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Literacy Services for Families

In San Diego County alone, 450,000 adults cannot read and write well enough to take care of the everyday tasks others take for granted.  They can’t read medicine labels, job applications, cooking instructions or even the guide on the television.  Many cannot read to their small children, which puts the children at a disadvantage when they begin school.

To break the cycle of intergenerational low-literacy, READ’s Families for Literacy Program teaches low-literate parents and caregivers with pre-school children the skills to be their children’s first and most important teacher.  Families for Literacy also provides age-appropriate books to help families build home libraries – a critical component for improving literacy for the whole family.

READ/San Diego

READ/San Diego is the San Diego Public Library’s award-winning free adult literacy instruction service. READ’s professional staff of literacy experts coordinates the efforts of volunteer reading tutors and cooperates with local adult schools, community colleges and other literacy education providers in making and receiving student and tutor referrals. The American Library Association recognized READ as the nation’s top literacy program and the U.S. Department of Education named it a model program.

Tutors receive comprehensive training, including intensive instruction in learning disabilities. Tutors meet with their student twice a week, usually at a library branch. An in-house Computer Reading Lab helps students improve language skills, spelling, math, typing and GED and job presentation skills. Each year, the program assists more than 500 adult students from various backgrounds and learning levels.

READ/San Diego’s annual conference for volunteer tutors and as professional adult teachers offers workshops and lectures given by literacy experts at major leading institutions around the country.

How you can help

Provide financial support
For information on making a donation to support READ/San Diego, call 619-238-6695 or

At any given time, there are upwards of 150 people on a waiting list to take advantage of this free literacy program.  If you want to make a difference, please take a look at our Volunteer Opportunities today! Visit here for more information.

You can obtain additional READ/San Diego information here.