THE NEED

The Demand for Adult and Family Literacy Services in Dallas County is Overwhelming.

Among Dallas County adults, nearly 25% do not speak English fluently, and 21% are illiterate.The future is bleak for this large percentage of the population with a high likelihood of poverty, hunger, incarceration, homelessness and lower life expectancy. Children inherit these problems from their parents, and the cycle of poverty continues. More than 60% of children entering Kindergarten in DISD need remediation. Children from low-income families enter Kindergarten 12-14 months behind their higher-income peers.

OUR SOLUTION

A Multi-generational Approach to Literacy is Needed for Families to Thrive!

Children mimic their parents from birth, developing from imitated facial gestures into adopted behaviors and mindsets. For children who grow up in low-income families, this common interaction may be detrimental to their future success. Research has documented the impact of a parent’s education, economic stability, and overall health, on a child’s trajectory. At Aberg Center for Literacy, we believe working with parents and children as a unit, and both generations simultaneously, is key to breaking the cycle of poverty. 

OUR HISTORY

Providing Literacy Services Since 2002


ROOTS OF LITERACY
Aberg Center for Literacy was founded by the late Charles Aberg in 2002. As an ESL tutor and member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Cathedral, whose congregation is served by both Spanish and English language speakers, Mr. Aberg was well positioned to identify the missing piece that existed between ESL instruction and GED preparation.

THE PROBLEM
The problem, Mr. Aberg observed, was that basic ESL classes were not enough for students gain the knowledge and cultural awareness necessary to thrive in the English speaking community. Additionally, there was a lack of transitional programs for those who wanted to continue their education in order to gain high school equivalency in English.

A SIMPLE IDEA
To meet the need, Charles Aberg introduced an intermediate ESL program designed to help adult immigrants continue their studies in English beyond the basics, learn essential skills necessary for succeeding in English speaking communities, and the language and math skills needed to transition into GED studies. The school, known then as St. Matthew's PreGED School, began in 2002 with 40 students and a handful of volunteers.

GROWING STRONG
Through the decade that proceeded, Charles Aberg's Pre-GED school grew into a thriving literacy organization known as Aberg Center for Literacy. In 2006, a full GED Program was introduced. In 2013, the childcare that had been provided since the beginning transitioned to an Early Childhood and Family Literacy Program under the guidance of a certified early childhood educator. In 2015 a partnership with St. Matthew's Bishop's Camp program was formed and the GED in Spanish program was expanded to offer adult basic education.

ABERG CENTER TODAY
From those 40 students and meagre group of volunteers in 2002, to over 1500 people served since Charles Aberg's Pre-GED School opened, Aberg Center for Literacy has grown into a pilar of literacy for the East Dallas community. Last year alone Aberg Center served over 140 adults, 38 children, and 115 school aged children served with assistance from over 100 volunteers.