Ozark Foothills Literacy Project
Listing Last Update: April 10, 2019
- To read and write better
- To find a family literacy program
- To help my child learn
- To learn English
- To become a U.S. citizen
- Family literacy program
- Instruction in Spanish
You may use the contact information above to reach out to the program
or call 1-877-389-6874 for more help.
The Ozark Foothills Literacy Project serves Fulton, Sharp, Independence, Jackson, and Izard counties in Arkansas. We currently serve adults through one on one tutoring, but some programs are available for children throughout the year. Our mission is to empower communities through literacy.
Empowering individuals and improving communities through education.
Hours of operation: 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. M-F
Cost info: All services are provided at no cost to tutors or students.
Student and Volunteer Success Stories
An Interview with an Adult Learner
Morgan Winston Reed 6/21/2018
I met Berna in 2016. After a year working for the Ozark Foothills
Literacy Project, I was excited to start volunteering as a tutor. One of my ESL students didn't have a driver's license, but fortunately a friend from work was willing to give her a ride. That friend was Berna.
During our first meeting, I spent about thirty minutes getting to know Berna. He tried desperately to teach me how to say his full name. After many failed attempts on my part, he gave me the shortened version that his family and friends use.
We became quick friends. He was always ready to help his classmate when she had trouble translating and taught me how to use Google Translate as a communication tool. We practiced English outside of class using Facebook Messenger and exchanging music videos that we watched with subtitles.
He has recently moved to Ohio, but when I asked him to do this interview, he said yes!
I'd like to ask you a few questions about yourself. To start, where are you from?
Tell me about yourself. What was your childhood like?
I think I had one of the best childhoods growing up in Oaxaca, Mexico. My parents let me play with my friends and cousins almost all afternoon as long as I had my chores done. Otherwise, my mother would call from my house shouting! I grew almost all my childhood and adolescence in the countryside
with my parents.
What was your school like?
When I studied in preschool, the school was made of cement and brick. I had one teacher for two years. In primary school I went six years, then for grades 6 to 12, I had a new teacher each year. At recess I played soccer or basketball with my friends.
What brought you to America?
I thought about coming to America at 15, but decided to wait until I was 22. My cousins and uncles had already been to America and returned.
It was difficult, because I was leaving practically my whole family in Mexico. I wasn't sure if it was safe to pass through the desert or if I would make it. Many difficulties come to mind.
How is America different from your homeland? What do you miss about your home country?
Everything is different. I grew up in a rural area with only 700
people. Our houses were made of wood, and the streets weren't
concrete. In Hamilton, Ohio where I reside currently there are over 62,000 people. I miss my brothers and mother that live in Mexico and going to the beach with friends after work. But here, you have a job, you live well, you eat well.
What do you do for a living? Was it difficult to find work?
It wasn't difficult to find work, because my brother already had a job for me. Right now I clean buildings at night. I like to work. I'll take any job.
How have your literacy classes benefited you?
It's a lot of help even if it was only a few months. Although I would have liked them to be longer. They helped me in terms of going to buy something to say hello and talk. And understand what they tell you. And because here very few speak Spanish. Sometimes I still watch videos on YouTube to study. It's different when you go to a class.
What would you tell other people who need help with their reading or English?
Take advantage of the opportunities when there are organizations or people who are doing as much as possible by investing their time and effort so that others know English. Because it is necessary to know English.
Is there something you would like others to know about life as an adult learner or as an immigrant?
That we have the right and deserve the opportunity to continue studying and learning to read and write.