Literacy Network of South Berkshire remains dedicated to keeping students and tutors connected, reassured and supported during COVIC-19 Pandemic

Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) remains dedicated to keeping students and tutors connected, reassured and supported during COVIC-19 Pandemic.  We consider ourselves very fortunate at LitNet—we continue to maintain our strong network of volunteer tutors who, even in these challenging circumstances, remain dedicated and in contact with their students.

Ways in which LitNet is evolving:

One-on-One tutoringLitNet is continuing to provide guidance for our corps of over 150 volunteer tutors on how they can continue to stay connected with their students. In April the members of LitNet’s Education Committee reached out to each of our tutors and were overwhelmed with our good fortune in having such an incredibly strong student/tutor network. Many of our tutors remain in close contact with their students and for those who are able to connect virtually, our work continues.

The Matthew and Hannah Keator Family Scholarship for New Americans: Even though the Massachusetts office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is closed for now, we currently have three women who have received scholarships and two more in the pipeline. The scholarships provide financial support in obtaining legal services during the screening and application process, as well as support to offset the cost of the federal naturalization application.   The three women have also been assigned trained tutors who are working with them to prepare them for the naturalization civics and literacy exams.

Website: Our website has been enhanced to include a list of Social Service Resources in Berkshire County, Resources for Transitioning to Online Learning and Virtual Platforms for Staying Connected with Students.

Staff: Leigh Doherty, former Associate Head of School at Berkshire Country Day School, has been newly appointed as Program Director, a position recently created to ensure that LitNet’s essential service of delivering one-to-one English language tutoring can continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms. Doherty will be engaged in sustaining existing student-tutor relationships, providing support for tutors needing help with curriculum or materials and overseeing the Keator Family Citizenship Scholarship.

In-depth Analysis: LitNet’s Board of Directors  has commissioned Ms. Doherty to conduct  an in-depth analysis focusing on how LitNet can assure its sustainability for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The analysis will frame current challenges, report on leading edge trends in teaching, and recommend alternative strategies for LitNet to ensure that LitNet is able to continue to provide free individualized reading, writing and English language instruction to adult learners.

Partnerships:  We continue to work closely with our community partners to ensure that the most vulnerable individuals and families in Berkshire County remain safe, informed and knowledgeable about the resources available to them.

No one knows what the future will bring… LitNet remains in a strong position to take on whatever challenges we might face and its Board remains dedicated to serving the needs of our community.

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