On September 8, in celebration of International Literacy Day, CTN, San Francisco Public Library, and Bayview Senior Services collaborated to present a community event recognizing the importance of digital and language literacy.
The event was held at the Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center which serves the Bayview Hunters Point community as a services hub for seniors and persons with disabilities. It’s the go-to place for seniors to connect with structured programs, activities — and each other.
The afternoon’s program celebrated literacy and encouraged those seniors who might need help with reading to participate in the library’s Project Read program. The event gave people an opportunity to receive tutoring with their reading while emphasizing how computer skills can assist seniors in navigating their lives more easily.
Leon Veal (pictured), a former Project Read student, was the guest speaker. Leon captured the attendees with his story of courage and hope by sharing how, at the age of 44, he began his journey towards literacy by seeking help from the library to improve his reading comprehension. Eventually, he graduated from college and became Project Read’s outreach coordinator. During his speech, he touched upon how his growth had been facilitated by a growing proficiency with computer technology, explaining how it worked hand in hand with the tools available to Project Read’s learners.
Katherine Eppler, SFPL’s Bridge Program Manager, provided hundreds of book giveaways ranging from children’s literature to science fiction and mysteries. Most seniors and their family members and friends took away several selections for themselves and others.
The event wound down with CTN’s hardware raffle, which saw Cora McCoy take home a new MacBook Pro. Closing the event, frequent Western Addition computer lab attendee and published poet James Johnson spellbound the attendees by reciting one of his latest works.