About LearningQuest

Vision

Read + Write + Work = Success

Mission

Educating for a better tomorrow.

LearningQuest — Stanislaus Literacy Centers, a non-profit corporation in partnership with the community – business, education and government – teaches adults and their families basic education skills – helps parents become their child’s first and best teacher and prepares a more productive workforce.

2015 Annual Report

Why We Exist

 

Our county needs LearningQuest because of the challenges we have in terms of poverty and lack of education.

  • 37.1% of population is not in the labor force
  • 1 in 2.7 is receiving some sort of public assistance
  • 13.4% of our adult population has less than a 9th grade education
  • 1 in 5 high school students failed to graduate
  • 22% drop out of school and 14.4% of the adult population did not attend high school
  • 77.8% have a high school diploma compared to 86.4% average in US
  • 11.6% have a bachelor’s degree

Stanislaus County adults need remedial education leading to a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalency in order to get a job or get a better job with a living wage. There is a lack of resources in our county. We are one of only four entities offering classes to prepare for the high school equivalency test and one of only two offering instruction in Spanish.

Our agency is also the only provider of adult basic literacy (non-readers to 7th grade level) for English speaking adults. The need for literacy was demonstrated through workforce testing conducted at two manufacturing plants which found that, out of 1,000 applicants, 26% read between 4th and 7th grade level and 25% below a 4th grade level. Our agency has found success in providing individualized tutoring in English using volunteers, and in providing ESL classes in the neighborhoods most in need of services.

History of LQ

1987

Tri-Valley Growers cannery realizes a need for literacy and Volunteer Center responds with a  literacy program provided on site which becomes community based as well using volunteers to tutor.

1989

A literacy program is brought to the Stanislaus County Jail .

1995

Volunteer Center is absorbed into United Way and Stanislaus Literacy Center takes over the non-profit of Volunteer Center and changes its name and mission and continues to provide literacy tutoring.

1996

Karen Williams becomes the first Executive Director of Stanislaus Literacy Center.

1998

The first family literacy and English as a Second Language program is launched at Wakefield Elementary in Turlock.

1999

A partnership with Community Services Agency is formed to provide literacy and pre-GED services for customers on Welfare to Work grants. This leads to 17 years of expansion of services to include GED (now known as High School Equivalency) preparation in five locations and Adult Basic Education in one location.

2001

A partnership with Stanislaus County Library is birthed and LQ begins to operate literacy programs in the library under the name ReadingWorks.

2013

The organization undergoes a move to a larger facility and a name change to LearningQuest (LQ).

Board of Directors 2017

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Sarah Bettencourt, Secretary/Treasurer
Assistant Controller

Sarah Bettencourt, Secretary/Treasurer Assistant Controller
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Board Member

Board Member
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Josh Weimer
Turlock Irrigation District

Josh Weimer is a legislative analyst for Turlock Irrigations District. He also has experience managing construction projects for Brownstone Equities and has been an account manager and sales director for Ambassador Energy Inc. He is a member of Monte Vista Chapel where he has attended all his life.
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Nancy Goss Ugarte, President
Owner, Almond Valley Realty

Nancy Ugarte has lived in Modesto for the past 25 years. Her career includes 20 years as a Certified Human Resources professional, holding senior positions working for local agricultural and food processors. For the past five years, she and her husband, Ed Ugarte have been business partners & co-owners in the Modesto Almond Valley Realty brokerage.
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Stephen Kellog

Stephen Kellog
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Thomas Hogan
Attorney-at-law, owner

Thomas Hogan Attorney-at-law, owner
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Marylou Hacker Rousseau, Vice President
Retired Educator

Retired MJC professor and Director of Foster Kinship Care Education Program. Docent at McHenry Museum, avid reader and traveler. Married to Donald Rousseau, with two sons and three grandchildren.
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Employment Opportunities

Position Title: Transitional Specialist

Reports To                 Guidance Counselor

Salary Status              nonexempt

 

Looking to fill a new and exciting job opening for a Transitional Specialist.   This position exists to assist students in making a transition into college, trade school or employment.  Students will be dependent upon this role to be highly planned and organized, while able to inspire and motivate students toward continued life success.

Under the Guidance Counselor’s general supervision, the Transitional Specialist will:

  • Work with students to build and maintain a transition plan for when they have completed school. Track progress, offering counsel and advice to keep students on track with their goals.
  • Provide students with information on topics, such as college degree programs and admission requirements, financial aid opportunities, trade and technical schools, and apprenticeship programs.
  • Counsel individuals to help them understand and overcome personal, social, or behavioral problems affecting their educational or vocational situations.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, funding sources or any other administrative requirement.
  • Evaluate students’ or individuals’ abilities, interests, and personality characteristics, using tests, records, interviews, or professional sources.
  • Conduct follow-up interviews with students to determine if their needs have been met.
  • Instruct individuals in career development techniques, such as job search and application strategies, resume writing, and interview skills.
  • Assess needs for assistance, such as rehabilitation, financial aid, or additional vocational training, and refer clients to the appropriate services.
  • Teach workshops on relevant topics related to education and career planning.
  • Attend meetings, educational conferences, and training workshops and serve on committees.
  • Plan and promote career and employment-related programs and events, such as career planning presentations, work experience programs, job fairs, and career workshops.
  • Address community groups, and staff members to explain available services.
  • Compile and study occupational, educational, and economic information to assist participants in determining and carrying out vocational and educational objectives.
  • Refer students to degree programs based on interests, aptitudes, or educational assessments.
  • Interview clients to obtain information about employment history, educational background, and career goals, and to identify barriers to employment.
  • Refer qualified students to employers or employment services for job placement.
  • Establish contacts with employers to create internship and employment opportunities for students.
  • Provide disabled students with assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
  • Provide information for instructors and staff members involved in helping students or graduates identify and pursue employment opportunities.

Other key responsibilities of the Transitional Specialist include

  • Public speaking
  • Professional communication

Applicants who have extensive knowledge in the following are preferred:

  • College forms (applications, FAFSA, fee waivers)
  • College/vocational/training programs to accommodate unique interests
  • Microsoft Office and Google Applications

Minimum qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in education, counseling or any related field as well as 2 years of experience. Must possess and maintain a valid state driver’s license.

This position is exempt from overtime.

This is a full-time position (36 hrs. week, M-Fri). The pay rate is $15/hr. plus benefits.

If interested in applying for this position, please submit your resume to Rosie at Rraya@lqslc.com.

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Kids Club Program

Team Lead

 Job Description

      Summary:  We are looking for a charismatic leader interested in joining our team. The Team Lead is responsible for preparing lesson plans and gathering supplies for their assigned sites.  The Kids Club Program provides services for children whose parents attend English as a Second Language classes. Class times vary by location but are typically twice a week for two hours, in the morning or in the evening. Classes run for 25 weeks, excluding holiday breaks, during the period of September- April. Team Lead will work together with team members serving 10-25 children ranging from 3-12 years old.

The ideal candidate is someone who has experience working with children in a professional setting or has taken courses related to child development and wants to gain experience. We provide initial training and continuous workshops throughout the school year.  We will begin interviews in July and training in late August.

Qualifications: 

  • Must be over the age of 18
  • High School Diploma/GED required
  • Minimum two years’ experience working with childcare and planning and preparing activities for children
  • College training and other training in child development is encouraged
  • Bilingual in Spanish or any other language is helpful but not necessary
  • Minimum 7 months commitment (September-April): Schedule: 2 x per week to be determined by Director
  • Passion for spending time with children, patience, dependability, and positive attitude

Duties:  The duties of the Team Lead include the following:

  • Make sure site has necessary supplies for crafts and activities
  • Take lead in weekly team meetings and review lesson plans and activities with team
  • Oversee volunteers and team members
  • Assign volunteers and team members designated tasks
  • Collect and gather attendance and necessary for reports
  • Assess the children in pre and post test
  • Facilitate projects for children ages 3-12
  • Prepare children’s lesson plans consistent with program’s weekly theme
  • When needed, communicate with project manager to order necessary supplies like snacks, glue sticks, etc.
  • Attend monthly workshops with project manager
  • Prepare site rules for the program
  • Designate a time out area for children
  • Prepare a discipline plan with team members

Rate of Pay: $11-$13

Schedule:

This position is part time seasonal working anywhere from 6 hours to 18 hours per week depending on the number of sites worked. Days and times for each site have been determined and are non-negotiable. Review the times below to confirm that your availability matches at least one of the following:

Stanislaus Union School District (Modesto) – Mondays and Wednesdays 8:45-11:00 am

Stanislaus Union School District (Modesto) – Mondays and Wednesdays 5:30-8:00 p.m.

Cardozo Middle School (Riverbank) – Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:45-11:00 a.m.

Riverbank Language Academy (Riverbank) – Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:30-8:00 p.m.

Please email resume and cover letter to:

Kelly Nery

Program Director

knery@lqslc.com

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ESL INSTRUCTOR Job Description

Summary: 
We are looking for part time instructors interested in teaching a small group of about 15 adults English as a Second Language (ESL). Classes are located in schools or community centers where there is a high need for classes in Modesto and Riverbank. Class times vary by location but are typically twice a week for two hours, in the morning or in the evening. Classes run for 25 weeks, excluding holiday breaks, during the period of September- April. The curriculum covers English in everyday life and includes reading, writing, and speaking activities.

The ideal candidate is someone who has experience teaching ESL or has taken courses related to teaching and wants to gain experience. We provide initial training and continuous workshops throughout the school year.  We will begin interviews in July and training in late August.

Qualifications:  

  • Must be over the age of 18
  • High School Diploma/GED required.
  • College training and other training in English as a Second Language is encouraged.
  • Experience in an education related field is highly encouraged
  • Bilingual in Spanish or any other language is helpful but not necessary
  • Minimum 8 months commitment (September-April): Schedule: 2 x per week to be determined by Director.
  • Comfortable using computers and programs such as word, excel, and the internet

 Duties:

  • Instruct a class of adults who are attending an English class at a Family Literacy Program.
  • Help register families for the program and assist in giving CASAS appraisals &/or reading tests to help place the students in the proper classes and check gains.
  • Prepare syllabus containing lesson plans in advance for the curriculum that will be provided.  Have games, worksheets for homework, videos to include in your class.
  • Assist students in setting three goals that they can achieve during the program keeping in mind the goals that students have set when planning lessons for class.
  • Under the guidance of the Project Manager include an additional assessment after about 30hrs of instruction.  This specific “life skill” will be picked in advance for your class.
  • Maintain teaching and class supplies necessary to perform your duties. Resources and supplies are provided in the administrative office.
  • Once a month, class set children’s books from the administrative office must be given to the students to read in class and make a book report. Books can be given to the students to take home and read to their children.  They can keep these books in their family libraries.
  • Keep attendance and other data necessary such as total books given in class and submit to Site Coordinator as needed for grant reports.
  • Responsible for inputting weekly attendance into data program.
  • Share new teaching resources, which will enhance the program.  Take advantage of opportunities for training and improving skills.

Rate of Pay:

$11-$13 per hour

 Schedule:

Instructors will be working anywhere from 7-21 hours a week depending on the number of sites taught. Days and times for each site have been determined and are non-negotiable. Review the times below to confirm that your availability matches at least one of the following:

Marshall Park Community Center (Modesto) – Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Marshall Park Community Center (Modesto) – Mondays and Wednesdays 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Stanislaus Union School District (Modesto) – Mondays and Wednesdays 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Stanislaus Union School District (Modesto) – Mondays and Wednesdays 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Cardozo Middle School (Riverbank) – Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Riverbank Language Academy (Riverbank) – Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Please email resume and cover letter to:

 Kelly Nery

Program Director

knery@lqslc.com

FAQ

Q. How are you funded?

A. 88% of funding is from government grants and contracts for service. Because government dollars are shrinking, LQ is committed to decreasing dependence on government sources and increasing financial support from community members. This way, LQ board of directors and staff can better serve the people of Stanislaus County by making decisions on the best way to use funds for the benefit of our community, our students and our volunteers. Our goal is to raise $100,000 this year in donations and continue to increase funding from donations by 4% per year until at least half of all income is from donations.

 

Q. How long does it take for people to finish the program?

A. This varies greatly by person. The average amount of time in our literacy program is two years, but it is really determined by the reading level coming into the program and whether or not the person has a learning disability which tends to slow the process of learning. In the HSE program, the average is six months, and in the English as a Second Language classes, the average is two years per level.

 

Q. How do you assess the progress of your students?

A. We use a pre and post assessment test in reading and math, if applicable. The results are tracked by class and program. Our agency studies the data and investigates ways to improve so students learn more and have better success in meeting goals.

 

Q.  What can I do to help?

A. There are a variety of ways to help and we believe the answer is as individual as you are. There are traditional ways in which people have gotten involved, but this list is only a starting point. We are open to how you would like to help. Some of the traditional ways are these:

  • Volunteering as a tutor
  • Helping on event committees, with publicity or in the office
  • Providing goods and services at discount or free
  • Providing items from the wish list or donations to purchase these items
  • Teaching workshops for HSE students on academic or life skill topics
  • Mentoring HSE graduates for transition to work or college
  • Assisting people in preparing to pass citizenship test
  • Assisting with children in family literacy programs

 

LearningQuest