Sunday, May 28, 2017

Literacy – Spanning the US :: San Diego CA :: Cleveland,Cleveland, OH OH :: Kansas City MO

Sharing the magic of reading
Mission Valley News: 5.12.2017 by Jeff Clemetson

Five questions for the CEO of Mission Valley-based literacy group

Over 500,000 adults in San Diego County have a below-standard level of literacy, according to the San Diego Council on Literacy (SDCOL).

This is why the Mission Valley-based nonprofit group works to “unite the community to support literacy through advocacy, partnerships, resources, and coordination,” according to its mission statement.

SDCOL’s vision is to develop literacy programs with partners throughout the county that are data-driven and produce outcomes that are measurable, lasting and will have an impact on the illiteracy problem in the area.

The council is led by CEO Jose Cruz, who has 32 years of experience working in literacy. In addition to heading SDCOL, he also serves as vice-chair of the board of directors of ProLiteracy, the world’s largest literacy organization, and is past-president of both the National Alliance of Urban Literacy Coalitions and the International Dyslexia Association of San Diego.

Cruz was recognized as Educator of the Year by the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2003; and was a KPBS Local Hero for education in 2007. In 2014, Cruz was given a Latino Champion Award for “Civic Leader of the Year” by the Union-TribuneREAD MORE @

Over 20 years, Seeds of Literacy has helped thousands of adults improve their basic skill levels.

Seeds of Literacy has grown since 1997 to serve ever more adult students. Our 20 Year Timeline tracks the meaningful changes and accomplishments of Seeds of Literacy and our students, tutors, and staff.

Seeds of Literacy’s continued growth reaps countless benefits for our tenacious students. With two locations, one each on Cleveland’s east and west sides

registration for new students four times a week
25 class sessions available weekly
and new tutor training sessions every month…

Our accessibility and flexibility have been a central value in our approach to education and a cornerstone of our success.  READ MORE @

Low literacy among adults in Kansas City is more common than you think

Kansas City Star: 11.27.2016 by Kevin Derohanian, M & C Coor., Literacy KC

A topic that seems to go largely unnoticed and therefore unaddressed is low literacy rates among adults. With an estimated 225,000 adults in the Kansas City metro area labeled as functionally illiterate, or reading below a fifth-grade level, it is important that the community work together to reach out and help these individuals.

Adult literacy is one of those issues that many people will learn about and say, “Oh my, I had no idea this was an issue in my community.” However, it is highly likely that you know someone who is struggling with some form of low literacy; you just may not realize it.

It is such a complex issue because it is a hidden issue for many people. It can be challenging to identify low literacy because of the associated stigma that causes many of these individuals to be ashamed and therefore not make it known that they need help. --Many literate adults don’t naturally look out for illiteracy within the adult community, as they likely learned to read and write at a young age and take these skills for granted. An important part of improving adult literacy rates is increasing awareness that illiteracy exists in the first place.

Local organizations like Literacy KC are working to improve the reading, writing, math and digital skills of adults in the Kansas City metro area who may be struggling. The definition of adult literacy today is different from what it was 30 years ago when Literacy KC began. What originally primarily meant the ability to read and write has expanded to include increased focus on math skills, health and financial literacy, and digital skills. The primary reason for these changes involves the advancements in the skills needed to be a fully integrated member of society.  READ MORE @

Saturday, May 27, 2017

National Literacy & Library Events :: June 2017

National Literacy & Library Events :: June 2017

Literacy & Library Events & Conferences
- Local, California and National -
the Southern California Library Literacy Network
for more information

Jun 01   Library 2.017 Worldwide Virtual Conference Digital Literacy
Jun 09+ Adult Education Research Conference University of Oklahoma
Jun 11+ National History Day Contest University of Maryland
Jun 15   Book Summit 2017 Toronto
Jun 15   Why Reading Matters Conference Long Island City NY
Jun 21   Scholastic's Reading Summit Chicago Rosemont IL
Jun 22   ReadingCon Collaborating for Literacy NIU Naperville IL
Jun 22+ American Library Association Chicago IL
Jun 29   Scholastic Reading Summit Raleigh Durham NC
Jun 29+ National Storytelling Conference Kansas City MO

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Little Rock AR :: San Diego CA :: San Luis Obispo CA

Volunteers partner with Literacy Action to teach female inmates how to read
THV11: 3.08.2017

In January 2016, volunteers From Westover Hills Presbyterian Church partnered with to provide one-on-one tutoring through the separation glass with the female inmates at the county jail.

One year later, in response to the rising interest in tutoring services, Literacy Action, through volunteer tutors from Westover Hills, now offers literacy classes to 15-20 women once a week in a more traditional classroom at PCRDF.

Beginning this year, Literacy Action will also begin offering its first literacy class for male inmates. There are already 4 students signed up and eager for the opportunity to improve their literacy skills. Sara Drew, Executive Director of Literacy Action, comments, -"Some of the men in this program are veterans, so this gives them a chance not only to voice their war-time experiences, but also an opportunity to improve their employability when they leave the facility."

Meeting in a classroom has given the students more opportunities to interact with their volunteer tutors to receive instruction and to complete group projects. The student population is constantly shifting as women transfer to prison, return home, or enter rehabilitation programs. Yet, these challenges do not deter the students from learning. By working on vocabulary, punctuation and writing, the tutors are able to improve the skills that inmates will carry with them as they move forward in life.

One particular student, one of the youngest in the class at 18, plans to return to college. She wants to make her family proud of her again and improve her life by getting a good job. "We know that recidivism is lowered when we can educate the inmates and give them opportunities to change their lives," said Pulaski County Sheriff Doc Holladay.  WATCH VIDEO 📺

Eat Drink Read - San Diego Council on Literacy
KUSI: 5.13.2017 by Milo Loftin

A signature foodie mainstay, this year's "Eat.Drink.Read. A Culinary Event for Literacy" will challenge chefs to think outside the "book".

"One in five adults in San Diego possess below-basic literacy skills," says Jose Cruz, CEO of SDCOL. "Many of these adults are also parents, and their children become adversely affected by low-level reading skills at home. We work to address this problem through our literacy programs which are funded, in part, through Eat.Drink.Read."  WATCH VIDEO  📺

2017 Tutor Recognition Event

Thank you to all who attended out Tutor Recognition Event this past Saturday at the Library Community Room! We had a wonderful turnout and enjoyed celebrating the hard work and achievements of our valued tutors! We were also proud to present the Jan Breidenbach Lifetime Achievement Award in loving memory of Henry “Jim” Rooney, a tutor who devoted over a thousand hours of time through his many years with our program. Special thank you to the event chair, Sharaya Olmeda, as well as the other event coordinators, Michael Miller, Val Houdyshell and Judy Scott. We would also like to recognize Faten Bsaili who spoke courageously about her experiences with the program at the event.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Welcome to Literacy Trivia :: Voices For Literacy

Welcome to Literacy Trivia

Voices For Literacy

We know you love to read…but how much do you know about literacy?
Start Literacy Trivia now, and find out!

On the way, you’ll learn more about Voices for Literacy, a group of committed organizations who are leveraging their expertise and resources to ensure that everyone has an opportunity for an education no matter their age.

Our ultimate goal is to have literacy advocates in every corner of the United States — people like you who value reading and will stand up to ensure literacy for all.

Have fun…and then invite your friends to take the challenge too. Together, we can advocate for an America in which everyone has the power to read, write and make their voice heard!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Brooklyn NY :: Milwaukee WI :: Athens-Limestone Co AL

Immigrant, advocate groups rally at Borough Hall to protest proposed education cuts
1,800 Brooklyn students fear $12 million budget cut in de Blasio proposal
Brooklyn Eagle: 5.10.2017 by John Alexander

“Education is a right, budget cuts are wrong,” was shouted from the steps of Borough Hall on Wednesday morning, as students from all across the borough joined elected officials to protest a feared $12 million budget cut in education programs. They lined the steps of Borough Hall holding up signs protesting proposed cuts for English programs that they believe are essential for immigrants to learn the language and find better jobs.
Councilmember and Immigration Committee Chair Carlos Menchaca addresses crowd at education budget rally.

According to the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL), a collection of nonprofit community-based organizations, libraries and City of New York (CUNY) branches that provide English language and other adult literacy programs, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2018 Executive Budget contains a $12 million funding cut that will eliminate literacy classes for more than 5,500 students throughout the city, including 1,800 in Brooklyn alone.  READ MORE @

Adult literacy organizations to merge
Milwaukee Business Journal: 5.11.2017 by David Schuyler

The two major adult education services organization in Milwaukee — Literacy Services of Wisconsin and Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services — have agreed to combine forces in an effort to expand their reach to students and increase job readiness for those in need.

Both organizations’ boards anticipate a final approval of the merger by July 1.

The combination will represent the culmination of the more than six months of financial analysis, strategic planning with board members and other business leaders, and investigation with staff and clients, said Ginger Duiven, executive director of Literacy Services of Wisconsin, who will serve as executive director of the merged organization.

The merged organization will be named Literacy Services of Wiscosnin [sic] Inc.

“We are excited to announce this partnership that we’re confident will greatly enhance our already successful, decades-long efforts,” Duiven said in a press release.

Joining forces should allow the organization to attract more philanthropic and corporate support and operate more efficiently, Duiven said.

“LSW and MALS are two of the strongest local organizations providing adult basic education, including GED and job readiness training.  READ MORE @

Learn to Read Council gets Dollar General grant
News Courier: 5.12.2017 by Lauren Thornton Tobin

In an effort to boost local literacy efforts, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation again awarded funds to the Learn to Read Council of Athens-Limestone County.

The adult literacy grant will help fund the council's salaries, classroom materials, computer software and supplies.

The adult program is for ages 16 and up, and helps those who have low-level reading skills, use English as a second language and struggle with math.

“We've had some (students) who passed everything on their GED except math,” Andrews said. “We had three math students last year who all passed the test and got their GED after coming here.”

Like the children's program, the adult program features different platforms for students to learn from.

“We have one-on-one instructors if students prefer or if they want a classroom setting, they can work in the computer lab,” Andrews said.

Andrews said she knows it can be intimidating for some adults to ask for reading help, but she emphasized the council's student confidentiality.  READ MORE @

Friday, May 19, 2017

Further Budget Cuts to Adult Education Hurt Everyone :: ProLiteracy

Further Budget Cuts to Adult Education Hurt Everyone
ProLiteracy Blog: 5.18.2017 by Peter Waite

The budget proposes at least a 16% reduction for adult basic skills programs and even greater reductions in other areas.

We have seen an early preview of the president’s proposed education budget for fiscal year 18. The formal budget will be out on May 24, but this preview gives us a hint of what we will see at that time.

Disappointedly, the budget proposes at least a 16% reduction for adult basic skills programs and even greater reductions in other areas. This is not a surprise considering that preliminary reductions of 13% across the board were earlier announced.

While the proposed reductions are unfortunate, the greater disappointment is that once again the awareness of adult literacy and its importance in the greater spectrum of education is not evident in this budget. The key role that adult literacy plays in the advancement of children in the K-12 system continues to be lost on policymakers and budget developers.

The undeniable link between parents and the improvement of children in public education has been proven since the early 80s. Studies by the Ford Foundation during that time flatly stated that any efforts at improving children’s literacy will FAIL without a complementary adult literacy program.

The new budget proposal once again attempts to improve the public education system by putting additional resources into charter schools, school choice, and similar K-12 initiatives, all at the expense of adult literacy programs that are critical to the success of these efforts.

At ProLiteracy, we will continue to fight the proposed federal cuts in adult literacy spending. We will do all we can to promote and underscore the critical value of adult education as it relates to families, children, and the overall health of the nation.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

House Votes to Limit Powers of First Black Librarian of Congress

House Votes to Limit Powers of First Black Librarian of Congress
San Diego Voice and Viewpoint: 5.17.2017 by Lauren Victoria Burke

In a vote of 378 to 48, the House passed legislation to take power away from the current Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden.

The legislation, H.R. 1695, was authored by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (D-Va.) and ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.), would limit the powers of the librarian. It is expected to pass the Senate and be signed into law by President Trump.

The bill makes the head of the Copyright Office, the Register of Copyrights, a presidential appointment that would have to be confirmed by the Senate, rather than an appointment by the Librarian of Congress, as it has been since 1870. The bill also limits the position of Librarian of Congress to a ten-year term.

The previous Librarian of Congress, James Billington, served in the position for 28 years.

President Barack Obama appointed Hayden the 14th Librarian of Congress on February 24, 2016. =She is the first African American to hold the position, as well as the first woman to be the Librarian of Congress, in the agency’s history. On March 23, legislation was introduced to block Hayden from appointing the next Register of Copyrights. That legislation passed the House on April 26.

Supporters of the bill argued that the legislation would help to modernize the Copyright Office and make it more accountable to Congress. Attempts to contact the office of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) for details on why he authored H.R. 1695, were not answered.

“This bill serves no purpose other than to take power away from the Librarian of Congress and give it to powerful lobbyists, who will have a major say in who runs the Copyright Office,” wrote Michael Masnick on on April 26. “It’s a bad bill, and it’s a gift to Hollywood.”  READ MORE @