Mercy Bridges' Adult Literacy
and English as a Second Language Programs

Mercy Bridges, a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy, provides basic literacy services and English as a second language for adults eighteen years of age or older. Trained tutors teach those who may not qualify for, have access to, or have not had success with other literacy programs. Mercy Bridges collaborates with other several community literacy agencies.

Mercy Bridges offers instructional services help adult learners seeking to develop their reading and language skills. This service is provided by competent and trained Sisters, Associates, and volunteers of Mercy who work one-to-one with adults. Each is mindful that learning takes place on a variety of levels. Each works toward making the learning experience rewarding, enjoyable, and attainable. Instructional services are based on the learner’s goals, utilize practical, real life materials, free of charge and confidential.

The program provides one-on-one tutoring two hours per week in a public place (e.g. library) that is mutually agreeable to the tutor and learner. At present over 225 students have been individually interviewed and assessed. Some have little schooling while a few have advanced degrees. Several are refugees from countries such as Burma, Cuba, Somalia and the Sudan. Others are immigrants or native U.S. citizens. Mercy Bridges has expectations for learners, which is a willingness to learn, commitment to attend a weekly session of two hours per week, Completion of weekly assignments, and one year commitment to tutoring.

There is a process that potential learners to take advantage of the instructional services. An introductory meeting with the Mercy Bridges’ Director is held to gather background information and assess where the learner and tutor will begin. Once accepted into the program, participants attend a New Learners’ group meeting aimed at easing them back into a learning mode. This experience helps individuals focus on their own strengths and needs, while increasing their motivation to learn. Following this meeting, the learner will meet with his or her tutor and get acquainted. Tutoring sessions will be held two hours each week. Homework and practice time are important to progress and success.

Mercy Bridges is a not-for-profit organization, and has developed a wish list that would help them provide exceptional services to the disadvantaged:

  • Business size (#10) envelopes
  • Postage stamps (44¢)
  • Legal pads (8½ x 11)
  • Printer ink cartridges: HP 93, 95, 98
  • Batteries: AA, AAA, 9 volt
  • Copy paper
  • Laptop computer
  • Gift certificates:
    • Barnes and Noble
    • Best Buy
    • Office Max
    • Staples
    • Target
    • Wegmans
    • Monetary donations to assist with the purchase of instructional materials.

    Volunteers are needed as tutors and others are welcome to assist with office work, assessment of learners, grant writing, etc.

    Contact: Mercy Bridges • 1437 Blossom Road • Rochester, New York 14610 • 585-288-2710 ext. 526 •