Mobile lab delivers literacy lessons - Brownsville Herald: Education

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Mobile lab delivers literacy lessons

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Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2002 12:00 am

By Criselda Valdez

The Brownsville Herald

For the past six years, the Brownsville Adult Literacy Centers Mobile

Learning Lab has offered English as a Second Language and GED classes for

community members in need of its services. And Rafael Gallegos has been there

every step of the way.

Gallegos said he started taking classes with the mobile learning lab in order

to learn how to read and write in English.

I started with the ABCs, he said. Its good. Im learning English.

Maria Hernandez, who works with the Adult Literacy Center said Gallegos is

exactly the type of person the learning lab aims to help.

We try to help the best we can, she said, adding students get help with

grammar and vocabulary. They do receive weekly and monthly progress reports.

The Adult Literacy Centers offices are at 1235 E. Jefferson St. The Mobile

Learning Lab has been running since 1996 and caters to adults 18 and older.

Miriam Rivera, with the Brownsville Adult Literacy Center, said, The

instruction is done through (a software program called) Destination. It is

designed to give students remediation and all preparation they need in their

individual programs.

The program has worked for Maria Margarita Mansilla, who began studying with

the program in 1999 but had to leave because of her job. She just started

taking the courses again.

This program has helped me a lot, she said. That is why I returned.

Mansilla, originally from Mexico, said she learned to respect the English

language because of the program and has found the software program helpful.

These classes have really helped me, she said.

We try to schedule different locations in the city, usually an area that has

a need. We try and aim for areas in the city where there are clients who dont

have access to other (educational) programs, Denis Boscher, Brownsville Adult

Literacy Centers executive director, said.

He said community members who utilize the centers services are usually people

who need to take the TASP (a college entrance exam) and who are looking to go

to the University, or who want to take their GED to look for employment or

advance at their current job.

This summer, the lab has close to 150 students working with the software to

get help with keyboarding or reading.

Rivera, who oversees the schedule for the mobile learning lab, among other

duties, said the summer tends to be a slow process because parents who have

children in school have to leave to care for them.

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