there are also about 40 volunteers who specialize in one-on-one instruction.
Volunteers give about three hours per week of their time after completing a 14- to 16-hour training module.
“They’re trained to work in all areas,” said Kathryn Carpenter, executive director of Cape Cod Literacy Council.
For example, volunteers will train to understand what it’s like to arrive in a country without being able to speak the language, but they’ll also be trained to help learners study for the aforementioned tests or to assist with job skills training. Carpenter added that the Literacy Council partners with Job Training and Education Corporation (JTEC) of Hyannis and with the Community Action Committee of the Cape and Islands (CACCI). “During the training,” said Carpenter, “volunteers can see which aspect of it they like best and proceed in that direction.”
The Literacy Council’s mission is to ensure that every adult on Cape Cod will be literate. “Practically all of our students hear about us through word of mouth,” said Carpenter.
Funding for the Literacy Council comes from the Cape Cod Times as well as from grants and fundraisers. Carpenter said the organization is always accepting volunteers.
The Cape Cod Literacy Council was formed as a nonprofit organization in 1987 by then Cape Cod Times publisher Scott Himstead, who passed away in 2015. His vision was literacy for everyone.
For more information on classes or volunteering with Cape Cod Literacy Council, call Kathryn Carpenter at 508-771-0211.
Marina Davalos is a freelance writer living in Cotuit.
Spectacle of Trees 2017:
Cape Cod Literacy Council participated in the Spectacle of Trees at the Cape Cod Mall. We thank all those who supported us. It is this support that allows us to fulfill our mission of bringing literacy to those in need.
Last Gasp 2017:
Cape Cod Literacy Council receives $12,951 check for Last Gasp at the Cape Cod Charitable FunRaisers “Night of Gratitude” held on November 14, 2017.
Thank you to Team Cape Cod Literacy all of whom finished the ride with smiles!
Thank you to our 2017 Last Gap Sponsors!
UPDATE: Wolf Hollow was named a 2017 Newbery Honor Book. Congratulations Lauren!
Read more here.
The Cape Cod Literacy Council is pleased to receive a $250 donation from local author, Lauren Wolk who is the winner of the 2016 New England Book Award (Children’s) for her book, Wolf Hollow. Award winners choose a charity of their choice to receive the monetary reward.
Lauren has been writing her entire life. This book is based on stories told to her by her mother and takes place in western Pennsylvania where Lauren grew up on the family farm. The theme of the book involves the main character being confronted by a bully and how she deals with it. Wolf Hollow appeals to children and adults alike and Lauren has received praise from both groups as she tours the country. Readers around the globe are fortunate to read it in Great Britain, Spain, Germany, Turkey and China to name a few.
Besides finishing a second book entitled Beyond the Bright Sea which takes place on Cuttyhunk, she also serves as Associate Director of the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in Yarmouth and is also a practicing assemblage artist.
Wolf Hollow is published by Dutton/Penguin Young Readers.
Learn more about Lauren at www.laurenwolk.com.
Thank you Lauren for your support of the Cape Cod Literacy Council!