Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative at PPL Receives $10,000 from Wells Fargo

Grant Will Support Statewide Adult Literacy Programs

Providence Public Library (PPL), has received a $10,000 grant from Wells Fargo in support of statewide adult literacy programs. The grant will directly support literacy and citizenship instruction, as well as integral program supplies and technology, for the more than 250 adult immigrants enrolled in the 2016-2017 academic year. 

RIFLI offers a broad variety of classes and services, including beginning, intermediate, and advanced level English as a Second Language (ESL) and Transitions to College and Career classes. RIFLI has partnered with PPL and Rhode Island’s public libraries for close to 20 years, bringing best practices, skilled staff, and quality resources together to lead high performing literacy programs.

According to Karisa Tashjian, Director of Education at PPL, “Wells Fargo’s grant support is critical to equipping adults in our communities with the literacy and workforce development skills necessary for upward mobility, engaged citizenship, strong families, and lifelong learning. Our state is only made stronger through these types of partnerships.”

“Through its charitable giving programs, Wells Fargo embraces its responsibility to create more resilient, sustainable communities through its operations and actions,” said Mike Holden, senior vice president and complex manager for Wells Fargo Advisors in Providence, RI. “We are proud to support the Providence Public Library’s Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative which is working to provide critical literacy and workforce development skills to adults throughout the state.”


RIFLI is a collaborative that serves immigrants in the urban ring communities of Providence through English as a Second Language (ESL), citizenship preparation, college and career transition, computer skills, driver’s education, and family literacy classes and other crucial supports. RIFLI’s services are instrumental in helping adults achieve their social, economic, and educational goals, which include finding, retaining, and advancing in employment; entering post-secondary education or training programs; obtaining citizenship; supporting their children’s education, and fully participating in their communities.

RIFLI serves students from more than 50 countries in 13 locations throughout the state. Classes are based in public libraries, schools, public housing, employment centers, and factories. RIFLI continues to expand services to provide more holistic support for adults in need of free education or employment services. RIFLI’s Learning Lounges — inviting, informal learning spaces where adults can access digital tools and resources—are offered at PPL as well as the Cranston, East Providence, and Pawtucket Public Libraries. Community Connectors are available at the Learning Lounges to help connect adults with housing assistance, benefits access, legal services, and other supports.

Photo Caption: Mike Holden, senior vice president and complex manager for Wells Fargo Advisors in Providence, RI (center) and fellow associates presented their donation to PPL Education Director Karisa Tashjian (second from left) and PPL Associate Director Aaron Peterman (back right).