The Central Alabama Laubach Literacy Council (C.A.L.L.) at the City of St. Jude introduced a Skills Improvement Program for adults last October.

The program concentrates on reading, writing, spelling, and grammar skills. Tutors help students in those areas through one-on-one tutoring and additional reinforcement is provided through computer practice and written assignments.

Since the program is not funded by the State, the past months have been difficult times for non-profits due to economic conditions. The good news of a $1500 grant from the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation (ACJF) was a special blessing for C.A.L.L.

The Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, started 10 years ago by members of the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, supports organizations which assist Alabama’s disadvantaged, disabled and at risk families and children. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded 1190 grants for 4,200,000 for projects all across the state.

According to Sister Leanne, twelve students have been registered for the class that meets three hours each morning Monday through Thursday. A student progress report includes one student who has been prepared for the hazardous materials driving test, another has been placed in a program to help him become a welder and a third who dropped out of school more than 50 years ago, raised a family and retired and is now working diligently to improve his skills so that he will be able to read to his grandchild.

Other success stories includes two students who are developing their writing skills so that they will be able to take the General Education Development test in a few months.

The Skills Improvement Program and other programs at the C.A.L.L. Center would not be possible without dedicated volunteers such as Woody Woodcock, Father Bob Kieltyka, Dr. Albert Zdanis, Dr. Ruth Rankin Diaz-Plaha, Inez Knowles, Robert Brown and Beverly Watkins.

A total of $9,000 has been provided for the operation of the Skills Improvement Program by the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, the Central Alabama Community Foundation, and the Sisters of St. Agnes (Fond due Lac, Wisconsin).

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