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September 16, 2009 > Library receives grant

Library receives grant

Submitted By Lupe Gonzalez

With collaboration from Mercy Housing, Ashland READS will establish library-linked technology centers in three of Mercy Housing's low-income apartment complexes in the Ashland neighborhood of central Alameda County. The technology centers will host computers and offer adult literacy, English language, and workforce education classes, as well as one-to-one tutoring for adults with low literacy and English language skills.

The project's ultimate goal is to increase employment and decrease poverty and violence in the Ashland area by providing residents access to technology, library services, and literacy. As a nationwide non-profit, Mercy Housing, develops affordable housing to transform low-income neighborhoods and improve stability and quality of life for residents and the surrounding neighborhood.

In a livability study recently spearheaded by County Supervisor Nate Miley, the 800 Eden Area residents who participated identified education, specifically education across the lifespan, as their number one priority. The participants identified an urgent need for "accessible and affordable educational opportunities for people of all ages." The library's mission is in part to promote learning and enjoyment for everyone and to provide access and facilities that meet the needs of the communities. The library provides regular bookmobile service to these areas.

Alameda County's Write to Read Program has had 25 years of experience successfully providing literacy in jails and low-income communities and it is the intent of the program, along with Mercy Housing to reduce the presence of poverty, unemployment, low literacy and education levels by improving Ashland residents' access to technology, information, tutoring, and literacy classes.

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