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Freedom Magazine, published by the Church of Scientology 

The Door to Learning... and a Bright Future
Community literacy programs mark path from dregs to dreams

Chaka Khan visits Chaka Khan Art Club in Clearwater
Renowned singer-songwriter Chaka Khan (far left) visits members of the Chaka Kahn Art Club in Clearwater. With her are Holly Haggerty, whose Community Learning Center hosts the youth group, and Jane Anne Locito, director of the Art Club.
Hesitantly, a scruffy teenager dressed in grungy street clothes, wearing multiple earrings entered the storefront tutoring center, half expecting to be ejected for his appearance. He was used to that reaction ever since he had turned to the streets for a living. A poor student, unable to learn, he sought an escape from school and ran away from home, seeking but finding neither friends nor opportunities out in the world. Illiterate and unable to get a job, the boy had finally turned to the most expedient means of making money, prostitution.

But in the brightly lit literacy center, he experienced a flicker of hope, a chance of help and possibly a way out of his trap — through learning.

“We did not even know if he was male or female until he spoke,” said the tutor who first greeted the boy. But those working at the center, which helps people, young and old, conquer illiteracy with a technology of study discovered and developed by L. Ron Hubbard, had seen many desperate faces arrive at the door. “He was a child prostitute and he didn’t want to be on the streets anymore. But he couldn’t read. He was a high school student and he couldn’t read.”

The plight of this boy is simply another symptom of the failures of our educational system. Florida suffers serious dilemmas, as do all states, in trying to educate the state’s nearly 2.5 million school-aged youth.

A Solution To Old Problems

Clearwater Community Learning CenterThe problems of education shout out to us every day from the headlines of every paper from the Miami Herald to the Tallahassee Democrat: the School Choice Initiative, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, the Class Size Initiative, school busing, the shortage of teachers and the inability to adequately pay those we do have.

Education is a bulwark of the American way of life and always has been. Thomas Jefferson, a champion of public education in both private and public sectors, advised, “Educate and inform the whole mass of people. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

Why does our education system too often fail to turn out competent and successful people to pick up the reins of society? Unfortunately, for so many graduates this is not the result. And that leads to further complications including gangs, violence and drugs in schools, cuts in funding and staff, efforts to evaluate and monitor teachers and students. The problem? Our education system, which is not adequately producing literate graduates who become successful and contributive citizens.

The question is: what can we do about it?

A careful look behind all the commotion within our education system reveals a fundamental lack of a technology of how to learn and study.

And while many dedicated groups and individuals throughout our state are attempting to remedy our educational dilemma, the staff and volunteers of the World Literacy Crusade have an edge — they employ just such a technology — the study technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard.

This is revolutionizing the field of education through result-producing literacy programs, which provide free tutoring services — and tutor training — to all who seek their help.

 

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