Write to Read Featured in East Bay Express and East Bay Times

Write to Read (WTR) is a literacy program that raises teens’ reading comprehension levels up 6 grades. On average, teens enter the program with a 5th-grade reading level and by the end of the program, they reach an 11th-grade reading level. Students depart the program scoring at a level that prepares them to tackle high-school level reading and gives them an opportunity to further pursue education and employment goals.

Teens who reside at Camp Wilmont Sweeney participate in the WTR program. The camp is a transitional facility for male teens who commit low-level criminal offenses. Most of the teens who participate in the program are between the ages of 15-18 and are of color.

A former student who participated in the WTR program says, “It kind of got me to where I am today. It taught me the power of self-expression and the power of a pen. It helped me get through a tough time in my life.” Read the article in the East Bay Express for more about the WTR program, including students’ experiences.  

Cyrus Armajani is the Literacy Specialist who works with the teens in the WTR program. Read the article in the East Bay Times to learn more about his journey with the WTR program and how he works with teens to help raise their reading comprehension levels. 

About Write to Read

Write to Read is a literacy program of the Alameda County Library in collaboration with the Alameda County Probation Department and the Alameda County Office of Education. 

Many people define literacy as an individual skill. Write to Read broadens this definition by locating literacy as a social practice in our community and necessary to make society itself more just and equitable. Our philosophy is grounded in participatory educational approaches. We believe that knowledge is not a commodity housed in a book. We create knowledge through dialogue with others, through our relationship with the text in books, through our writing and responses from others, and through actions to make the world a better place.

Write to Read provides 50 or more Camp Wilmont Sweeney residents with literacy instruction in small groups and one-on-one tutorials. Camp Wilmont Sweeney, a transitional facility in the Alameda County Probation Department, provides rehabilitative services to young men who range in age from 15-18. Camp Wilmont Sweeney houses up to 90 juvenile offenders for an average of 8 months.

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