News & Press Releases: Costa Farms Graduation

39 students and Costa Farms workers complete rigorous nine month literacy program of third-grade level.

Alfalit Program at Costa Farms

39 students and Costa Farms workers complete rigorous nine month literacy program of third-grade level.

MIAMI, FL (July 15, 2015) – Alfalit International, Inc., a faith based, 501 (c) (3) largely volunteer-run, non-profit organization that provides literacy, basic education and pre-school curriculums, as well as conducting community development, health, disease (HIV/AIDS, Cholera and TB), nutrition and micro credit programs, celebrated the graduation of 39 students at Costa Farms on February 26 hosted by Costa Farms President & CEO, Jose I. Smith. The students, Costa Farms workers ranging in age from 18-60 years old and formerly total illiterates who never had the opportunity to learn to read and write in their country of origin, completed a rigorous nine month program of third- grade level reading, writing and arithmetic, in addition to acquiring essential life skills to become self-supporting. This marks the third graduation for this program, with a total of 85 graduates to date.

“Adult literacy is an important achievement that is the first step to eliminating poverty,” said Board of Directors President Joseph Milton. “No matter how old a person is, it is never too late to learn to read and write. Through Alfalit’s educational programs, we are helping to empower each student to change his or her life, the lives of their family, children and communities for generations to come.”

Alfalit has adapted a simple method to teach Spanish, English, French Portuguese, and some indigenous languages, to complete illiterates. This straightforward technique allows adults to learn to read and write in a short amount of time. It also allows the students to become independent and develop their sense of curiosity. Students use flash cards with pictures and syllables, combining syllables to form words. The repetitive reading of these combinations in meaningful sentences helps students retain and develop the skill of decoding unfamiliar words.

Students develop reading comprehension through complementary booklets that cover a wide range of interesting, informative, and practical topics. Writing exercises reinforce reading, and workbooks teach correct letter formation and spelling. Math workbooks present basic arithmetic operations and problems in a simple format to equip students with essential mathematical skills that will serve them in their daily activities. The program is also designed to help students acquire skills necessary to becoming self-sufficient, learning a variety of skills that help their families and communities to become self-supporting. Following completion of the program, Alfalit learners are prepared to continue learning through additional Alfalit programs or enroll in other institutions.

“We all can say that these classes, learning to read and write, have changed our lives,” said student Yolanda Hernandez. “Now we have greater confidence in ourselves and we learned that when we study and acquire knowledge, we better ourselves. I know that many of us are going to continue studying and we will follow the counsel of our teacher to learn English.”

Alfalit currently serves 24 countries throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Portugal and the United States, offering its courses in Spanish, Portuguese, English, French and Creole. The organization has been recognized at both the 2006 and 2007 White House Conferences on Global Literacy, and has received honors and the highest award for literacy development from UNESCO. For more information, please visit

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