One supporter of El Centro Latino for Literacy writes, When I was five I thought it was funny when my aunt brushed her teeth with Ben Gay instead of toothpaste. Years later my mom told me it was because she couldn't read or write. Now as an adult, I appreciate the gift of literacy my parents gave me. ÔÇô Enrique C.
It all started in early 1991, when Marcos Cajina working at a service agency in downtown LA saw how Latino clients were being cheated out of their pay and pretending to read bilingual outreach flyers which they had turned upside down. He pitched his idea of setting up a literacy program to his friend Don Noller, and on May 30, 1991, they founded what is now Centro Latino for Literacy.
Twenty years later, el Centro Latino for Literacy continues its mission of advancing Latino adult literacy. With the help of its passionate staff, board, hundreds of volunteers, education partners, and generous donors, over 9000 low-income Latinos in LatinoLA -- most of whom without any prior formal schooling or knowledge of how to read and write -- have received basic and functional Spanish literacy education, basic English as a Second Language instruction, and computer-skills training.
To help celebrate its first 20 years of life, and to inspire the next 20, Centro Latino for Literacy is taking the 20 days between July 11 and July 31 to collect stories from Latinos and Latinas about literacy and about Centro Latino itself. Were you or someone you know a student? Did you volunteer? Are you a partner agency; a funder; a program partner site?
The stories will be posted on Centro Latino's website and Facebook page.
And they are asking Latinos and Latinas in LatinoLA to go 20 for 20: $20 for 20 years of advancing Latino adult literacy.