RECOGNIZING ROCKWALL COUNTY LIBRARY'S READING FOR ADULTS PROGRAM -- (Extensions of Remarks - May 12, 2004)
SPEECH OF HON. RALPH M. HALL OF TEXAS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. HALL. Mr. Speaker, I am honored today to recognize the Rockwall County Library's Reading for Adults program.
Three years ago, the library began a literacy program to help community adults develop essential skills through reading. The Reading for Adults program is affiliated with the "Dallas Reads" initiative and "Literacy Pro," a worldwide venture. What started with two students and five tutors has grown into a program that instructs 158 students and relies on the services of 75 volunteer tutors. Classes, which are held at the Rockwall County Library and in nearby Royse City, range from one-on-one instruction to small classes of 15-20 students.
The Reading for Adults program has already been a big success. Students have earned their GED and some have completed citizenship requirements. Students also report that they are able to function more effectively from day to day. For example, after working with tutors, parents can more clearly express their concerns to teachers and doctors. The program offers us a wonderful example of how innovative, caring, and committed people can help positively shape communities throughout America.
The Reading for Adults initiative relies on the generosity of the entire community. The Friends of the Library donate their time and money. The library also organizes an annual Rock and Read event to raise money to buy books and materials.
Recently, IBM awarded the library four computers with sound recognition software to help students learn to speak and read. Without these valuable resources, programs like Reading for Adults simply wouldn't exist.
On behalf of the students, tutors, organizers, and community of Rockwall, I want to take this opportunity in the House of Representatives to salute the Reading for Adults program.