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Tackling Poverty Through Literacy

Zaman International is expanding its literacy curriculum and adding 15 adult students in the coming year thanks to a $2,000 grant from the National Book Fund.

“When women come to Zaman in crisis, the goal is to help meet their basic needs but also put them on a path toward reliable income,” said Gigi Salka, program director of BOOST (Building Ongoing Opportunities through Skills Training).

The BOOST Literacy Program offers one-on-one and small group tutoring in English as a Second Language (ESL) and Adult Basic Literacy. These offerings are paired with vocational training in either sewing or the culinary arts over the course of the year.

BOOST currently serves approximately 55 students many of whom advance beyond the current curriculum offerings before finishing the program.

“This grant allows us to add levels of literacy and ESL curriculum while growing our future cohorts by nearly 30 percent,” Salka said. “The more we can challenge our students, the more they will be empowered to change their lives by pursuing sustainable livelihoods.”

The National Book Fund provides adult literacy and basic education programs with materials to help teach adults to read. The fund was created by ProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy and education membership organization in the nation. To date, ProLiteracy has distributed more than 1,900 grants totaling more than $3 million worth of materials to organizations.

“There are few greater tragedies than the loss of human potential due to lack of opportunity, and few greater barriers to opportunity than illiteracy,” said Zaman Founder and CEO Najah Bazzy. “Zaman International is appreciative to the National Book Fund for helping our BOOST Literacy Program reach more women who simply need a viable path to support their families.”

For more information, on the National Book Fund, visit www.proliteracy.org/What-We-Do/Programs-Projects/National-Book-Fund#

 

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