Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor's Office for Adult Literacy Supports Access to Adult Literacy Resources During COVID-19 Crisis

May 4, 2020 -- During this challenging time with COVID-19, many of the most vulnerable in our community may be experiencing profound and significant changes in their lives due to loss of jobs and income because of the economic downturn. A time of uncertainty is when some Houstonians need adult literacy resources and support more than ever.

The Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy (MOAL) is helping to support our adult learners by coordinating and communicating a consistent evidence-based approach to improving their skills. Working together with adult literacy providers throughout the region, MOAL makes it possible for learners to access free online resources including virtual training and education for those adults who may need to look for new employment during these uncertain times.

“Literacy is important at any point in time but becomes critical during a public health crisis and economic hardships," said Mayor Sylvester Turner. "I applaud the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy in working with providers to make these services available for free. This will help Houston’s most vulnerable better prepare to cope with these difficult times.”

“Any time the economy slows down, people turn to education and training to improve their competencies and their chances to find a job,” said Federico Salas-Isnardi, Director of the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy. “Literacy skills are always among the most needed, but a health crisis just as the COVID-19 pandemic makes it very clear that adults with low literacy are vulnerable when it comes to finding new employment but also, critically, when it comes to staying healthy and protecting the health of their families.”

Presently, Houston area adult literacy program locations are closed temporarily. However, adult learners can continue their education through virtual lessons that allow them to learn at their own pace using their personal devices, from their homes. In addition to free online adult literacy offerings available from the Houston Public Library, MOAL makes available an extensive listing of free online resources and support services from local, regional and national literacy providers through its website.  Visit the City’s website at for additional details.

About Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy (MOAL)
On September 17, 2019, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner officially launched the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy (MOAL.) The MOAL focuses on enhancing adult literacy advocacy and awareness and its impact on our economy, communities, families and individuals. The MOAL also promotes awareness, advocates, and helps build capacity for Adult Literacy and Adult Education causes and providers in the City of Houston.  The launch of the office was made possible by a generous grant from the CITGO Petroleum Corporation.

About the Houston Public Library
The Houston Public Library (HPL) operates 37 neighborhood libraries, three HPL Express Libraries, a Central Library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, The African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library located in the Children’s Museum of Houston. With more than eight million visits per year in person and online, HPL is committed to excellent customer service and equitable access to information and programs by providing library customers with free use of a diverse collection of printed materials and electronic resources, Internet, laptop and computer use, and a variety of database and reference resources with live assistance online 24/7.

For further information, visit the Houston Public Library at, on Twitter @houstonlibrary, on Facebook – houstonlibrary or call 832-393-1313.