Thursday, December 12, 2019

Tackling Meta-Illiteracy via Public Libraries Online

Tackling Meta-Illiteracy
Public Libraries Online: 11.29.2019 by Nadine Kramarz

Public libraries provide Wi-Fi so that individuals in need can utilize technology such as a laptop or a smartphone. But do they know how to use it? Do they know what services are available to them? Do they know how to navigate a website? In my last post, I discussed reasons why librarians should not handle patrons’ personal devices. As a continuation, I want to look at how much help a librarian can provide for a patron with multiple illiteracies and how this affects said patrons.

Metaliteracy has been a hot topic in the library world. In their paper “Proposing a Metaliteracy Model to Redefine Information Literacy,” Jacobson and Mackey define metaliteracy as a “comprehensive model for information literacy to advance critical thinking and reflection…” In fact, this paper examines how metaliteracy is dependent upon many similar literacies interacting together in order to succeed with 21st century learning. Accepting this thinking leads me to believe that if being literate in multiple, inter-connected ways is necessary to succeed in the 21st century; then multiple-interconnected illiteracies will also stack making success more difficult for individuals.

Being computer illiterate creates challenges that public librarians are very familiar with. Basic illiteracy creates challenges that public librarians are very familiar with. Dealing with patrons who suffer from both is exponentially challenging. Most directions are written out and low literacy and reading comprehension can render a person unable to follow basic steps. Being computer illiterate means the patron is unaware of the different tools available online and the way that they interconnect. Printing out a form becomes more challenging when the person does not know the many, many different ways to copy and paste, download files, or the various formats documents can come in.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Literacy – Spanning North America :: Rio Rancho NM :: Strathmore AB :: Bluffton SC

Literacy: Spanning the US

ReadWest Celebrates 30-Years Of Adult Literacy With Dia de los Muertos Event
KRQE: 10.15.2019 by Allison Keys

ReadWest Inc. is one of the largest community-based adult literacy programs in New Mexico. The local nonprofit helps adults transform their lives by proving their ability to find work, participate in their child’s education, and become effective members of the community.

Improved literacy skills open the door for more employment opportunities, vocational programs, and higher education. The state’s economy also benefits from improved literacy as a literate workforce attracts more businesses to locate in New Mexico and provides additional opportunities and competition for skilled workers.  READ MORE >>

Library Gets Community Learning Grant Funding
Strathmore Now: 10.15.2019 by Monique Massiah

The library has received a Community Adult Learning Program grant.

A Community Adult Learning Program grant awarded to the Strathmore Municipal Library will enable the library to create two full-time positions, with one being a Literacy Services Coordinator.

The Strathmore library is the recipient of a $100,000 Community Adult Learning Program (CALP) grant from the Government of Alberta.

The grant is awarded to community-based organizations funded by Alberta-Advanced Education. They provide increased access to foundational learning opportunities like adult literacy, numeracy, English language learning, and basic digital skills.

Miranda Johnson, Director of Library Services explained, “we’ll be offering learning opportunities for adults at the most basic level in terms of foundational learning and literacy.”

She spoke of the importance of having basic literacy skills, or numeracy skills.

“Could you imagine if you couldn’t read a stop sign? How that would impact your daily life, how you contribute to the economy and support your family,” she said.

“It’s not so much that we will be offering adult education in terms of hobbies, or career support. It’s more of the very basic literacy and foundational learning, that will be our approach,” said Johnson.  READ MORE >>

Literacy Center Studies Open New Doors For Eager Students
Bluffton Sun: 10.15.2019 by Gwyneth J. Saunders

Like most night school students, the people coming through the door have just come from their jobs, possibly gulping down a hurried bite to eat en route. For the next two hours, they will absorb as much information as they can and then head home or to a second job.

These aren't ordinary students. The adults registered with South Carolina Adult Education are taking classes at the Literacy Center in Bluffton.

The current students come from 30 countries and speak 10 different languages. Out of the 433 enrolled, nearly 25 percent have degrees in law, medicine, finance and other subjects.

Success in their studies here will open many more doors when they have mastered English as a second language, or enhanced their math, reading and writing abilities. Some will earn their General Education Diploma (GED).

When Angelica Diaz and her family moved to Bluffton two years ago, she signed up for classes right away. It was a way to regain the English skills she had 20 years ago.

"When you don't practice one language, you don't have anything," Diaz said. "My goal is to learn English for everything in life, and find a job for something I did in Venezuela."  READ MORE >>

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

5 Ways Comic Books Can Improve Literacy Skills via ProLiteracy

5 Ways Comic Books Can Improve Literacy Skills
ProLiteracy Blog: 11.08.2018 by Jennifer Vecchiarell

Being able to read and write can be a superpower for anyone—so why not learn by reading about superheroes? Comic books can be used as a great tool for improving literacy skills, not just for children, but adults too.

At a 2016 Comic-Con in San Diego, California, a panel of education professionals shed some light on the superpowers that comics are filled with, both figuratively and literally. “Idioms, homonyms, homophones—you can see that clearly in the play between text and pictures,” said Lalitha Nataraj, a panelist and librarian. “For that reason, comics are wonderful.”

Another panelist uses Chris Claremont’s X-Men comic book to explain one of the most significant roles comic books play in building literacy skills. “You have Colossus, and he’s this big, giant metal guy. You get a really good sense of what the word colossus means and that’s a good 10-cent word. Banshee’s power is screaming. You have these characters that embody the vocabulary words that they are. That’s something that’s a fun way to learn new words, in addition to the contextual clues,” said James Bucky Carter, author of Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels.

There are several ways that comic books can be used to educate learners of all ages.

Adults who read at a low level or cannot read at all can be intimidated by books overflowing with text.

Reading Comprehension
The sequential artwork in comic books lays the foundation for building reading comprehension skills.

In comic books, readers are exposed to a great deal of dialogue. This especially is valuable for English language learners.

Comic books contain basic story elements such as setting, characters, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Each panel in a comic book equals one paragraph.

As mentioned above, comic books provide a baseline for learning vocabulary.  READ MORE >>

Monday, December 9, 2019

What Is Health Literacy and Why Do I Need It? via US News & World Report

What Is Health Literacy and Why Do I Need It?
U.S. News & World Report: 12.14.2018 by Lisa Esposito

DO YOU KNOW THE difference between an angiogram and angioplasty? Can you breeze through medical questionnaires and confidently navigate patient portals? Are you sure the insurance coverage you're choosing has the best deductible, premiums and copays – and do you understand what those terms really mean? When your sick child needs medicine in the middle of the night, are you certain you're giving the right dosage?

It's impossible for anyone to know everything they need to know about health and health care. That's where health literacy comes in. Health literacy isn't just about being able to fill out hospital forms or comprehend medical jargon. For patients, health literacy encompasses knowing what you don't know, feeling confident asking questions and knowing whom to ask. Health literacy skills help patients navigate a complex health care system and get the best results from their care.

On their end, doctors, nurses and pharmacists can do a lot to make themselves clearer. Using plain language to describe a disease process or explain a medical procedure helps. Showing parents or patients how to measure a medication helps. Providing reader-friendly pamphlets and educational material helps. Letting patients know whom to call when they have questions at home helps, too.

How Is Your Health Literacy?

Health literacy involves a range of abilities, skills and knowledge, including the following:

➧Navigating the health care system (includes filling out forms, finding appropriate providers and services).
➧Describing symptoms and sharing personal health information with providers.
➧Having health knowledge: how the body works, types of disease and disease causes.
➧Making connections between lifestyle (smoking, drinking, diet and exercise) and health.
➧Weighing risks and benefits of medical tests, procedures and treatments.
➧Managing chronic conditions and keeping up with self-care.
➧Numeracy: understanding and being able to work with numbers.

Terry Davis, a professor of medicine and pediatrics at the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, is a pioneer in the field of health literacy.

Health literacy itself "is sort of a jargon-y term," Davis says. "It's the ability to obtain information, understand it and use it in a way that can help you make health decisions that fit for you. It's about using health information and services. The problem is nine of 10 adults can't clearly understand materials that are commonly used in health systems and the media now."  READ MORE >>

Quick Guide to Health Literacy and Older Adults, US Dept of Health & Human Services

2019: Health Literacy in the 50 States, Health IQ (an Insurance Co.)
2018: How Health Literacy Got Started, Helen Osborne
2017: Hidden Cost of Healthcare System Complexity, Accenture
2015: Health Literacy & Patient Engagement, 12th Annual Report, US HHS Sep 2015
2011: Health Literacy Interventions Outcomes: Updated Systematic Rvw, AHRQ
2010: Health Literacy, NNLM
2010: Health Literacy: Accurate Accessible Actionable Health Info. for All, CDC
2009: Reaching America’s Health Potential Among Adults, RWJ Foundation
2009: Low Health Literacy, NAAL 2003
2004: Literacy and Health in America, ETS

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Bastrop TX :: Pleasanton CA :: Kingston NY :: Redlands CA

Literacy: Spanning the US

Bastrop Literacy Group Graduates First Class Of Future U.S. Citizens
Statesman: 10.11.2019 by Brandon Mulder

Miriam Rowe proudly stood before a small gathering in the Bastrop Public Library on Wednesday afternoon to receive her graduation certificate. Rowe had just completed several months of study in the Citizen Test Preparation Class.

All that lies between her and U.S. citizenship is a two-part naturalization test — the first part an English assessment that tests an applicant’s command of the language, the second part a civics test that gauges the applicant’s knowledge of U.S. government and history.

The test can be daunting to anyone seeking to become a U.S. citizen, but after the test preparation course provided by Bastrop’s Literacy Volunteer Board, Rowe — who lives in Cedar Creek after immigrating from Honduras 10 years ago — felt no intimidation.

“I think I’m ready,” she said.

Rowe was one of three students in the Literacy Volunteer Board’s new Citizenship Test Preparation Class, which the group rebooted this year after a nearly 10-year hiatus. It’s a small group, said the board's interim president Lilly Vara, but it’s a good starting point.  READ MORE >>

East Bay Senior Citizens Launch Program To Help Teach Immigrant Employees English
Mercury News: 10.11.2019 by Angela Ruggiero

When residents in a retirement community would leave notes for Claudia Gonzalez, the housekeeper often was not sure what they wanted her to do.

Gonzalez, who immigrated from Mexico, could only understand a little English. But now, thanks to an innovative program at the community, she can even decipher her 401(k) statements.

“I feel more comfortable, more secure, because I don’t need help,” she said.

Gonzalez, 51, works at the Stoneridge Creek senior living community, which has begun offering its employees a resident-driven program: free English tutoring once a week, and employees are even paid for their time. The tutors are volunteers — residents of the retirement community who are former teachers, engineers, pilots or have experience teaching English as a Second Language.  READ MORE >>

Ulster Literacy Association Receives Commitment to the Community Award
Daily Freeman: 10.12.2019 by AriĆ©l Zangla

The Ulster Literacy Association has received the Commitment to the Community award.

For the past nearly four decades, Ulster Literacy Association has been providing one-to-one learner-centered instruction to adults in the community to help them reach their personal and professional goals, Executive Director Cassandra Beam said.

"We train volunteers to become literacy tutors who are then matched with adults who can't read and write," Beam said. She said the agency has six employees and approximately 200 volunteers working to help Ulster County adults reach their goals, whether it's getting a driver's license, completing their high school equivalency degree, becoming a citizen, or learning to read to their grandchildren, to name a few.  READ MORE >>

Give The Gift Of Literacy — Become A Reading Hero
Redlands Community News: 7.19.2019 by Jan Fowler

Can you imagine for a minute what it must feel like to receive a beautiful birthday or holiday card and not be able to read it? Or to have children or grandchildren and not be able to help them with homework?

Or perhaps be unable to advance to a job in a warehouse because you can’t read the boxes?

Not only is our ability to read crucial to our independence and overall self-image, but has a profound impact on our ability to get a job and earn a living.

It may come as a shock to you, as it did me, that there are an estimated 32 million adults throughout the country who go through the motions of daily living hiding the fact that they can’t read. And while 32 million people need literacy help, only 3 million ever get it.

Locally, however, an Adult Literacy program came about at A.K. Smiley Public Library in 2010 under the guidance of Trudy Waldron and Katherine Gifford to help meet the needs of men and women in our town who are unable to read.  READ MORE >>

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Reading In The 21st Century – Digital And Print Compared via ebookfriendly

Reading In The 21st Century – Digital And Print Compared
ebookfriendly: 12.03.2019 by Ola Kowalczyk

Take a look at a wonderful infographic designed by Morgan Beatty from University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.

The visual puts together interesting facts that help learn how reading evolves in the times when we are exposed to digital screens.

Reading digital books gives lots of benefits, naming only holding extensive collections of books always with you, customizing reading interface, easy purchasing, syncing and highlighting.

However, switching from reading print to electronic books brings disadvantages, and even threats. Here are a few examples:  READ MORE >>

Friday, December 6, 2019

6 Tips for Engaging the Families of English Language Learners via Edutopia

6 Tips for Engaging the Families of English Language Learners
Edutopia: 11 .25.2019 by Louise El Yaafouri

The most impactful plans for student growth engage not only the learner but also his or her family. In fact, research points to parents and caretakers as invaluable stakeholders in students’ academic achievement. Unfortunately, parents who are new to English are often left out of family engagement at the school level to some degree. How can we do a better job of appealing to and including the parents of English language learners (ELLs) as valuable members of the school community?

Here are six keys to successfully engaging ELL parents and families.

Engagement is a partnership between the parents and the school to serve the best interests of students.

Efforts to engage diverse parent groups must be authentic and meaningful.

Where do families’ deeply rooted cultural values show up in the school? How do parents’ cultural perspectives drive expectations for parent engagement?

Communication is essential to successful parent engagement efforts. We should aim for clarity in all of our exchanges with parents, especially those who are still new to English.

Grow English learner caretakers as leaders in the school community by providing a range of low-risk opportunities for parent input, feedback, and cultural sharing. Here are some ideas:

In building and nurturing relationships with ELL families, the value of teacher home visits cannot be understated:  READ MORE >>