This week the Illinois State Library spotlights Prairie State College in Chicago Heights.
A middle-aged African-American woman visited the Adult Literacy Institute at Prairie State College. When asked why she was seeking their help, the woman replied, “I don’t know how to read or write.” Then her composure broke and she said, “Please don’t laugh at me.” This continued to be her constant request throughout the intake process, but she was assured time and again that no such thing would occur.
After testing for placement, the woman’s reading and math skills were determined to be at a third-grade level, and her language skills at a second-grade level. She was placed in a small group with a volunteer tutor. In just a few months the woman was enjoying her classes and classmates. She has a great attendance record and puts forth her maximum effort. She is slowly improving and refuses to give up.