News for You Grant Helps Literacy Students Learn Online

ESL Class

Press Release of September 2, 2020

In March of 2020, the Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) was awarded a Mobile Learning Fund Grant from ProLiteracy. The grant provided a free subscription to News for You Online, a weekly newspaper with topical articles and literacy lessons that can be accessed online.

DCLC Instructor James Stein poses with some of his ESL students before the pandemic. When DCLC classes moved online this March, James and other DCLC instructors were able to use News for You Online, which was provided through a ProLiteracy Mobile Learning Fund Grant to the Literacy Council.

The timing of the grant turned out to be extra-helpful, given that DCLC interrupted all in-person learning on March 13, 2020, in accordance with Governor Wolf’s stay-at-home orders to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Since March 13, DCLC Teachers have been holding their classes in basic literacy, English as a Second Language (ESL), and GED preparation online. DCLC’s volunteer tutors have also been reaching out to their adult students via online video platforms, video chats, and by telephone. News for You Online has come in handy during this shift in instruction.

According to ESL Teacher James Stein, News for You Online is “easy to use during online classes since I can screen-share it and make use of the online features, such as the interactive article exercises. Sometimes I assign homework based on the Teacher’s Guide or we use it as a basis for class discussion. I like that there have been several articles related to COVID-19, which is on everyone’s minds. Reading them gives students a chance to share their concerns as well as learn some new information about it.”

Volunteer Tutor Peter Matthews used News for You Online with the two students he tutors in basic literacy. He describes a recent online session: “We spent a little more than an hour on two articles, reading them aloud and doing the exercises together.”

DCLC’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction Jenn Kacimi sees great value in the free online resource, explaining, “This has really been helpful to our teachers and tutors, especially with the move to online instruction.”

The Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) helps adults develop reading, writing, math, and English language skills so that these adults can thrive in the workplace and community. To learn more or to get involved, visit