Hesther Rippy organizes students needing literacy help and trains tutors to provide necessary services. In the spring of 1998, Rippy came to the Family Literacy Center in Orem to learn how to replicate a literacy center in Lehi. She watched the students and tutors working together and the parental involvement. She saw the students raise their skills by a half grade level each month. Rippy was determined to have this for her city and saw the need to help parents gain skill and values for supporting the literacy efforts.
Rippy attended the Family Literacy tutoring classes. She sought advice from the staff and from the governing and executive boards. She also went to the Mayor and presented her need to have Lehi City’s help. In July of 1998, Rippy was given a small area in the Lehi Arts Building for Family Literacy. Each month, the program grew and after three years of determination and long hours of work; she has gained three large rooms at the Lehi Art Center. She now has satellite programs at Sego and Lehi Elementary along with Lehi Jr. and Sr. High Schools.
Rippy also started an English as a Second Language (ESL) Program at Thanksgiving Point and now at the Lehi Center. She and her staff evaluated students at the local schools and found that many needing help with reading. Currently, the Lehi Literacy Center teaches in excess of 200 students one-on-one.
The Family Literacy Program in Lehi has been very successful under Rippy’s direction. She is making significant differences with each student as they progress to reading on grade level. She has even become skilled at screening students and being able to prescribe for them an individualized program tailored to their needs. She still helps train and work with the tutors, and everyone working with the program has observed continuous progress. The Family Literacy Program is working so well in Lehi, it is a model for other cities and elementary schools. An educator visited from Alabama in July of 2001 and has now started a center in Alabama.