Tulsa Literacy Center On A Mission To Help Adults Learn To Read

Wednesday, August 3rd 2022, 5:15 pm

TULSA, Okla. -

The mission of the Ruth G. Hardman Literacy Center is to do something good for adults who struggle with reading or a learning disability.

The literacy center said one in six adults in Tulsa County can't read at a low level, and teachers want people to know there’s no reason to be to be ashamed.

Amy Cooper said she used to be that one in six that couldn't read well. She said she had undiagnosed dyslexia and ended up failing out of college her second semester.

"I graduated high school at a third grade reading level and I didn’t realize at the time I was so behind,” Cooper said. “If you are read a story or certain words over and over again you start memorizing instead of sounding out the letters.”

This led her to the Ruth G. Hardman Literacy service in Tulsa. At 19 years old, Amy said she was scared of being judged, but knew she needed to do something.

"A lot of people are ashamed and don’t want to ask for help, they are scared to ask for help, afraid to be called stupid or made fun of, it really prevents them from being able to better their lives,” Cooper said.

Amy was in the program for seven years. Since then, she has gotten an associate’s degree and is working on her bachelors in business. In her spare time, she now tutors others who are learning to read.

"After that I felt like I needed to pay it forward,” Cooper said. “This program changed my life.”

She said having a low reading level often means you weren't given the proper tools to learn, not that you aren’t intelligent.

"I had a student that could totally rebuild a car but couldn’t read at a second grade level, but a genius when it came to cars,” Cooper said.

Amy said typically her students want to learn how to read to their children, get their driver’s license, and maybe even get a job.

The classes through the literacy center are free and can be done on your own time at your own pace.

To ask for tutoring or see how you can get involved, call 918-549-7400 or email literacy@tulsalibrary.org.