Literacy: Spanning the U.S.
Central Coast adult literacy programs connect tutors and learners
KCBX: 12.28.2016 by Greta Mart
In San Luis Obispo County, an estimated 30,000 adults have limited literacy skills in English. In Santa Barbara County, about 18 percent of adults lack basic English literacy skills, that’s 50,000 people. And in Monterey County, according to Panetta Institute for Public Policy, 28 percent of adults - or eighty to ninety thousand people - are unable to read or understand written English.
Trying to decrease those numbers are several programs around the Central Coast, offered by public libraries or non-profits. They are all part of the California State Library Literacy Service, which partially funds the programs.
In Santa Barbara County, there is the public library system's Adult Literacy Program and the Central Coast Literacy Council, which serves Santa Maria, Solvang, Lompoc, Los Alamos and Orcutt. The Monterey County Free Libraries’ Adult Literacy Program offers one-on-one tutoring or conversation groups. And in San Luis Obispo, Literacy for Life teaches 400 to 600 adults each year their English ABCs, said executive director Bernadette Bernadi. READ MORE @ LISTEN
Connor eager to help improve lives
Commercial News: 12.29.2016 by Carol Roehm
Brandice Connor is dedicated to helping others in the community.
Connor spent two years as a crisis intervention counselor at Crosspoint Human Services, supporting individuals experiencing crisis or trauma, before becoming the literacy coordinator at Danville Area Community College this fall.
In her new role, Connor will continue to help others; this time helping individuals to gain the literacy and math skills needed to land a job or improve their quality of life.
In addition, Connor will be in charge of recruiting and training the volunteer tutors who work with the adult students to help them read, write and figure math better.
Laura Williams, director of adult education, said 85 students currently receive help through the Reader’s Route literacy program at DACC, which is entering its 32nd year.
The Reader’s Route pairs volunteer tutors with adults who are 16 years old or older and who read below the ninth-grade level, whose math skills are below the ninth-grade level or who are English Language Learners.
“It’s not just for GED students but for members of the community who need help,” Connor said of the program. “It’s for anyone in the community that needs literacy or math help.” READ MORE @
Mississippi children aren’t the only ones struggling to learn to read
Sun Herald: 1.10.2017 by Ellen Ciurczak
When Victoria Norman was growing up in Laurel, she didn’t have anyone to help her with her homework. She and her brother were raised by her grandparents, who didn’t do much reading and couldn’t assist with her English lessons.
“I wasn’t that good in my English class,” she said. “When we had to read the stories and take the test, I would get low grades.
“I understood most of the words, but as they got bigger, it was a problem — and putting the punctuation in and the spelling.”
Norman, 28, dropped out of high school near the beginning of 12th grade when she had a child. Her literacy problems plagued her until she recently enrolled in adult education classes at Jones County Junior College. There, she got the reading and vocabulary help she needed.
“When I first came, my score was low, but when I tested on a harder book, I improved a lot and it just kept going on and on,” she said. “The stuff I know now I never even learned in high school.”
Many Mississippians never get the help Norman has received. According to the most recent figures available — from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy — 16 percent of adults in this state are illiterate. The national rate, according to a study conducted in late April by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, is 14 percent.
In Mississippi, there are few places for adults who can’t read to turn.
“There are only about 23 entities in the state who do (reading instruction),” said Caleb Smith, director of adult education at JCJC. “That includes 15 community colleges. There are a few school districts that do this around the state.”
Smith said a lack of literacy skills puts an adult at severe disadvantage. READ MORE @