R I Family Literacy Initiative Receives United Way of R I Grant in Support of ESL College and Career Pathway Program

The Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative (RIFLI) based at Providence Public Library has received a three-year, $90,000 annual United Way of Rhode Island grant in support of its ESL College and Career Pathway program. This program's comprehensive educational model includes the building of academic, digital literacy, work readiness, systems navigation and English language skills.

“Each of the organizations who will receive funding has not only demonstrated strong results, but also innovative programs and a willingness to coordinate services among community partners to generate the best outcomes possible,” said Anthony Maione, president & CEO of United Way of Rhode Island. “Our volunteer review committee had many difficult decisions to make based on the number of truly outstanding proposals we received; there is incredible work being done across the state, as we all work towards a community with fewer people in need.” According to the United Way, the organizations receiving these grant funds focus on direct program services to facilitate long-term change through education, income, and housing and homelessness programs.

“Through this grant, the United Way of R I will be helping to support six classes in RIFLI’s educational continuum and will allow RIFLI to leverage other funding to sustain and expand classes in the continuum to areas in greatest need of these services,” said RIFLI Literacy Program Coordinator Karisa Tashjian. The classes take place at public libraries and community centers in Providence, Cranston, and Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Beginning level ESL classes will be offered in Providence and Cranston.  Intermediate level ESL classes will be offered in Providence and Advanced level classes will be offered in Pawtucket and Cranston.

RIFLI offers additional ESL, National External High School Diploma and citizenship preparation classes in Providence, Cranston, Pawtucket and East Providence.  RIFLI’s classes are offered in the morning, afternoons and evenings and the organization has a strong history of being adept at locating services in neighborhoods of greatest need.

Learners engage in thorough intake, orientation and assessment activities to identify their goals, barriers and supports to learning. They receive evidence based reading, oral, listening, writing and computer skills instruction through real life contexts.  Work readiness skills such as job search and interviewing techniques are integrated into the curriculum. RIFLI’s premiere staff collaborates strongly with postsecondary, training and employer partners and will ensure that learners not only have the skills to be college and work ready, but take the next step to college and career, persist in their activities, and succeed in achieving their goals.

About United Way of Rhode Island

United Way of Rhode Island has been working to improve the quality of life in Rhode Island communities for over 80 years. UWRI’s mission is to mobilize the caring power of the community to improve the lives of people in need and address the issues Rhode Islanders care most about. For more information, visit www.LIVEUNITEDri.org.

About Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative

The Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative (RIFLI) is a high performing literacy program that offers beginning, intermediate and advanced level English as a Second Language (ESL), job readiness, citizenship preparation, college transition, high school completion and computer-based distance learning throughout five public library systems.