They call her The Mathemagician. Her real name is Angie, but to tutors and students, she’s the go-to person when math literacy is at stake. Basic math skills, Pre-algebra, Algebra, Geometry, You name it, Angie can teach it. “I just try and show them that [math is] not a scary thing, that it’s a very logical, step by step process,” Angie says as a huge smile breaks across her face, her eyes twinkling. “Once you show them that they can succeed in this, it kind of opens their eyes to, ‘maybe I can reach for more.’”
Lifting adults from poverty by giving them literacy tools is exactly what Sr. Helen Weber and Sr. Maryann Bremke, the two founders of the Brunner Literacy Center, hoped to achieve when they established the center in 2011. But literacy involves more than the awareness of sounds and print letters, more than just reading. True literacy involves recognizing numbers and number sense, being able to analyze information, and having the ability to problem solve. With the help of tutors like Angie, the BLC is working to remove the barrier of reading and math illiteracy and helping students achieve their dreams.
Last year was one of our most memorable: An average of 110 active students per month were provided with literacy services. Over 50 new tutors attended volunteer orientations and received training, and almost 11,000 hours of instruction were provided by staff and volunteers.
In 2019, we’d like to continue that forward momentum so that we can continue to do what we do best: provide flexible and individualized literacy services for adult students.
By Celine O’Neill, Executive Director of the Brunner Literacy Center
Assembly Directive: Network with others . . . to be effective in our current reality.