New library program to provide free literacy tutoring for adults


Long Beach Public Library will launch LB Reads on Saturday, June 15, at the annual Summer Reading Program kickoff at Ruth Bach Neighborhood Library, 4055 N. Bellflower Blvd., officials said June 3.

LB Reads will be a free, one-on-one literacy tutoring program designed to help English speaking adults improve their reading and writing skills to “reach their potential as workers, parents, community members and life-long learners,” a City press release stated.

“Access to education for all ages is vital to the success and growth of our city and its residents,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “Literacy is at the very core.”

The National Center for Education Statistics recently reported that 33.5 percent of the population 16 years and older in Los Angeles County lacked basic prose literacy skills, an increase from 20.4 percent in 1992. The annual America’s Most Literate Cities study from Central Connecticut State University has ranked 88 U.S. cities for literacy since 2003. Its 2014 ranking placed Long Beach overall in 67th place.

LB Reads seeks to improve these numbers by pairing adults with tutors in a trusted learning environment, officials said.

“LB Reads is unique in that all learners identify a goal they want to accomplish– and that goal can be anything, such as being able to complete a job application or read books to their children,” said Glenda Williams, director of Library Services. “LB Reads will provide a welcoming and safe place for adults to develop their literacy skills.”

Tutors and their learners will be able to meet at five neighborhood libraries: Mark Twain, 1401 E. Anaheim St.; Michelle Obama, 5870 Atlantic Ave.; Burnett, 560 E. Hill St.; Harte, 1595 W. Willow St.; and Ruth Bach. The program also will be available at the Main Library when it reopens in September. Patrons interested in joining the program, either as a tutor or a learner, can contact the Long Beach Public Library at [email protected] or by calling (562) 570-6579. This program is made possible by the California State Library through the California Library Literacy Services grant.