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Adult Literacy

  Potsdam Public Library and Literacy of Northern NY
Changing Lives!


The collaborative effort between the Adult Literacy of Northern New York and the Potsdam Public Computer Center helped Aziza Islam improve her English speaking and digital literacy skills that allowed her to find employment. 

Aziza, who moved here from Bangladesh, improved her English skills to the point where she now has lots of friends, has gotten a job, and is much happier in Potsdam than when she first arrived and had difficulty with speaking and understanding English. Her husband wrote a wonderful letter of appreciation.

  Picture of René Austin, Aziza Islam and Barbara Gordon Starting from the left
René Austin, former Potsdam Computer Center Director, Aziza Islam, Barbara Gordon, former St. Lawrence County Literacy of Northern New York Coordinator

Michael Thurber of Potsdam worked hard in the St. Lawrence County Literacy of Northern New York program, which is housed in the Potsdam Public Library, to improve his reading, writing and math skills. As a result, he was able to earn his high school equivalency diploma and has been accepted for admission to North Country Community College.
  Picture of Michael Thurber

Michael with his high school diploma AND his letter of acceptance to college - Michael has been working hard for many years to get his diploma and be accepted into college. Congratulations, Michael!

Both agencies were reactivated or established through grants obtained by the Potsdam Public Library through North Country Library System and the NYS Department of Education, Division of Library Development and are located in the library.


  Literacy of Northern NY tutors and students with the class of new tutors  

Literacy of Northern NY trains new tutors

A few practicing tutors and students returned to share experiences with the new class. Front row: (L-R) Chris Washburn - new tutor, Torrie DeGhett-new tutor, Laura Fregoe-new tutor, Carley Smith-new tutor, Pampa Bhattacharyya -ESL student, Pam Whittet-tutor, Xiuyan Fan-ESL student, Penney LeBeau-tutor
Back row:(L-R) Daniel Stevens-new tutor, Michele Stone-new tutor, Virginia Reed-new tutor, Clifton Duval-new tutor, John Hunt-new tutor, John Kaplan-tutor, Maureen Triolo-tutor, Leon LeBeau-tutor, Hyman Baker-tutor, Kun Zhang-ESL student, Wu Cao-ESL student
New tutors missing from the photo include Elisha Chaffee, Brijlal Chaudhari, Pat Gengo, Geoff Pierce, Kailey Ryan, Erica Sieg, & Alexander Tedeschi.


Did you know:

  1. that nearly 1 out of 5 adults in St. Lawrence County has trouble reading a newspaper, cannot fill out a job application and cannot add up the prices of several purchases?
  2. that there are a large number of adults in St. Lawrence Country who have recently come to this country and who need to learn or improve their spoken or written English?
  3. that there is an organization in our county (Literacy of Northern NY) which provides free help for these people who need to improve their English literacy skills?
  4. that Literacy of Northern NY provides free training for adults who wish to volunteer to provide literacy tutoring?
  5. that the volunteer tutors often say they feel they're benefiting as much from their tutoring as their students are?

Literacy of Northern NY now has an active affiliate in St. Lawrence County and is seeking volunteers to participate in a free tutor training workshop. 

If you have a few hours a week to devote to this interesting, rewarding and valuable effort, please fill out the attached form and return it to:

Literacy of Northern NY
2 Park Street, Civic Center
Potsdam, NY 13676
(315) 265-0194

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Last Update - September 26, 2014
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