With Goodwill’s Support, Lincoln Literacy Helps Refugee Parents Prepare for Jobs

Volunteer tutors help them acquire skills, know-how, and motivation crucial to finding and keeping a job while assisting their children in school.

With financial support from Goodwill Industries, Lincoln Literacy is helping the city’s refugee and immigrant parents acquire the gateway skills of English language literacy, setting them on the path to becoming self-sufficient breadwinners.
 
In partnership with Goodwill, Lincoln Public Schools, Bryan Health, Lincoln City Libraries, and others, Lincoln Literacy staff and volunteer tutors offer family literacy classes at a dozen locations, with the aim of helping refugee parents and children succeed on the job market and at school.
 
In addition to classroom instruction on speaking, comprehending, reading, and writing English, program participants have the opportunity to sign up for occupational skills classes. Lincoln Literacy debuted a CNA prep class just over a year ago, in partnership with the Bryan College of Health Sciences, to help refugees become certified nursing aides. Since then, such offerings have expanded to include a GED prep class and a teacher prep class. Goodwill, which has long supported Lincoln Literacy’s efforts, is also well known for developing workers’ skills.
 
Lincoln Literacy has been working to strengthen the community by teaching English and literacy skills to immigrants, refugees, and homegrown Americans since 1972. It started a family literacy program, known as FLAIR, 11 years ago. Since then, some 200 children a year, along with their parents, have benefited from the United Way-backed program. In all, Lincoln Literacy has served over 1,140 people this year.

Lincoln Literacy relies on more than 300 trained volunteers to provide more than 50 free English classes per week for people ranging in age from two to 78. The nonprofit provides helps businesses find and retain skilled and literate workers, and boosts children’s ability to succeed in school and adults’ ability to thrive on the job. (More at: https://www.lincolnliteracy.org/ ) Each year, Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska Inc. provides financial support to Lincoln Literacy and other nonprofits whose activities align with Goodwill’s mission of helping willing workers find employment and maximizing community resources. Goodwill provides services – such as employment and soft skills training and a job matching program – to individuals who face barriers to finding jobs.

The sale of donated goods is Goodwill’s largest source of funding. Community members can support Goodwill by donating gently-used items, shopping at Goodwill Stores and making tax-deductible financial donations. Learn more at www.lincolngoodwill.org.