Blog

Community Comes Together for 26th Annual Swearing In Ceremony

For the 26th consecutive year, Literacy First welcomed a new cohort of AmeriCorps members to the program with an inspiring Swearing In Ceremony. More than 50 tutors officially pledged a year of service at the Thompson Conference Center on Monday, September 9th. Dr. Mary Ellen Isaacs, Literacy First Director, opened the ceremony with a message on the persistent […]

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Work Hard, Play Smart!

by Audrey Dolan, 2018 – 2019 Literacy First tutor Whenever you move somewhere new, you always want to go out and explore to see what your new city has to offer. In Austin, that’s especially true because there are so many cool, fun, unique, and even “weird” things to do here! However, you’ll soon come to find that the […]

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Eat Like an AmeriCorps Member

By Elizabeth Zimmerman, 2018-2019 Literacy First Tutor Most people think that living on the (admittedly small) AmeriCorps stipend means that you have to sacrifice your favorite foods or give up eating out to save money. There are several ways that you can have it all while still staying on budget. Here are my tips for saving money on food during your […]

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The Power of Perseverance

Some Literacy First students begin our program very far behind: their reading skills are more than one grade level lower than the state guidelines for their current grade. For these students, “significant progress ” means that they make exponential gains in reading but they are still below their grade level at year’s end. However, this […]

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I DO Want to be a Teacher!

Literacy First tutors take a multitude of paths after their service. Many discover a passion for education and a talent for teaching, like returning tutor Bilyesia. Last year, she told us about her personal journey, and this year she is applying for our Region 13 alternative teaching certification program (and she’s on the cover of […]

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More Than Reading: Sebastian on Stability

Sebastian is one of Literacy First’s five extraordinary tutor supervisors. Over his years of working in elementary education, he has seen firsthand the persistent challenges faced by students in high-poverty schools. In this blog, Sebastian talks about a lesser-known challenge, a determined tutor, and an inspiring student.  By Sebastian Wren, Literacy First Senior Program Coordinator […]

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Enjoy the Show

Edmond, a second-year tutor, vividly describes the rewards of seeing the transformation of a child as they learn to read in this essay. Thanks, Edmond! By Edmond Carroll, 2017-18 Literacy First tutor It is not every day that you are personally blessed with the opportunity to see your faith rewarded, as well as your hard […]

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Parties with Purpose: Meet Stewart Jarmon

By Courtney Mallen, Literacy First Development Specialist “Are you sure you don’t want anything?” Stewart Jarmon, 33, sets his glass on the table at Zocalo Café, an airy-industrial modern Mexican place in central Austin. It’s not busy yet – we arranged to meet early, just before the Study Social Committee meeting. The committee is almost […]

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Partners in Empowerment: Literacy First and Latinitas

Literacy First tutors provide support to over 30 community nonprofits each year. (In fact, last year, they provided over 8,000 hours of service around Austin!) For Roxana, working at Latinitas was another way to build empowerment for a community she cares for deeply. Here’s why. By Roxanna Torres, 2017-18 Literacy First tutor My community partnership […]

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