On Saturday volunteers for the non-profit Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT) were honored at a brunch held at the Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas.

LIFT serves the Dallas community by equipping volunteers to teach free classes so that functionally illiterate adults can learn to read and write English. Programs include GED prep, adult literacy courses, and Lift a Paw 4 Literacy at the Jubilee Center just south of Lakewood. Last year, 24 children identified as at-risk readers participated in the Lift a Paw program, and after just a few months, 22 out of the 24 were able to read at or above grade level.

Pat Peiser and Lisa Hembry

Pat Peiser and Lisa Hembry

A video shown during the brunch featured testimonies from current LIFT students who were impacted by the program. One student said “learning how to read has lifted my life” and another student said “the teachers love us, and that’s what keep me coming back to class.” In a given year, 3,500 people in the Dallas area attend a course at LIFT.

Founding partner Pat Peiser, who helped start the organization 52 years ago, assisted LIFT President Lisa Hembry with announcing raffle winners at the brunch, saying “LIFT is part of a major effort in Dallas to teach such a critical skill.”

Robert A. De La Cruz of Citi Cards, on behalf of CitiGroup, awarded LIFT chairman Richard Mauldin with a check for $22,500 for the nonprofit.

Robert A. De La Cruz, Lisa Hembry, Richard Mauldin

Robert A. De La Cruz, Lisa Hembry, Richard Mauldin

This September the LIFT program is moving to a new location in the City Square building to offer more opportunities to their students by collaborating with City Square and American Workforce Solutions. Dallas Architect Russell Hay, who regularly teaches a GED class at LIFT once a week, helped design the new LIFT Opportunity Center. Hay donated over $20,000 worth of pro bono work to the organization by designing the new space.

The next training class for volunteer teachers starts June 1. To find out more and get involved with LIFT, contact Lauren McCarthy at 214.824.2000 ext. 230.

An additional training session for the Sequential English Education program will be held on June 22. The training is in collaboration with the Shelton school in Far North Dallas and will equip teachers to work with students who have dyslexia. Email Karen Guida at KarenGuida@LIFT-Texas.org for more information.


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