Most of our participants are reading at or below a fifth grade level, have not completed high school, are economically disadvantaged, are often in difficult circumstances, and are sometimes identified as “at-risk.” Participants are recruited within community centers and social service organizations that serve minority, ethnic, elderly, or disadvantaged populations. People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos enters non-traditional “classrooms” and sparks a love of reading and learning in those who, in many cases, have not succeeded in school. Those who previously thought that a public, formal, educational discussion would be intimidating are surprised by the relaxed, supportive, non-threatening atmosphere created by our method for conducting the dialogues. Therefore, the reading and discussion of complex texts becomes a pleasurable experience.
In total, People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos serves approximately 1,000 individuals each year. The program is unique in that we do not charge our participants or partner agencies any fees for our services. Grants from foundations and government agencies, as well as contributions from individuals, support our partnerships with community organizations to enhance wrap-around services for individuals in transition.