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Young Adult Pre-GED

Brooklyn Public Library
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Problem Statement

The “Disconnected Youth” population – young adults aged 16 to 24 years old, are a recognized portion of NYC’s population marked by disrupted formal education, low literacy skills, under-employment and poverty. The borough of Brooklyn boasts the second largest percentage of young adults who fall into this category in the city. The Mayor’s Center for Economic Opportunity invited the Brooklyn Public Library to create a model Pre-GED program to serve this population.


Since 2007, the Center for Economic Opportunity has supported Brooklyn Public Library’s Young Adult Literacy Initiative. This Young Adult Pre-GED program offers 15 hours of instruction including integrated literacy, numeracy, technology and work readiness content. Youth Development Principles, Balanced Literacy, Evidenced Based Reading Instruction and Goal setting create the foundation for students to design their pathways to success. Uniquely set in two library locations, classes have full-time teachers, a dedicated math instructor and are joined by librarians offering students tutorials to gain skills needed to take full advantage of library resources for education, employment, and recreation. In addition, Social Support services are available for students to assist them in managing the difficult task of maintaining persistence in accomplishing their goals along with complicated life circumstances.


 The Young Adult Pre-GED program is moving into its’ third year of service for the “Disconnected Youth” population in the greater Brooklyn area. It has served over 100 young people from all community districts in the borough and has successfully connected many to community GED and training programs and re-engagement with the Department of Education. Young adult learners are regularly evaluated using the Test of Adult Basic Education to assess their educational needs and refer them to advanced program as they progress. Due to the hard work of the instructors and students, by the second quarter of FY09, 83% of the students who attended the classes advanced at least one grade level in their reading. By the third quarter of FY09, 40% of the students advanced at least one grade level.