Second Chances

A new literacy program provides tutoring to Ogden City Drug Court participants. The goal is to help them complete their high school equivalency tests (GED) and prepare for post-secondary education at WSU or a Utah College of Applied Technology institution.

Second District Court Judge Mark DeCaria suggested to WSU that many drug court offenders have literacy challenges, making it difficult for them to find meaningful work.

Mike Vaughan, director of WSU’s Center for the Study of Poverty and Economic Inequality, approached Gina Shelley, an assistant professor of teacher education, to come up with ideas.

Shelley developed curriculum for Project LIFE (Literacy Instruction to Further Education) and recruited WSU education majors to tutor drug court participants. They meet once a week to work on reading, writing, computer literacy and math.

The program is now in its second semester. One participant has already enrolled at Weber State, four at Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College, and three are preparing to take the GED.