Council promotes adult literacy with month of awareness


Ygdaeli Arrivillaga dedicated her education to learning human anatomy and becoming a pediatrician. Now, four days a week, she gives that same attention to sentence structure and verb conjugation.

Arrivillaga is a native of Venezuela where she and her husband, Orlando Rodriguez, practiced medicine. Arrivillaga was a pediatrician and family nutritionist, and Rodriguez was an orthopedic surgeon, but when the two started chasing the American dream, they realized there was one hurdle they would have to overcome: English.

The Corpus Christi Literacy Council is celebrating three decades of helping adults like Arrivillaga and Rodriguez learn reading, writing and computer skills.

« As I improve my English, I can work and study, » Arrivillaga said. « I need to improve my English so that I can get licensed to work here in the medical field. That’s what motivates me. »

The literacy council started in 1986 to guide adults with limited or nonexistent English reading and writing abilities that prevented them from further education or better jobs.

The nonprofit has helped more than 7,000 adults from ages 17 to 84, Gleason said. Tutors test students to find out where each is lacking and focus on meeting targeted goals. That impact will continue through September with five events to celebrate International Literacy Month.

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