By Kimberly D. Williams
Executive Director, Dominican Literacy Center
July 24, 2020, Detroit – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dominican Literacy Center (DLC) has instituted a distance learning program whereby classes and tutoring sessions are held via teleconference and/or conference call.
When the pandemic hit U.S. shores and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a shelter-in-place order, staff told students to keep up with their online software assignments, thinking they would see the students in two weeks. However, it became apparent pretty quickly that the literacy center would need to offer some form of distance learning for our students. To respond to the need, staff members have used every form of communication necessary to reach learners and tutors: telephone calls, texts, e-mails, letters.
Currently, Dominican Literacy Center offers 10 classes per week, two tutor-led financial literacy workshops, and a book club. Add to that more than 30 tutoring pairs. Zoom is the online platform that the literacy center uses for classes and tutoring sessions and the Adrian Dominican Sisters are a large part of the program.
Dominican Literacy Center is proud to announce that through the generous dollars from the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Special Initiative grant, we are able to provide laptops to 30 individuals who would otherwise be unable to participate in distance learning. The laptops are loaned out for three months at a time. At the end of three months, if the learner has completed his or her program, the laptop will be turned in and prepared to be loaned out to a new learner. If learners are still in need of the laptop, they can check it out for an additional three months.
This program gives all learners the opportunity to participate fully in the program. Thank you, Sisters, for opening up a new set of possibilities for our learners and for this Literacy Center!