Saturday, March 28, 2020

BUSTED: 11 Enduring Literacy Myths via Canada West Foundation

BUSTED: 11 Enduring Literacy Myths
Canada West Foundation: Sep 2019 by Janet Lane & T. Scott Murray


Mention that there’s a literacy problem and most people’s eyes glaze over. “Everyone can read, so there can’t be a problem!” This belief is one of Canada’s most pervasive and enduring myths about literacy.

However, while virtually everyone can read, not everyone can read well enough to realize their full economic potential. And that’s a problem for them, for their
employers and for our country.


Almost half of the working-age population needs to improve not just their ability to read, but also their ability to understand and use what they have read to meet the demands of life and work. This is not an impossible goal – it can be done. But, some enduring myths about literacy keep us from understanding and tackling the problem.

myth 1
Everyone can read so there can’t be a literacy problem

Being literate isn’t about whether or not you can read. It’s about being able to understand and use what you have read to solve a range of real-world problems in daily life and work.

Most people can read and apply what they have read when the context is familiar. However, roughly half of people aged 16 to 65 can’t use what they have read to solve problems when the content is new and the context unfamiliar.

Meanwhile, an estimated 97 per cent of the jobs created since 1994 require people to apply what they read in unfamiliar documents to solve a range of problems, with ease, every day.

An example of this is following the instructions in a memo from head office about how to help customers fix a glitch in a new product.

myth 2
More education means better literacy

Generally, a person’s literacy skills improve with more education – but they don't necessarily improve enough. Children gain different levels of reading skill while in school, and the gaps can widen over the course of their lives.
Children who are not reading fluidly by the end of Grade 3 often struggle with reading all through school and may leave school early. Even high school and post-secondary graduates may not have adequate literacy levels.

A recent Ontario study showed that 25 per cent of students entering post-secondary had skills below the level needed to learn easily and efficiently; further, their skills didn’t improve by the time they graduated. What’s more, these youth had skills below the level required to perform well in over 90 per cent of jobs in the economy.

myth 3
The literacy skills built in school last a lifetime

People build literacy skills beginning at home, then through school, then gain and lose them over the course of their lives depending on their activities. Some adults with little education find ways to become highly literate and others who are highly educated never reach advanced levels of literacy proficiency.

Much of the skill gain and loss in adults occurs in the workforce. People who work in jobs that demand the use of higher levels of skill tend to gain skill with time, and vice versa. However, individuals can continue to build and maintain skills throughout their lives if they practice.  READ MORE ➤➤

Based on (7) readability formulas:
Grade Level: 11
Reading Level: fairly difficult to read.
Reader's Age: 15-17 yrs. Old
(Tenth to Eleventh graders)

Friday, March 27, 2020

Covid-19’s Impact on Libraries Goes Beyond Books via Wired

Covid-19’s Impact on Libraries Goes Beyond Books
#WiFi Hotspots
Shuttering public libraries puts a strain on communities—even if it’s the only way to keep people safe.
Wired: 3.25.2020 by Boone Ashworth

For Jennifer Pearson, the choice was difficult but clear: Shut down the library, or people could die.

“My library was filled with older people,” Pearson says. “I just wanted to go out and scream, ‘Go home. What are you doing here?’ I knew that if we didn't make that move to close the building, they would never stop coming. We were, at that point, doing more harm than good.”

Pearson is the director of the Marshall County Memorial Library in Tennessee, which shut down last Wednesday. She’s also president of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries. The ARSL, along with larger organizations like the American Library Association, has issued a statement recommending that public libraries close their doors amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Library of Congress helped lead the charge earlier this month, announcing that it would close all its facilities to the public until April and suspend library-sponsored programs until mid-May. Soon after, public library systems in major cities like New York, San Francisco, and Seattle closed as well. To date, more than 3,000 libraries across the country have followed suit.

The buildings won’t all just sit empty. In San Francisco, for instance, libraries and other public facilities have been repurposed as “emergency care facilities for children of parents on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak and low-income families,” according to a press release from the office of San Francisco mayor London Breed. But, as with every societal disruption wrought by the coronavirus, the closure of libraries can create ripple effects through the communities around them.

“Shutting down libraries has a tremendous impact on the communities that we serve,” says Ramiro Salazar, president of the Public Library Association and director of San Antonio Public Library. “Until they’re closed, sometimes folks don't realize how important libraries are to them.”

Change Is Overdue

While libraries have struggled during their time in suspended animation, more hardships may come after the coronavirus pandemic runs its course. At this point, an economic recession appears all but inevitable. During economic downturns, library patronage surges, as millions more people are drawn by free and low-cost resources, job-seeking programs chief among them. According to a 2010 report by the ALA, libraries in 24 states had their funding slashed during the recession of the late 2000s. Combine a surplus of increasingly desperate people with an underfunded library staff and things can get ugly.  READ MORE ➤➤

Based on (7) readability formulas:
Grade Level: 10
Reading Level: fairly difficult to read.
Reader's Age: 14-15 yrs. Old
(Ninth to Tenth graders)

Thursday, March 26, 2020

22 Creative Ways Kids Can Respond to Books via We Are Teachers

22 Creative Ways Kids Can Respond to Books
From mint tins to cereal boxes to T-shirts.
We Are Teachers: 2.25.2020 by Elizabeth Mulvahill

Reading about other people and perspectives helps kids learn beyond their own experiences. Students don’t need to dive deeply into every single book they read, but occasionally showing them how to dive in can help them view reading in different ways. Digging into characters (or settings or themes) from the books they read can really help them learn how to look beyond the prose. Here are 22 creative book report ideas designed to make reading more meaningful:

Fictional Yearbook Entries
Ask your students to create a yearbook based on the characters and setting in the book. What do they look like?

Current Events Comparison
Have students locate 3-5 current event articles a character in their book might be interested in.

Book Alphabet
Choose 15-20 alphabet books to help give your students examples of how they work around themes. Then ask your students to create their own Book Alphabet based on the book they read.

Reading Lists for Characters
Ask your students to think about a character in their book. What kinds of books might that character like to read?

Create a PSA
If a student has read a book about a cause that affects people, animals, or the environment, teach them about Public Service Announcements.

Be a Character Therapist
Therapists work to uncover their clients’ fears based on their words and actions.  READ MORE  ➤➤

Based on (7) readability formulas:
Grade Level: 10
Reading Level: standard / average.
Reader's Age: 14-15 yrs. old
(Ninth to Tenth graders)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Salisbury NC :: Fairfield CA :: Elkhorn WI

Literacy: Spanning the US

Broaden Horizons By Volunteering With Literacy Council
Salisbury Post: 3.08.2020 by Salisbury Post Editorial Board

Compromise always seems tougher when debates are politicized and, as a result, polarizing.

There’s not many better examples than immigration. In a national survey in July by the Pew Research Center, for example, 57% of Republicans or people who lean Republican said the country loses its identity if it’s too open to people from all over the world. That’s a sharp contrast with people who say they’re Democrats or lean Democratic — 86% say America’s openness to people from all over the world is essential to who we are as a nation.

Both numbers are different than the country at large, 62% of which says America’s openness to people from all over the world is essential to who we are as a nation. But increasingly and through self-sorting, Americans find themselves living in something like 57% or 86% communities. Some Rowan Countians live in communities where the percentage is much sharper. It’s part of the reason why compromise is tougher than ever to find on any range of topics and even in casual conversations: people circulate in homogeneous communities — political, racial or otherwise.

What if, instead of automatically retreating to partisan corners, ideas and opinions were informed by personal experiences?

A good way to start broadening your horizons is to volunteer.
Consider the Rowan County Literacy Council, which offers tutors to help legal residents study to become naturalized citizens. That’s in addition to English as a second language, adult basic education and other services.  READ MORE ➤➤

Based on (7) readability formulas:
Grade Level: 12
Reading Level: difficult to read.
Reader's Age: 17-18 yrs. old (Twelfth graders)

Diane Robinson: Ruby Award
Daily Republic: 3.15.2020

Diane Robinson grew up with a secret she didn’t want anyone to know. She was dyslexic and would wonder why she was different from the other children at school.

Then, she watched as her son struggled with the same situation.

One day she walked into the Fairfield Civic Center Library and saw a flyer offering help with literacy. Now, she leads the newcomer meeting for the Women Helping Women literacy group.

Her efforts to help other women learn literacy earned her Soroptimist International of Central Solano County’s Ruby Award, given to a woman who is making a difference in her community.  READ MORE ➤➤

Based on (7) readability formulas:
Grade Level: 6
Reading Level: fairly easy to read.
Reader's Age: 10-11 yrs. Olds
(Fifth and Sixth graders)

Literacy Teacher Excels From The Courtroom To The Classroom
Journal Times: 3. 6.2020 by Scott Williams

As a criminal defense lawyer, Brigette Kutschma saw many clients struggle to get their lives under control simply because they lacked basic reading and writing skills.

So, the Lake Geneva attorney volunteered with the Walworth County Literacy Council and soon found herself tutoring people.

Kutschma then launched a jailhouse literacy program, and later she started spending two nights a week teaching English language skills to Spanish-speaking students at Badger High School.
For someone who has never had any formal training as a teacher, Kutschma has dedicated much of her life to education.

Now, she is being recognized with an award as Outstanding Teacher of the Year from a national organization that promotes literacy and adult learning.

Kutschma, 43, of the town of Linn, will travel to the East Coast this summer to accept the outstanding teacher award from the Coalition on Adult Basic Education. READ MORE ➤➤

Based on (7) readability formulas:
Grade Level: 13
Reading Level: difficult to read.
Reader's Age: 18-19 yrs. Old
(college level entry)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

10 Lesser-known iPad Apps To Learn English Language via ebookfriendly

10 Lesser-known iPad Apps To Learn English Language
ebookfriendly: 2.25.2020 by Piotr Kowlczyk

Are you determined to improve your English speaking and writing skills?
Check out these helpful but lesser-known iPad and iPhone apps:

Recommended iPad apps to learn English

eGrammar – the best way to practice English tenses
eJoy – advanced video-based app for learning English
Oxford English Grammar – grammar rules in one place
Hello – learn English from your mother tongue
ABA English – the most advanced way to learn English

Instead of popular language learning iPad and iPhone apps, find in this list only the one that are most helpful to master English language at every level.

You can find several English learning courses online (and some of them are free, at least to a certain extent), but why sit at the computer every time you have a few spare minutes for personal development?

Your iPad and iPhone can be a great companion in your determination to improve your English, no matter what level you are currently at.

The thing is that most round-ups of language learning apps for iOS include the ones that help learn multiple languages, and English is only one of them. Most of these apps are addressed to native English speakers who would like to learn or master a new language.

Instead of featuring popular language learning apps you already know about, such as Duolingo or apps offered by British Council or BBC, we’ve focused on lesser-known apps that don’t appear on the top of search results in the App Store.

Many of the apps that are featured in other roundups have not been updated for a long time. We list only the ones that were added or updated in recent months. They are compatible with the latest version of iOS, and use the latest language learning technology.  READ MORE ➤➤

Based on (7) readability formulas:
Grade Level: 12
Reading Level: fairly difficult to read.
Reader's Age: 17-18 yrs. Old
(Twelfth graders)

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Way Forward on Adult Literacy :: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Way Forward on Adult Literacy

The Way Forward on Adult Literacy is a five-year action plan developed through engagement with key stakeholders such as adult learners, adult literacy service providers, community organizations, public libraries, Indigenous people and groups, industry, labour and post-secondary education institutions.

Literacy is more than just reading and writing; it is the ability to find, understand, create, communicate and compute using printed and written materials in different situations. Essential skills are also an important part of literacy. They are the first skills needed to learn other skills.

Supported by a $60 million investment, The Way Forward on Adult Literacy identifies 30 actions government and its partners will take to make sure Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have the opportunity to acquire and enhance these skills.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has named its priorities through The Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador.

We want to build a more educated and economically-diverse province so people can:
• Reach their potential,
• Take part in training, and
• Find and keep jobs.

This five-year action plan outlines the way forward on adult literacy in Newfoundland and Labrador. It includes actions we will take with stakeholders to achieve our goals.

We will be responsive to new issues and opportunities, and we will report on our progress each year.

Improving Adult Literacy Outcomes
Literacy touches everybody’s lives. Increased literacy skills can help people:
• Find and keep jobs;
• Stay healthy;
• Support their family and community; and
• Stay safe.

Our Guiding Principles
Consistent with The Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador, the adult literacy action plan is built on the following key guiding principles:

• Recognizing literacy as:
 the basis for all education and learning, and
• the key to social and economic growth;
• Working together with our stakeholders; and
• Challenging ourselves.

Our Focus Areas
We are focused on strengthening the literacy skills within the province and building a more empowered, skilled and ready workforce. We will invest $60 million in the implementation of the action plan over the next five years to:

1. Raise awareness about adult literacy programs and services;
2. Increase access to adult literacy programs and services;
3. Enhance programs and services for adult literacy;
4. Improve employability of persons with literacy challenges; and
5. Measure progress of provincial adult literacy.

Based on (7) readability formulas:
Grade Level: 13
Reading Level: difficult to read.
Reader's Age: 18-19 yrs. Old
(college level entry)

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Olympia WA :: Half Moon Bay CA :: Durant OK :: Adrian MI

Literacy: Spanning the US

Olympia’s CIELO Wins Library of Congress State Literacy Award
Thurston Talk: 3.03.3030 by the Secretary of State

CIELO, a nonprofit organization in Olympia that provides literacy support and resources to immigrant and refugee communities in the South Sound, recently received a Library of Congress State Literacy Award for their contributions to the promotion of literacy and reading in the state. The organization was nominated by the Washington Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book and a partnership between The Seattle Public Library (SPL) and the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

“I enthusiastically applaud all of the staff and the more than 150 volunteers at CIELO for receiving this well-deserved award,” said Cindy Aden, Washington State Librarian. “CIELO is a bright light in the community, and is the only source for comprehensive all-ages literacy in the entire South Sound region. Even more remarkable is there holistic approach to service, creating strong community bonds and addressing other critical needs for individuals and families.”  READ MORE ➤➤

Based on (7) readability formulas:
Grade Level: 16
Reading Level: very difficult to read.
Reader's Age: College graduate

Adult Literacy Programs Benefit All Involved
Library offers tailored English learning experience
HMB Review: 3.04.2020 by August Howell

For those who don’t count English as their first language, the ability to read, write and speak the language can be a critical element when applying for jobs or taking tests.

That may be one reason why San Mateo County Libraries Community Learning Department has seen its Adult Literacy program grow in popularity in recent years.

Emily Smith became the program coordinator in December. Under Smith, there are more than 50 pairs of volunteers helping non-English speaking individuals and families in the Adult Literacy program. And there is a substantial waitlist of adult learners.

Along with the weekly Conversation Club meetings, these are free opportunities for English learners to pick what they want to learn, from helping children with homework, increasing computer knowledge, working on a high school diploma or GED, or taking the citizenship test.  READ MORE ➤➤

Based on (7) readability formulas:
Grade Level: 13
Reading Level: difficult to read.
Reader's Age: 18-19 yrs. Old
(college level entry)

Woman Becomes American Citizen, Owes It All To Her Local Library
KXII: 3.05.2020 by Nina Quatrino

62-year-old Alice Morais lives in Oklahoma, with her husband, Jacques - a romance that's lasted thirty-seven years.

"I love him. He saved my life, I saved his life, it's the way life goes." Morais said.

In 1983, Jacques Pierre-- the son of French immigrants, decided to go to Brazil to see Carnival. That's where he met Alice, who was just 24.

The rest is history.

"Would you like to come to the United States? And she said, I'd love to go to the United states." said her husband, Jacques Pierre.
The love birds eventually got married, and settled down in Bryan County. But just like all fairy-tales, nothing is ever =perfect.

"You know, for those of us who were born here, we kind of take it for granted." said Patricia Sorrels, Morais' tutor.

Morais had been living in the country -- Legally -- with only her green card and her visa.

That meant frequent trips back to Brazil.

Last year, the two decided to apply for Morais' citizenship. Only to find that she had 90 days to prepare for the test.

"The test is hard, you need to memorize 100 answers - it's not easy." Morais said.

The couple went to the Library in Durant for help.  WATCH 02:19

Based on (7) readability formulas:
Grade Level: 4
Reading Level: easy to read.
Reader's Age: 8-9 yrs. Old
(Fourth and Fifth graders)

Rea Literacy Center Director Honored By Zonta
Len Connect: 3.07.2020 by Spencer Durham

The Adrian Dominican Sisters founded the Adrian Rea Literacy Center in 2008 with a desire to give more people the ability to read and write.

The literacy center served 20 adult learners in its first year. That number ballooned to 110 in year two.

“The need was and continues to be great,” said Sister Carleen Maly.

Maly was chosen to be the first director of the Rea Literacy Center. She’s still at the helm 12 years later.

Maly was honored for her service Thursday evening with Zonta of Lenawee’s Amelia Earhart Award. The award is given annually to someone who “exemplifies the pioneering spirit of excellence in her field that were characteristic” of the female pilot. Earhart was a Zonta member in Boston.

Zonta International is a global organization with the mission of advancing equal rights and a life free of violence for women and girls and to empower women. Zonta of Lenawee was founded in 1959.

Zonta member Janis Montalvo nominated Maly for the award. She paid the literacy center director a visit one day to deliver the news that she would be the organization’s 2020 award recipient.

Maly, like she does with every adult learner who comes to the center, gave Montalvo a tour. Always on the look out for more volunteers, Maly was disappointed when she found out Montalvo was just there to tell her about the award. The anecdote drew laughs from the audience.  READ MORE ➤➤

Based on (7) readability formulas:
Grade Level: 8
Reading Level: standard / average.
Reader's Age: 12-14 yrs. Old
(Seventh and Eighth graders)