Literacy Plus Celebrates 21 Years, Unveils New Programs

By Emma Krasov

November 8, 2006
Literacy Plus

Carol Ruth Silver, guest speaker, left, and Winnie Thompson, President of Literacy Plus.

In their 21 years of continuous efforts, Literacy Plus tutors have helped over 2,600 adults to learn reading, writing, and basic life skills.

While the organization is a part of the Hayward Public Library, it's President, Winnie Thompson, is a Castro Valley resident and a tireless educator, always looking for new ways to bring literacy to those who desperately need it.

"Gerry Thompson and I are working with Carol Ruth Silver who is now unfolding her new program to bring literacy to Afghanistan via satellite," said Winnie.

Master Teachers by Satellite for Afghanistan-a unique program to deliver schooling in Afghanistan to children by satellite TV-two hours a day, six days a week, 40 weeks a year, was created by Silver, a former San Francisco Supervisor.

"Satellite TV does not need a school building, which can be bombed, or even a literate teacher," said Silver. "Children who have no other chance to go to school, particularly little girls, will get their first chance to learn to read, to add and subtract, to join the global village."

Since the Hayward City Council voted unanimously last month to establish a Sister City relationship with the city of Ghazni, Afghanistan, the Thompsons, a Castro Valley couple, got engaged with the program's task force.

For Winnie Thompson, who's been tutoring with Literacy Plus for more than six years, it was yet another opportunity to "lift the veil of ignorance."