Lupita arrived in Waukegan unable to speak English - but also unable to read or write in her own native language, either. She enrolled in the Leamos class offered at WPL. Leamos is a Spanish literacy class for adult students who either never had the opportunity to go to school, like Lupita, or who only attended school for a few years. Through dedication and hard work, Lupita learned to read and write basic words and before too long, she was able to read a simple book from cover to cover. These steps became the building blocks to her obtaining her driver's license, by enrolling in WPL's TVDL class.

"You have changed my life forever!"



When Steve started working on his reading skills in the Adult Literacy Tutoring Program, he was stuck relying on other people to help him manage everyday tasks like paying bills, going to the grocery store, and filling out applications and forms. “I wake up with a different attitude to life because of the help that I got,” Steve said. With a lot of hard work and the help of a dedicated tutor, Steve has built his reading skills, increased his vocabulary, and as he achieved his goals, he set new ones – and he’s going to keep learning and working with his tutor to continue making progress. Next up: computers and email!

"I’m going to keep going until I can do whatever it is I want to do on my own for real."



Nadia left her native country of Ukraine with high hopes of starting a new life in Waukegan. Nadia has no family in the US, and had no idea what life would have in store for her. She spoke no English and did not know where to even begin to seek out classes and resources. Nadia discovered the Library one day, and learned that WPL had a Conversational English as a Second Language Program. She immediately enrolled in the class and spoke fluent English after only eight months. Nadia has since begun tutoring herself, working with adult learners in math, and has made the Library an important part of her life.

"I can proudly say that I now understand, read, and speak English."


Jose, an employee of the Waukegan Park District, was referred to the Waukegan Public Library with an urgent need. He was required to obtain his GED in order to maintain his employment. He had a sixth-grade education level, and felt the task of obtaining his GED was not only daunting, but impossible. He joined WPL's Path to Learning and Literacy by attending the Spanish GED program, and with hard work and support from our dedicated tutors, Jose accomplished the goal of receiving his GED in under five months. He was subsequently named Employee of the month and received an increase in salary!

"This program changed my life!"