Tablets for Adult Reading Students

When the pandemic hit, it seemed impossible that our basic literacy program would survive. How could we get our low-level reading students, many of them with only the most basic electronic devices and some of them not even in the digital world, on to Zoom?

Incredibly, our students have rallied. They have learned how to attend their one-on-one tutoring sessions on borrowed tablets and old phones. The parts of the lesson that they can't see because their screen is too small or outdated? They just grab pen and paper and do the work there, struggling to hold it up to the camera so the tutor can see. Or they move the screen around and try to enlarge the words. Or they skip that part if they have to. 

But it's difficult! And tablets aren't that expensive.

Let's buy tablets for these hardworking students! 


Some of the students who will receive tablets include:

F—, early 30's, from Gambia. Mom to several young children, she walls herself off in the bathroom and uses her son's phone to take part in her two tutoring sessions. 

E—, late 20's, arrived from Gambia in late 2019. He works most of the week on a delivery truck at Fresh Direct. His one night off he spends tutoring. His English and his reading are both improving! He uses an old Android phone. 

S—, late 50's. A hardworking adult with dyslexia, before the pandemic S was a dedicated student in our program, and had worked his way up to the fourth level of reading instruction. But he only has a flip phone and has no computer or tablet in the house. He has said that if he could get a tablet he would love come back to the program. 

 P—, early 30's. A young dad with extreme dyslexia, P made so much progress in his reading study that he was able to get a better job and use his reading skills on the job. He only has a smart phone and could use a tablet!
I am budgeting $100/student and looking at Dragon Touch 10"  tablets .
I set the goal for $300 so that I can start buying tablets quickly. As soon as we hit $300, the first three students will get their tablets. If we go over $300 I will keep buying more tablets! (I will end the fundraiser when we have gotten tablets for all the students.)

The Volunteer Literacy Program serves adults who read at a third grade level or lower. Many of them arrive with virtually no decoding skills-- not even 1st grade level. Some are surprised to learn that there is a code and a logic to reading and spelling, and that it is not just about memorizing all the words.

Using data-backed methods, we teach the reading code one step at a time. Our team of dedicated volunteer tutors shows up every week, often working with the same students for months or even years. Progress is slow but steady, and it's solid. Learning how to read changes the way the brain processes words; and we see that students return to us even after months away at essentially the same level. The progress sticks.

36 million Americans read below the 3rd grade level. Most adult literacy foundations have cut their basic literacy programs, as they don't know how to teach reading, and therefore, using dated and ineffective methods, they saw no improvement. So they cut the programs, leaving no options at all for the 36 million Americans who need help navigating our highly literate world.

We are using the same methodology that children in excellent school districts and with the most expensive tutors receive. Because there is no money, we use volunteers. Recruited effectively and trained properly, the volunteers are an excellent solution to this problem. They are amazing.  

This is educational justice, although it takes time, money, and patience. Thank you to all who contribute, participate and support these efforts!


  • abigail mellen 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Kenneth Phillips 
    • $200 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $385 
    • 1 mo
  • Anna phillips 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
See all


Larissa Phillips 
Earlton, NY
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more