NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Friday August 18th 2017

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The Franklin Learning Center

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Franklin Learning Center (FLC) provides adults with resources to educate themselves. Learners, instructors and trained volunteers work collaboratively, trusting each other’s wisdom and experience. In partnership with other local organizations, we create a vibrant, cross-cultural learning community. At FLC, people are empowered with the knowledge they need to fulfill their professional, family and community roles.

Services

FLC is an adult education program of Hennepin County Library. It is located in the historic Franklin Library in the Phillips Community of Minneapolis.

FLC provides free, flexible instruction tailored to individual learner’s needs. Working one-to-one and in small groups with staff and volunteer tutors, learners study reading, writing, math, social studies and science. Learners also practice speaking and listening, gain computer literacy, and prepare for the GED and U.S. citizenship tests. Every learner is encouraged to get a library card, and FLC staff work closely with other library staff
to ensure our learners and volunteers make a good connection with the library and the Phillips Technology Center, also at Franklin Library.510a-v399-franklinlibraryarchitecturalrendering

People

FLC has served the Phillips Community for 26 years, evolving with Franklin Library and the Community. The library has always strived to meet the literacy needs of new Americans: when it opened in 1914, one-third of its collection was in foreign languages – primarily Norwegian, Swedish and Yiddish.

When FLC opened in 1988 with funding from a federal grant, staff, volunteers and interns worked mainly with U.S.-born adults preparing for the GED. Most learners were American Indian, African-American or Caucasian, and 58 percent were men.

Today, the greatest demand at FLC is for English language learning. In 2014, learners represented 24 nations and ranged in age from teens to seniors. 86 percent of learners were from Africa (78 percent from Somalia) and 4 percent of learners were Latino; 8 percent of learners were U.S.-born.  About 70 percent of learners were women.

FLC welcomes volunteers and interns from a wide variety of backgrounds. They range in age from 18 to 90. Volunteers are
community members, former FLC students and service learners from local colleges.

The program has grown from 37 volunteers and interns in 1988 to 159 volunteers and interns in 2014.

Community

FLC has developed strong partnerships with the University of Minnesota; Augsburg College; Metropolitan State University and Minneapolis Community and Technical College (Project SHINE); St. Catherine University and City of Lakes AmeriCorps. The University of Minnesota recognized our work with University students, faculty and staff, honoring FLC with an Outstanding Partners in Community Engagement award in 2006.

The Minnesota Literacy Council helps FLC recruit and train volunteers. Friends of the Hennepin County Library provide funding for the FLC program.

We connect adult learners with resources in the community. In 2014, we welcomed Emerge, Hennepin County Child and Teen Checkups, Project for Pride in Living, Second Harvest Heartland, University of Minnesota Tax Clinic and Waite House.

FLC by the numbers in 2014: 515 learners studied 20,244 hours 159 volunteers and interns tutored 7,708 hours.  2 learners passed GED subject tests.  64 learners became citizens.  FLC is one of the top 25 most-referred adult education programs in the state.

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