GRANTEE: Literacy Volunteers

The mission of Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford is to create a community of fully literate adults through student centered instruction that catalyzes career readiness and advancement.


A student’s story

While many of us saw our daily lives as we knew them come to a halt during this pandemic, Charming’s life only got busier. She was working full-time in a nursing home, taking several evening classes with LVGH on Zoom, and waking up each day at 3 AM to study and then do it all again. As if she didn’t have enough on her plate as a student and employee, she decided to add to the list citizen of the United States of America.

Charming moved to the U.S. from Jamaica in 2010 and was here for a few months before deciding to start Basic Literacy classes at LVGH. She says the hardest part about living here with limited literacy skills was the vulnerability. “I couldn’t do an application without having someone help me, so I was always scared to do applications. When you need to rely on others to read for you—signs, paperwork, anything—you can’t ever be sure that they’re telling you the correct thing.”

“I was a bit insecure starting out”, she admits. “I made the effort because I said “this is for me.” I started attending LVGH two times a week. My tutor encouraged me by saying, “no matter what people say about you, just do you. Coming to LVGH helped me to start feeling like I could do things for myself. Talking with Rose and the tutors at school, it gave me more confidence, it gave me more of me.”

When she passed her citizenship test last month, it really solidified for Charming that all of her hard work had been worth it. “I just felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders,” she said. “Going from working on farms in Jamaica to where I am now in the States—I really never saw myself in this position. I feel so blessed.”