Richmond literacy program partners with Bay Area Rescue Mission

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Giving movement prompts urgent call for support from rescue mission
Bay Area Rescue Mission at 2114 Macdonald Ave. in Richmond.

By Kathy Chouteau

A new technological approach to teaching employed by the Literacy for Every Adult Program (LEAP) during the pandemic has planted the seeds for a new partnership with the Bay Area Rescue Mission (BARM).

During the pandemic, LEAP—a free, Richmond Public Library sponsored program where adults work with tutors to develop the skills necessary to achieve their personal goals—successfully began using Zoom meetings and an online curriculum for teaching.

“Throughout this past year, LEAP teachers effectively guided our students using this technology to help them pass the GED. Our teachers honed and refined their online classes into a flourishing educational enterprise,” said LEAP representatives in the Richmond City Manager’s report.

Now LEAP is taking its successful approach next level by partnering with the BARM to introduce the new curriculum to its residents. The BARM’s work focuses on providing everyday essentials like food, shelter, clothing and other critical care to people facing homelessness.

“Students at BARM are using our independent technical method to study,” said LEAP representatives in the report. “It is going very well. Our new students have embraced their freedom to complete their lessons anytime instead of relying on the structure of a physical classroom. Their assignments are readily available whenever they sit down to study.”

LEAP program representatives expressed pride about their new students’ “flexibility in learning, their perseverance and their intelligence in participating so well with the new program.”

Adults wanting to get the scoop on LEAP’s online curriculum or who are interested in enrolling in the program can call 510-307-8009 to schedule an appointment. More info is also available on LEAP’s website and on its Facebook page.