Saturday, February 24, 2018

Sign the Petition to Increase Funding for Adult Education via ProLiteracy

Sign the Petition to Increase Funding for Adult Education

The lawmakers on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-H) need to know that funding for adult education is essential to the success of adult learners. They need to know that this funding creates a return on investment for economic development. Everyone in every state needs to get involved since the full Senate will vote on appropriations.

It's just one easy step to show our collective voice.

Let's send a signal of public opinion to help bring about change. Officials may ignore individual messages, but the more names that we get on our petition, the harder it will be to ignore.

Your Senators Need to Hear From You!

We also urge you to contact your Senator directly to help promote the importance of supporting a significant increase in the AEFLA/WIOA Title II line item. The Senators on the subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-H) need to know that funding for adult education is essential to the success of adult learners, and a return on investment for economic development.

Why Adult Literacy? The 7 Impacts of Low Adult Basic Skills

Why not focus on health, workforce development, or poverty relief? The answer is simple— adult literacy intersects with all of these. We won’t solve these socioeconomic problems unless we build a more literate adult population.

Adult basic education programs bring a powerful return on investment, impacting the lives of Americans, their families, and communities. Adult basic education helps adults break cycles of inter-generational poverty and illiteracy by providing adults the skills they need to succeed as workers, parents, and citizens. Research shows that better-educated parents raise better-educated, more successful children who are less likely to end up in poverty or prison.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Correctional Education via Rand

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Correctional Education
A Meta-Analysis of Programs That Provide Education to Incarcerated Adults
Rand: 2013 by Lois M. Davis, Robert Bozick, Jennifer L. Steele, Jessica Saunders, Jeremy N. V. Miles

After conducting a comprehensive literature search, the authors undertook a meta-analysis to examine the association between correctional education and reductions in recidivism, improvements in employment after release from prison, and learning in math and in reading. Their findings support the premise that receiving correctional education while incarcerated reduces an individual's risk of recidivating. They also found that those receiving correctional education had improved odds of obtaining employment after release. The authors also examined the benefits of computer-assisted learning and compared the costs of prison education programs with the costs of reincarceration.

Key Findings
Correctional Education Improves Inmates' Outcomes after Release

➤Correctional education improves inmates' chances of not returning to prison.

➤Inmates who participate in correctional education programs had a 43 percent lower odds of recidivating than those who did not. This translates to a reduction in the risk of recidivating of 13 percentage points.

➤It may improve their chances of obtaining employment after release. The odds of obtaining employment post-release among inmates who participated in correctional education was 13 percent higher than the odds for those who did not participate in correctional education.

➤Inmates exposed to computer-assisted instruction learned slightly more in reading and substantially more in math in the same amount of instructional time.

➤Providing correctional education can be cost-effective when it comes to reducing recidivism.  READ MORE >>

Thursday, February 22, 2018

How Tech Companies Can Help Upskill the U.S. Workforce via HBR

How Tech Companies Can Help Upskill the U.S. Workforce
HBR: 2.20.2018 by Kausik Rajgopal & Steve Westly

Software businesses are disrupting generations-old industries, from agriculture to entertainment. Programming wizards are amassing billion-dollar fortunes, and this may be just the beginning. Even average tech employees in their mid-twenties are raking in 6-figure paychecks.

Unfortunately, a huge section of the workforce cannot capitalize on these opportunities. In 2015, there were 7 million jobs that required some level of coding skills, and programming jobs are growing 12% faster than market average. But to meet this demand and address income inequality, we have to provide better access to technical learning for those who work in lower-paying industries.

It’s now time for business, particularly technology companies, to harness the power of technology to help turn the tide. Three key initiatives can help:

➤ Supplementing K-12 with vocational training programs
➤ Increasing access to job retraining for adults
➤ Empowering lower-skilled workers to continuously “upskill” on the job.

By 2020, 65% of all jobs will require some college training. At current graduation rates, the U.S. will fall short of this goal by 5 million workers. Vocational Technical (VoTech) training programs for high school students are key to helping them specialize in in-demand technology-related fields, and be ready for the job market.  READ MORE >>

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Literacy – Spanning North America :: Wichita Falls TX :: Taber AB :: Lincoln CA

Literacy: Spanning North America      

Could you pass the citizenship test?
Times Record News: 1.02.2018 by Sara Shelton, Director-Wichita Adult Literacy Council

I wrote a column a few years back asking readers if they were required to become a U.S. citizen would they be able to pass the test. I gave examples of the questions that potential new students must pass. Many readers who were born in the US approached me and told me they failed miserably. I thought it would be fun to revisit the test. Let’s see how you do. Could you pass?

When immigrants want to become U.S. citizens, they must take a civics test as part of their naturalization interview before an immigration officer. Could you pass it?  Wichita Adult Literacy Council, Inc. (WALC) and Region 9 Adult Education have several adult students in our programs who are working toward passing the test but they must go through several steps first and they are not easy. Of the many steps, the two most important require money and knowledge.

Immigration reform is a numbers game. And one of those numbers is $725 for form N-400 the Application for Naturalization. This includes the $640 citizenship application fees and the $85 background check fee. This fee is the process that turns green card-holders into citizens. After filling out the application and paying the fee the most difficult step is the Naturalization test which involves going to a citizenship interview where you must pass an English and a civics test. Locally, we do not have a testing site, so the applicant must go to Dallas to the office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you fail either test the first time, USCIS will give you another opportunity to take the test in an appointment several weeks after the interview that you failed. If you do not pass both tests, you cannot become a naturalized U.S. citizen, and USCIS will deny your application. This test begins the moment the applicant meets with the (USCIS) Officer who conducts the test. He may say, “Hello, how long have you been in the US and do you enjoy living here?”. If you do not answer each question properly, you may ask for the officer to repeat it, but if you can’t answer the questions, you may have already failed.  READ MORE  >>

Small-town Alberta welcomes Mennonites with English lessons
'I never had a chance to go to school,' says oldest daughter in a family of 12
CBC: 2.08.2018 by Allison Dempster

Mina Pener is 21, and she's never been to school. But that's not about to stop her.

Undaunted, she unpacks her hot pink pencil case and opens a thick workbook before her English class begins at the adult learning centre in the small town of Taber in southern Alberta.

Like most of her approximately 50 fellow students, Pener comes from a traditional Mennonite family. She's one of a dozen children.

"I was the oldest daughter, so I did all the housework from a really young age. So I never had a chance to go to school," said Pener, who grew up speaking the dialect Low German.

Her family moved around to find farm work. She was born in Leamington, Ont., and her family lived in Chihuahua, Mexico for a time. In Taber, Pener has a part-time house-cleaning business.

The family's latest move may be permanent. Soon after arriving in Taber five months ago, Pener started learning to read and write English at the learning centre.

"I just want to have a better career for myself. I would like to go to a beauty school," she said. "So, if I can read and get my high school diploma, I really want to do that."  READ MORE >>

Library’s Family Literacy Program offers free personal tutors
Lincoln News Messenger: 2.03.2018 by Carol Percy

For residents who need help with English language skills or for those who would like to volunteer as a literacy mentor, sign up now at the Lincoln Public Library. Services are free, according to library officials.

The library at Twelve Bridges Drive is a registered provider of Adult and Family Literacy services. Part of the California State Library Literacy Services, the program supports state residents by providing services to adults with low-literacy and their families through California public libraries, according to Michael Givan, the Lincoln Public Library’s family literacy coordinator.

The adult and family literacy program is for two groups: participants who are 16 years or older and are not concurrently enrolled in school and their family members.

The adult participant “would be seeking literacy services for himself or herself in English and would be able to do the (library’s) intake interview in English,” Givan said.

The Twelve Bridges library also offers additional family literacy services to adult learners with children under the age of 5.

The library’s mission is to help learners improve basic literacy skills, according to Givan.

“Learner-centered literacy instruction supports adult learners and their families in their major life roles as community members, workers, family members and life-long learners,” Givan said.  READ MORE >>

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Help Increase Federal Government Support for Adult Education and Family Literacy via NCL

Help increase federal government support for adult education and family literacy
National Coalition for Literacy: 2.16.2018 by Christy Rhodes Policy and Legislation

Would you like to see the federal government increase its funding support for adult education and family literacy? If so, now is the time to speak up.

The Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-H) of the Senate Appropriations Committee is currently working on funding allocations for this fiscal year. The Senators on the subcommittee need to know that the funding provided through the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) is essential to the success of the adult education system, and that an increase in that funding is supported by the Senators’ constituents. Initial decisions on funding allocations will be made over the next two weeks, so your Senators need to hear from you right away. This is particularly important if you live in one of these states:

• Mississippi:
Senator Cochran is the Chair of the Appropriations Committee

• Vermont: Senator Leahy is the Ranking Member on the Appropriations Committee

• Missouri: Senator Blunt is the Chair of the Labor-H Subcommittee

• Washington: Senator Murray is the Ranking Member on the Labor-H Subcommittee

• Any state whose Senator serves on the Labor-H subcommittee

Eventually, though, the full Senate will vote on appropriations, so everyone in every state has an important role to play in promoting the importance of adult education and family literacy. You can find contact information for your Senators here:  READ MORE >>

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Pearl River Co MS :: Green Bay WI :: Milwaukee WI :: Albany NY

Literacy: Spanning the U.S.     

Library uses donation to start a special collection
Picayune Item: 12.27.2017 by Mrudvi Bakshi

The Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library recently received a $500 donation from Pearl River County resident Robert Woodyard in memory of his late wife Mary Ann Woodyard.

The funds were used by the library to create a special collection of fiction and non-fiction books that can be easily read by mentally challenged adults in the community.

Mary Ann dedicated her life to education, teaching in various capacities at several schools in Pearl River County.

Carol Phares, director of the Pearl River County Library System, said the Woodyards were inseparable and after her passing Robert wanted to do something to memorialize her influence to the community as a teacher.

The library used the donation to establish an easy to read book collection now named the “Dr.Mary Ann Woodyard née Baker Adult Literacy Collection.”
=Phares said the collection consists of high interest books written on a first to third grade level so they can be easily comprehended.  READ MORE >>

Doing the Right Thing: Literacy Green Bay
WFRV: 12.22.2017 by Millaine Wells

You do not have to be a teacher to help people learn.

In fact, Literacy Green Bay is in need of dozens of volunteers to help people perfect their reading and writing skills.

Local five's Millaine Wells shows us the impact it can make.  WATCH VIDEO

Folks in need blanketed with warmth at Repairers of the Breach
FOX6: 12.30.2017 by Derica Williams

Whipping winds and frosty temperatures are making for dangerously cold conditions outside, and folks in need of warmth are being blanketed with gear and you can help give them a reprieve. Winter basics that seem like a luxury for some.

"Coats, hats, scarfs, gloves, thermal gear, thermal socks, mittens," Ralpheal Gordon with Repairers of the Breach listed off.

"It's very cold," Laticea King said.

They provide emergency shelter in these frigid temps while also giving people access to services.

"We are open from 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.," Gordon said. "Our employment assistance program which is designed to help people who are looking for a job or who just got one and haven't got their first paycheck we had a program that's designed to give them bus fare bus passes. We also have a learning center that helps with adult literacy. We are stating a health literacy class and financial literacy. WATCH VIDEO

Reading mends sundered families
While incarcerated, prisoners record their words for children to hear
Times Union: 12.31.2017 by Madison Iszler

Of the myriad effects a parent's incarceration can have on his or her child, strained communication is one of the most devastating: trying to keep in touch through brief visits, letters and phone calls that can't replace the presence of a mother or father is challenging.

Several doctoral students at the University at Albany are trying to help preserve the connection between a parent and a child when the former goes to prison — through reading.

Through "Reading for Change," a program offered at the Albany County jail, a participating inmate selects a book to read to their child and is recorded reading the book out loud in a soundproof room. The CD recording and the book are then mailed to their child. Book titles are preselected and encompass a range of age groups.

"We want to mitigate some of the unintended consequences incarceration has on people other than the inmates," said Tyler Bellick, a doctoral student at UAlbany involved in the project. "This is a way to foster an attachment between a parent and their child."  READ MORE >>

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Your Fundraising Toolkit: What You Need When “Making the Ask” via INS Group

Your Fundraising Toolkit: What You Need When “Making the Ask”
INS Group: 2.15.2018

You’ve built the relationships and scheduled the appointments. Now, with the following resources on hand, making the ask – and securing gifts – will be more effective than without them:

> Elevator or grocery line speech
> Case statement document
> Strategic fund development plan
> FAQ (frequently asked questions) one-sheet
> Annual report
> Rack card or tri-fold brochure
> Fact sheets
> Corporate or church packets
> Business cards