Friday, July 31, 2009

Partnership for a Nation of Learners

The Lessons of Collaboration: Public Libraries and Public Broadcasting
Library Journal: July 31, 2009 by Lynn Blumenstein

• Partnerships more valuable in challenging economic times
• Anticipating growth in Hispanic population
• Philly addresses crime; WV looks at obesity

Twenty projects involving libraries, museums, and public television and radio broadcasters were funded between 2005 and 2006, which are profiled in a new publication, "Partnership for a Nation of Learners: Joining Forces, Creating Value."

"This publication…spotlights exemplary community partnerships across the country and shares ‘how-to’ information on successful collaborations, noted IMLS director Anne-Imelda Radice. "In these challenging economic times, partnerships are more valuable than ever."
Story continues below ↓

KCRB, the Sonoma County Library (SCL), and the Sonoma County Museum, CA, collaborated to produce Tengo La Voz ("I Have the Voice"), a multipronged effort to engage Hispanic teens and young adults, whose exploding population is dealing with teen pregnancy and gang involvement.

Iowa Public Television, the State Library of Iowa, and the Iowa Department of Education Iowa teamed up to improve reading skills among Hispanic parents so they could foster reading within their families.

The Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) hosted multifaceted effort to combat rising crime rates. Children ages 6 to 18 were the target of a variety of programs and media efforts developed by House of UMOJA, FLP, University of Pennsylvania’s WXPN-FM, and the Atwater Kent Museum.

The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and the Kanawha County Public Library (KCPL), Charleston, WV, worked together to address childhood obesity.

The main challenge was the cost of the program, but the IMLS grant gave the project credibility and helped the partners win additional funding. READ MORE (with links) !


Beginning a Healthy Life—Charleston, WV
KC Science, INC—Kansas City, MO
Kids with Asthma Can!—Boston, MA
Saving Nebraska’s Treasures—Lincoln, NE
The Voices Project—Haines, AK
Water Wise Utah—Salt Lake City, UT
Alamo Youth Radio Project—Alamo, NM
Cambridge Science Festival and Science City—Cambridge, MA
Currier & Ives: Perspectives on America—Springfield, MA
Eye on the Night Sky—Saint Johnsbury, VT
Family Literacy for New Iowans—Johnston, IA
Forward Together—Columbia, SC
From Resistance to Rights—Lansing, MI
Greater New Haven Family Learning Partnership—New Haven, CT
Lake Champlain Voyages of Discovery—Montpelier, VT
Open Doors—Las Vegas, NV
Philadelphia Partnership for Peace—Philadelphia, PA
Maine Homefront Veterans Project—Portland, ME
Tengo La Voz (“I Have The Voice”)—Rohnert Park, CA
Witness to a Century—Richmond, VA

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

People For a Library-Themed Ben & Jerry’s Flavor

. . . . . from Book Patrol by Stephen J. Gertz
Librarians To Ben & Jerry’s: “We Scream For Ice Cream!” July 28, 2009

The population of librarians on Facebook has organized as People For a Library-Themed Ben & Jerry’s Flavor and is petitioning Ben & Jerry’s, the Vermont-based ice creamery famous for its multi-flavor mash-ups, for a taste sensation they can call their very own.

Here are some of the current suggestions for a Ben & Jerry’s library-themed flavor:
• Gooey Decimal System: Dark fudge alphabet letters with caramel swirls in hazelnut ice cream.
Sh-sh-sh-Sherbet!: Key Lime or a Chocolate/Vanilla combination.
• Cookie Bookie: A combination of cookie bits!
Dusty Stacks: Layered ice cream with speckles of cocoa in every layer.
• Li-Berry Pie: Lime sherbet mixed with raspberry sauce and pie crust crumbles (cinnamon sugar, butter, piecrust).
Liberry I Scream: Strawberry/blueberry sherbet and vanilla ice cream.
• Overdue Fine as Fudge Chunk: Hunks of rich fudge brownies in creamy milk chocolate drizzled throughout with golden caramel and sprinkled with mini white chocolate coins.
Rocky Read: Vanilla with choc covered nuts choc chunks and raisins.
• In the Stacks: Butter pecan with fudge swirl.
Reference Ripple: Anything with PB.
• Marian the Librarian Rasberryan: Rasberry and Chocolate with chunks of fudge.
Ranganathan's Raspberry Rules!: Raspberry and chocolate chips.
• Free and Open to All: A rainbow of flavors with all kinds of chips-butterscotch, peanut butter, chocolate.

Submit a flavor to Ben & Jerry's directly.
Appeal to the 5 Flavor Gurus directly: Arnold, John, Eric, Peter, & Nettie

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Adult Learners - Funding

For Illiterate Americans, Help is on the Way . . . sort of
Medill Reports: July 22, 2009 by Chris Linden

WASHINGTON—Question: What do a retired teacher, an auto worker and a multi-million dollar business owner have in common ?

Answer: They can’t—or couldn’t—read.

National estimates suggest nearly 90 million American adults are just like them. Many would have trouble reading a headline, and it’s likely they struggle to read this story, too.

Marty Finsterbusch can read this sentence, but he has difficulty writing it – even though he holds a college degree. As the executive director of VALUE, Finsterbusch and his nonprofit group train literacy volunteers and push for better adult education programs.

Finsterbusch, who is in his forties, can read and comprehend a sentence, he said, but a learning disability makes it difficult for him to write. He uses computer programs to read emails and dictate messages.

“My reading level is there, but I can’t put it in writing,” Finsterbusch said.

National surveys suggest that illiteracy is most common among the poor and immigrants. Finsterbusch’s entire organization, based in Media Pa., is run by highly-functioning adults who can neither read nor write.

Since he joined an adult education class in the mid-1980s, Finsterbusch has been involved with literacy coalitions to ensure other adults get the same opportunity. He launched VALUE in 1998 to continue pushing for education programs.

Bills introduced in the U.S. House and Senate last week could provide new resources for adult learners, including increased access, more funding and workforce and technology training. But cash alone—which could equal half a billion dollars—only skims the surface of the problem, advocates said.

“We’re really fighting to get a seat at the table,” said Jeff Carter, executive director of DC LEARNs. READ MORE !

Friday, July 17, 2009

State of Preschool 2008

The State of Preschool 2008
National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers

The State of Preschool Yearbook seeks to improve the public's knowledge and understanding of state efforts to expand the availability of high-quality education to young children in the 21st century.

The first report in this series focused on programs for the 2001-2002 school year and established a baseline against which we may now measure progress over seven years. Tracking these trends is essential, since changes in states' policies on preschool education will influence how successfully America's next generation will compete in the knowledge economy. Includes:
- summary of the data, national trends: enrollment, quality, spending
- detailed state profiles outlining each state's policies
- - - including states without state-funded programs

In the United States today, more than 80 percent of all 4-year-olds attend some kind of preschool program. About half of those (39 percent of all 4-year-olds) are enrolled in some kind of public program (state pre-K, Head Start or special education), with the other half enrolled in a private program. Most of the 4-year-olds in public programs attend state pre-K, which enrolls almost a quarter of the population at age 4.

Unfortunately, these numbers vary tremendously by state. In Oklahoma nearly 90 percent of the 4-year-olds receive a free public education. At the other extreme, as few as 10 percent are enrolled in public programs in some states. Private enrollment does not make up the differences in enrollment between these extremes.

Pre-K enrollment at age 3 is much more limited, primarily because public provision is so much lower. Enrollment in private programs is very similar at ages 3 and 4. Only 14 percent of 3-year-olds attend some type of public program, with barely 4 percent of 3-year-olds attending a state-funded pre-K program. Enrollment also varies dramatically by state, but most states serve less than 1 or 2 percent of their 3-year-olds outside of special education and Head Start.

As some states move forward rapidly, others fall further behind. Oklahoma remains the only state where virtually every child can start school at age 4, but other states are approaching that goal. In at least eight other states, more than half of 4-year-olds attend a public preschool program of some kind. At the other end of the spectrum, 12 states have no regular state preschool education program. In eight states, less than one in five children are enrolled in a public preschool program at age 4 even taking into account preschool special education and Head Start.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

ALA 2009 Conference & Literacy

Chicago Plays Host to Nation’s Library Leaders as Library Use Soars: ALA News Release
ALA Conference 2009

July 11 - Saturday
President's Program
- Literacy Leadership and Librarian Flair: Engaging 21st-Century Readers with Three Award Winning Young Adult and Children's Authors.

Beyond Storytimes: Standards-Based Partnerships for Early Learning -new roles for educators who plan programming that addresses literacy and language, math and science education standards.

Partnering with Service Organizations -reading programs for children, adult literacy, children’s book drives, fundraising, more.

Where You Can Go with Every Child Ready to Read -how 3 library systems using the Every Child Ready to Read program have successfully collaborated with Head Start/Early Head Start and other organizations to provide parent education.

July 12 - Sunday
How to Obtain Federal Funding for Your School Library Media Center
-improving Literacy Through School Libraries.

Literacy for ALL: Advocacy, Libraries, and Literacy Summit -speakers from academic, school, public, and state libraries will discuss key issues, call for local examples, and help ALA members make the case for libraries and literacy.

July 13 - Monday
The ABCs of Library Literacy
: How Chicago Public Schools are Improving Literacy through School Libraries.

Multiple Literacies in the Library -panel will discuss how visual, audio and digital literacy relate to traditional literacy.

Not Just for Kids: Promoting Library Services Through Adult Summer Reading Programs -when cross-promoted with children’s and teen reading programs, they encourage family literacy.

Poster Sessions: July 11 - Saturday

Session II: The Educators: Posters on Distance Learning, Continuing Education, Library Education, Literacy, and Research Methodology.

Inspiring Writers with Swag: A Journey through Wayne State University Libraries' Chapbook Information Literacy Initiative, a K-20 Literacy Collaboration via Poetry and Art.

Bridging the Gap: Combining the Resources of a Public Library & High School to Reach Out to Teen Moms - promote early-childhood literacy and a support system for teen mothers and their children.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Literacy Tribune: July 2009

Literacy Tribune: July 2009

United Literacy, a non-profit organization, provides resources and support to adult literacy learners in the United States. Its aim is to make literacy education accessible and worthwhile for adult learners.

Main Story: Neighborhood Watch
~ Whether you live in a city, suburb, town, or rural area, crime is a concern.
A Learner's Poem
~ Good Feeling by Rodolfo Diaz
Member Spotlight: John Corcoran
~ graduated from college, became a high school teacher, and a successful real estate developer all before he learned to read at age 48.
Technology Watch: Buying a Netbook
~ Over the last 15 years computers have shrunk in size.
A History Lesson: The Reconstruction Amendments
~ When the United States ratified the Constitution in 1788, slavery was a common practice.

Call for Writers !
Are you an adult learner ?
Do you want to write ?
Do you want to publish your writing ?

The Literacy Tribune is looking for adult learner writers.
You can write about:

Your road to literacy
Your literacy organization
Literacy resources you like
You can write book reviews, poetry, short stories
You can write articles about health, finance, or technology
You can write just about anything !

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Workforce Literacy - Philadelphia

Low Literacy Limits Half of Phila. Workforce
Study Finds: Many of the working-age adults in the city fall short in math and reading, the research shows. June 28, 2009 by Jane M. Von Bergen

More than half of Philadelphia's working-age adults, about 550,000 people, cannot handle the basic arithmetic and reading necessary to succeed in the majority of jobs in the city.

"If you have low literacy, you have a labor market that doesn't welcome you," said Paul Harrington, a labor economist who created a study of workforce readiness for the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board.

The study will be released tomorrow.

The average Philadelphia score for prose literacy - meaning the ability to read simple instructions and pull some facts out of a paragraph - is 260 out of 500.

Yet people who are health-care technicians, secretaries, teachers, engineers, architects, scientists, computer technicians, drafters, managers, librarians, bankers, insurers, security guards, repairmen, and community organizers - the majority of jobs in Philadelphia - need higher scores, from 277 to 336, to accomplish their tasks.

In Philadelphia, 75 percent of the jobs require that level of literacy. Yet half of Philadelphia's work-age adults cannot handle the tasks.
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While Harrington's study was conducted exclusively for Philadelphia, the U.S. Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics provides some comparisons using 2003 literacy data.

Among the nation's major cities, Philadelphia is about average, with 22 percent of work-age adults achieving only the lowest literacy level. New York and Boston are slightly worse, and the District of Columbia, Chicago, Dallas, and Houston are slightly better. Los Angeles is considerably worse, and Phoenix and Baltimore are considerably better.

The Harrington study of Philadelphia, which marries the 2003 national literacy data with 2005 local demographic information from the U.S. Census, comes at a time when national attention is focused on workplace training as part of President Obama's stimulus plan.

Even though adult literacy is a key component in employment, it sometimes falls through the cracks, said Sallie Glickman, chief executive officer of the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board.
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Glickman estimates that $12 million a year for seven years (or $84 million) spent on work
specific intensive literacy courses would net more than $370 million in taxes and savings in the city as workers earning more would pay more in taxes and would require less of the city services connected with poverty.
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Literacy challenges, said David Donald, chief executive of PeopleShare Inc., a Center City staffing agency, mean that workers cannot find jobs.

"Companies are increasingly requiring people to use a computer just to apply for a job," said Donald, who serves on the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board. "We know some people don't know how to use a computer."

If literacy is a problem for employers, it is a bigger problem for those who cannot read. READ MORE !