ABC Literacy

About ABC Literacy

Background
More than twenty percent of adults, or forty million people in the U.S. read below the fifth grade level and are functionally illiterate. Sixty to eighty percent of men and women in prisons are functionally illiterate. One in four persons in prison have a learning disability.

ABC Literacy Resources
ABC Literacy Resources is a non-profit group of thirty volunteers drawn from churches and the community at large of the Trenton/Princeton, New Jersey area.

The ABC Prison Literacy Program
The ABC Prison Literacy Program is an Outreach Program of The Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton, N.J., staffed by volunteers from local churches and the community at large. The group is led by three experienced reading specialists who work with inmate tutors of the L.I.F.E (Learning Is For Everyone) program at the New Jersey State Prison, Trenton, N.J. ABC began consulting with the L.I.F.E program in 1998 at the request of the men in that program. Though the prison literacy program is presently focused at the New Jersey State Prison, services are available to any correctional institution.

Volunteer professional reading specialists consult with inmates and community volunteers to train them in using research-based, Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory language programs (see Barton Reading web site). These professionals confer with individual tutor/student pairs on an ongoing basis. Professionals consult with L.I.F.E. managers to continually fine tune their literacy program.

Community volunteers at ABC Literacy are trained to be tutors by the Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA). As tutors, they understand the multi-sensory approaches needed for those with learning disabilities and dyslexia.

In addition, ABC volunteers provide:

  • Multisensory, researched based resource materials
  • Library books - graded by reading level
  • Classes in literature, writing, poetry, team building and management skills