Growing up, Leticia Cruz never thought she was smart enough for school and dropped out in the 10th grade.
Thanks to The New York Public Library, the 18-year-old from the Bronx discovered that she liked reading, and is now working on getting her GED so she can go to college to become a physical therapist.
Working with literacy specialist Shawanda Williams Scott of NYPL’s Literacy Connection program, Leticia improved her reading by four grade levels in six months. The program’s small class size and highly interactive teaching style helped her to thrive and gain confidence in her abilities.
“I never knew I was smart until I came to the Library,” says Leticia, 18. “I love it here. They help me a lot and I’ve seen my improvement. I want to be somebody in the future. That’s why I came back to school.”
Literacy classes and other essential Library services could be dramatically cut back due to a proposed $43 million reduction in funding for The New York Public Library. Please do your part to protect your branch! Sign a letter of support for NYPL today.
Williams Scott says the warm, caring attitude of instructors is particularly helpful to students who have dropped out of high school and may not have the most positive feelings toward classroom learning. Sharing a joke, or listening respectfully to a student are some of the ways that staff members make the learning experience a positive one for their pupils.
“The work is the work. It’s going to get done,” she says. “It’s the atmosphere you set. Knowing that someone is listening and cares about their opinion is really major for them.”
Please join Leticia Cruz and other Library users who depend on NYPL’s services in speaking out against these cuts. If they are not reversed, up to 12 neighborhood libraries could close and the remaining branches could be open just four days a week. It takes just a few clicks to send a letter to your elected officials urging them to restore funding.