The Oakland City Council Life Enrichment Committee approved a $72,000 grant Monday for Second Start, an adult literacy program that serves people over age 16 who read below a fourth-grade level.

The money, which now goes to the City Council for final approval, would pay for staff, tutors and support in the computer learning center for the 200 people in the program.

In addition to weekly tutoring sessions, Second Start students have access to a computer lab and optional classes on practical math, writing and more.

“We’ve never had a problem getting the grant money before,” said Norma Jones, executive-director of Second Start. “I’d be very surprised if it didn’t get approved.”

The literacy grant submitted to the city council committee stated three areas Second Start positively affects the community: economics, the environment and equality of opportunity.

Students from Second Start are more likely to get jobs, vote and find better opportunities in housing and education, according to student tracking by the program. While it largely runs on volunteers, the city pays for one full and two part-time staff members.

Second Start has also found that students have continued to community colleges, jobs and promotions. Ex-students have also reported an increased interest in reading among their children.

“Second Start has provided tangible improvements to the Oakland community,” said Jones. “I’m looking forward to the further improvements the grant money will allow us to make in the community.”

The City Council will vote on the grant the first Wednesday of October.

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