750 Million People Can’t Read This

Sep 14, 2018

Halle sat and watched this video published by UNESCO for International Literacy Day stating that there are still 750 million people around the globe who cannot read or write, two-thirds of them being women. Afterwards she responded, “We have to take action and change the world. I want to raise awareness about literacy beginning with neighbors right here in our community.”


Her hope is that no one will be left behind. “There are many people who want to learn English, but this can be very difficult if they do not know how to read and write in their primary language. I think we can begin bringing change by teaching others in our community how to read and write in Spanish,” she says.


Last year Casa Chirilagua began offering Spanish Literacy tutoring as an answer to some aspiring English-learners who’d revealed a gap in their primary language literacy. Along with Yo Hablo Ingles adult English classes, these students worked and studied extra hours to improve their literacy skills and bridge the two languages. What began as tutoring for a handful of students is now expected to grow to a full class of twenty.


These classes are being overseen by Halle, who began volunteering with Casa last April. After moving from Kentucky to the Alexandria area she began work as a school teacher in Prince William County. After learning Spanish in high school she was initially seeking a way to keep her language skills strong, “When I moved to the area I asked my uncles if there was a place around here where I could practice my Spanish. That’s when they told me about Casa Chirilagua. When I spoke with the Volunteer Coordinator and heard about the language programs I signed up right away.”


She now enjoys keeping her Spanish in practice while giving back to the community, “I love to teach adults and I wanted to give a step forward to develop the program.” Halle also spends 1-on-1 time tutoring adults and building deeper relationships with them in the process.


“She is very passionate about this cause and wants to change the world by doing this,” says Liz, Casa´s Family and Adults Program Coordinator.


We applaud Halle for seeing a need and responding by doing her part!


Meet Halle in Casa’s Facebook Live video of her explaining the class (in Spanish!) to prospective Spanish literacy students.


We are a community of people “learning together to love our neighbors as ourselves” in a Latino neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia.

As a faith-based Christian non-profit with a small staff and over 100 volunteers, we serve alongside more than 100 families and their children (1st-12th grades) each week through our community programs.

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Our relational network of volunteers and donors reflects a diverse group of individuals from all over the Washington, D.C. metro area. As a non-profit, we rely on the community for assisting program directors on-site, being mentors, supplying the needs of our food pantry, and everything in between. Each member of our Casa community holds a unique gift, whether time, talent or treasure.