After Misty Jones served eight months in prison, she needed a boost to get back into the workforce. She found what she needed with the team from Operation New Hope and its Ready4Work program, which is designed to assist ex-offenders re-enter the workforce. During her time with New Hope, Jones discovered programs in the city that she never knew existed, including our digital literacy program through Project LEAP.
LEAP, or Library Enhanced Access Program, a JAX Journey funded anti-crime initiative, is designed to build outreach programs in targeted areas. LEAP has three main components: early literacy, digital literacy, and adult literacy.
Jones took part in the digital literacy portion of LEAP in conjunction with Operation New Hope. Although she considered herself to be computer literate, she was surprised. “Not only did I learn things I never knew,” Jones said, “I learned things I was able to pass on to others.”
The skills she gained and the library resources she learned during her time with LEAP have helped her grow personally and professionally. When Jones instructs her trainees, part of her Jax Legal Shield business, she encourages them to use the e-book platform, Hoopla, for their Book of the Month. Through Hoopla the team has dived into inspirational reads for their required reading like Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson and Jones’ personal favorite – books such as 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player and Winning With People : Discover The People Principles That Work For You Every Time from author John Maxwell.
Hoopla wasn’t the only thing Jones gained from LEAP. Jones said LEAP staff helped her get a library card and taught her about the JAXLibrary app and more. In addition, she found herself to be more confident in other areas of technology. Jones said, “I have attended over 10 classes including Digital Photography and Photoshop that have helped me with the new position at Operation New Hope as their Marketing & Outreach Specialist.”
With the technology skills that Jones honed during her time with LEAP, as well as the library resources she now feels comfortable using, she is a true cheerleader and lifelong user of the library.
Find out more details about Project LEAP by visiting our Center for Adult Learning (CAL) or by giving us a call at 904-630-2426.