Serving the Greater Grand Forks area, Project Advancing Literacy (PAL) is a volunteer library-based adult literacy program that provided one-on-one tutoring support for those who have been identified as needing to increase basic literacy skills.
PAL originated in 1987 and was formally organized with an advisory board and an office donated by Quad County Service in 1992. In 1993, PAL moved to its present location at the Grand Forks Public Library. At that time, Grand Forks was chosen as a recipient of VISTA services to work on a literacy project. Through VISTA, the Grand Forks Public Library received full-time coordinator services from 1993 until April 1996.
Though PAL has undergone various reductions in program services, it still offers 20 hours of support services each week. After volunteers are trained as tutors, they are matched with low-level or non-reading adults. PAL provides these services and learning materials at no cost to the participants. PAL's library connection provides participants with a valuable resource.
Throughout the year, PAL offers a variety of programs and services that promote adult literacy. The September Read-In Festival promotes the services and adult literacy needs through an information booth set-up at the local mall. Reading is Fundamental supports the Family of Readers Book Distribution program, which allows families to come to the library four times during the year for storytelling and activities.
PAL works with various community committees that promote volunteer community service. Since 1996, PAL has provided the steady support of approximately 25 volunteers to adults in the Greater Grand Forks area.