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Hudson Family Literacy Program facing funding crisis

Nov 24, 2015 6:00 am
Debora Gilbert is reporting in the Columbia Paper the Hudson Family Literacy Program is facing a funding crisis. The locally developed program helps children, adolescents and adults develop language and other skills needed to get by. Many of the participants are immigrants. It is one of six similar programs statewide. Hudson Family Literacy was created by Columbia Opportunities, in partnership with the Hudson City School District. Funding was provided through state awards, including two Community Service Block grants. Those grants are no longer available to rural, regional communities, according to Tina Sharpe, Columbia Opportunities' executive director. Sharpe said, “The New York Office of New Americans says the number of foreign born citizens is not high enough here. Because of the small size of our community..., given the current demographics, no one group stands out as being in great need when compared to the rest of the country.” Sharpe said, in fact, there is a greater demand in the area than the agency is able to supply. Laila Wali, a member of the Bengali community and a participant in the Family Literacy Program for 15 years, said it would be a terrible loss if the program were to be closed. If the program ends, local residents in need of support with immigration or citizenship issues will have to travel to Albany.  Read the full story in the Columbia Paper.