An independent news publication of
United Way of Lancaster County


Update from the Literacy & Learning Success Centers

Lit Council

As we all settle into new routines at home, at work and in the community, we send our warmest thoughts to you. We want you to know that we have not stopped what we do – we just changed how we do it.

Success Center teachers and students are working together from their homes. In spite of many obstacles, teachers and students are finding creative ways to keep on learning and feel a little less alone.

Student Coordinator Steve Hess was teaching a level 2 English class when we transitioned to remote learning. Steve called all his students, and one of them said, “My children are taking classes at home on the computer. I want to learn more about this so I can help my kids. Can we do this too?” Steve’s response was to create a synchronous, online class that meets twice a week. The students are attending and learning not only English skills, but also the technology that will help them as they become more engaged in their children’s education. Steve expressed joy that his students were proactive in shaping how they learn and realizing how essential they have become in the education of their children.

Lauren teaches a multi-level English class in Lititz. Her creative solution was to connect with students in the way that worked best for each of them. Several of her students meet in an online class. Some work with Lauren through email. A few others prefer to have work sent to them in the mail, with Lauren providing support on the telephone. She has been able to keep her class working on building their skills.

Annie was a student more than five years ago. She had stopped out of the program because she needed to work more hours to support herself and was also working swing shift, making it difficult to continue studying. Annie recently came back, more determined than ever. She is studying for the High School Equivalency Exam because she needs the credential to get a life-sustaining job. She was ready to take her Math and Social Studies tests in March; however, COVID-19 disrupted her plans. Annie and her tutor are going to keep on working remotely, and when the GED Test Center opens, she will be ready.

On Tuesday, April 21, Volunteer Coordinator Jane Myers and board member Mary Edith Leichliter appeared on the virtual PAACE Panel Discussion, “A Report from the Field: Adventures in Delivering Online Instruction”. Nearly 100 people attended! The panel shared their challenges and successes in the abrupt transition to remote services.

These stories remind us that we are not really “working at home” – we are at home because of a crisis, and we are doing our best to continue fulfilling our mission. We will continue to do our part to keep everyone safe, connected and engaged. Thank you for understanding that we are figuring this out as we go. We welcome your feedback, and we thank you for your ongoing support and friendship.