Monday, December 31, 2012

Joy of Rediscovery: An Ode to the Library

Best of Book Riot: The Joy of Rediscovery: An Ode to the Library
Book Riot: 12.28.2012 by Jodi Chromey

For my 40th birthday back in June, I got myself a library card thanks to some gentle shaming from Book Riot commenter InfoMissionary. Also an iPad.
These two gifts are related for the purposes of this post. I’ll get to it in a minute.

This brand new library card was the first library card I’d gotten since the mid-90s. After college, I had ceased using the library. I was at a point in my life where, due to living at home, I had a ridiculous amount of disposable income and would spend most of it on books. As my income grew, so did my book collection. I bought a lot of books. It was a privilege I didn’t even recognize.

So let’s fast forward a little. The things you need to know: mortgage, layoffs, freelancer, single woman, blah, blah, blah.

Now back to the library card. Somehow during most of the Aughts and Twenty-tweens, I had forgotten about the magic that is the library. I don’t know how this happened, but I am here to tell you the library has gotten even more magical.

It is the magicest place in all the land. I’m not even exaggerating with made-up words.

Back during my first library love affair, you had to go to a building that had books in it, and librarians would stamp due dates into the books with their hands. As I got older, they’d put stickers onto the books so you knew when they were due.

Now, you can check yourself out and the librarian never really needs to touch your books. This frees them up to help you find stuff. As my nephews, The Tibbles, discovered when librarians helped them find books about werewolves and penguins and how to speak Urdu. READ MORE !

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Finland has the best schools in the world, again

Finland has the best schools in the world, again
This time the British education publisher Pearson made Finland top dog in education, with South Korea in second and Hong Kong third.
yle UUTISET: 11.28.2012

The study, written by the Economist Intelligence Unit, found that the top two performers develop high-quality teachers, value accountability and have a moral mission that underlies education efforts. The report compared literacy rates, school attendance and university graduation rates.

“[In Finland] kids start school later; school hours are shorter than most others; they don’t assign homework; their teachers are in front of kids less. By one estimate, Italians go to school three years longer,” said Robert Schwartz from the Harvard Graduate School of Education of the Finnish system.

.     .     .     .     .

According to Schwartz, the PISA data (the OECD's world education ranking) shows that very few Finns take prep lessons. "Those who do typically do worse on standardised tests, suggesting that this is largely remedial help," he said.

Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia ranked at the lowest end of the table of 40 countries. But while income matters, culture may matter more—that is the level of support for education. READ MORE !

Top 10  [ US: 17th ]
South Korea
Hong Kong
New Zealand

Friday, November 9, 2012

Election Day Literacy Story

An Election Day literacy story
Star News Online: 11.06.2012 by Ben Stellman

James Tremble, 65, began tutoring through the Cape Fear Literacy Council three years ago. This year, the Wilmington resident voted for the first time in his life.

Tremble, who’s been working with volunteer tutor Cathy Webb, cast an absentee ballot, so he would have more time to navigate the printed form.

Tremble — better known as the local DJ Jimmy Jam — had spent a lifetime of ingenuity working to navigate in the printed word. He labeled his records with a complex letter-and-color code so he could tell them apart. He waited by the restrooms until another man walked in or out, so he’d know which door to use. And he never voted.

Now he can, thanks to Webb and all the other folks at the Cape Fear Literacy Council, a tiny non-profit that manages on a shoestring budget. READ MORE ! (includes a video).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

National Family Literacy Day: Nov 1

National Family Literacy Day
November 1
National Center for Family Literacy

Cultivating Readers is a parent guide to building reading skills in children ages birth to eight. The guide gives tangible tips for parents to implement and also includes a calendar of monthly language activities to stimulate learning throughout the year.
Available: November 12.
Can download or be ordered free of charge for a limited time (in English and Spanish).

Create. Laugh. Imagine. Explore. Learn. Smile.
A place where wonder and learning are nurtured through the power of discovery, creativity and imagination. Learning is happening everywhere, all the time! Learn something new, try out an idea, create a masterpiece, imagine possibilities. It’s easy. It’s fun.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia

The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia
James Redford, Director
Oct 29 @ 7pm on HBO

By conservative estimates, one in five people are dyslexic. Although very bright and often highly creative, they have a difficult time making sense of written language. I know a little about this. My son, Dylan, is dyslexic.

Like many dyslexics, Dylan is intelligent, thoughtful and intellectually curious – a “big picture” thinker. But at the age of ten, he was barely able to read and write. To say that school was difficult for him is beyond understatement. Now that he is grown and thriving, there are many things that I wish I had known about dyslexia at that time – things that would have helped me understand that his struggle in lower and middle school was not the final verdict on his academic or intellectual ability or ambition. When I was given the extraordinary opportunity to make a film about understanding dyslexia, the mission was simple: make the movie I wish my family could have seen when Dylan was functionally illiterate in 4th grade.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .

The film also shares some of the more practical – and occasionally humorous – tips on how to deal with dyslexia on a daily basis. Hopefully, this film will help dyslexics and their families realize that the challenges of early education will be behind them one day, and that the future can – and should – be brighter for dyslexics.

Drs. Salley and Bennett Shaywitz, co-directors of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, discuss how scientific advances illuminate the diagnosis and treatment of dyslexia. Dr. Bennett Shaywitz explains how advances in functional magnetic resonance imaging has made visible what previously was a hidden disability. Dr. Sally Shaywitz explains the "Sea of Strengths" model of dyslexia which emphasizes a sea of strengths of higher critical thinking and creativity surrounding the encapsulated weakness found in children and adults who are dyslexic.

Super-achieving dyslexics revered in their fields – from Sir Richard Branson and financier Charles Schwab to politician Gavin Newsom and attorney David Boies – confirm what the children, experts and families suggest: dyslexia carries with it as many rewards as frustrations. READ MORE !

Other HBO Dates:
Nov 4 @ 1:00 pm
Nov 8 @ 10:00 am
Nov 13 @ 3:30 pm

Oct 31 @ 4:30 pm
Nov 7 @ 8:30 pm
Nov 11 @ 6:00 am

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Health Literacy Month - Digital Health Literacy

Digital Health Literacy: Separating Fact From Fiction
Health Ed: 10.2012

Do people with limited literacy skills use the Web and/or other electronic means to access health information? Even if they want to, do they have the skills to do so? And can anything be done to help improve their experience?

Some of the following statements* are factual, and others are fictional. See if you know which are which. You may be surprised by what you learn.

Fact or fiction:
~ People with limited literacy skills are generally unwilling to use the Web to access health information.
~ People with limited literacy skills avoid searching.
~ People with limited literacy skills tend to view screen content in a random, erratic pattern.
~ Many Web users with limited literacy skills prefer reading from printouts of pages from a Web site to reading text on a computer screen.
~ Offering information in multiple formats—such as audio clips, video clips, and slide shows—often overwhelms Web users with limited literacy skills.
~ People with limited literacy skills will probably be intimidated by new media such as text messaging, blogs, Twitter, and webcasts.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

National Book Month: October

October: National Book Month
National Book Foundation

Book a trip this October

Embark on the journey of a lifetime, travel to exotic places, mythical lands and experience adventure beyond imagination. Or escape to another era altogether. All without luggage, tickets, a passport or leaving home. All you need is an open mind. And an open book.

You've already discovered the ultimate book lover's destination for great ideas on how to bring the power of reading into your life.

Simply click on the categories below and our on-line National Book Month brochure will provide suggestions for enjoying a memorable month and making books part of your life all year long.





Monday, October 1, 2012

October: Health Literacy Month

Health Literacy Month

To mark Health Literacy Month in October, many of the nation’s top health literacy experts will be blogging to share their thoughts on how health literacy impacts and influences shared decision making — a relevant and timely topic in a new era of accountable care. This is the third consecutive year, Engaging the Patient has marked Health Literacy Month by inviting a panel of experts to share their insights around a topic related to health literacy.

Low literacy and communication breakdown have been linked to poor health outcomes such as higher rates of hospitalization and less frequent use of preventative services – as patients with poor health literacy more often use services designed to treat complications of disease instead. Both of these outcomes are associated with higher healthcare costs.

Engaging the Patient is a blog sponsored by Emmi Solutions that connects healthcare leaders with peers who are making patient engagement a reality. This blog is also a source for news and insight on the pressing issues of communication in healthcare. Throughout October, Engaging the Patient will feature experts.  READ MORE !

Health Literacy: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Accurate, Accessible and Actionable Health Information for All
Resources are for organizations that interact and communicate with people about health, including public health departments, healthcare providers and facilities, health plans, government agencies, non-profit/community and advocacy organizations, childcare and schools, the media, and health-related industries.
Learn about Health Literacy
Get Training
Plan and Act
Steps to Developing an Organizational Plan
Develop Materials
Research and Evaluate
Share and Interact
Health Literacy Activities by Region
Health Literacy Activities by State
Health Literacy Blog: Bridging the Health Literacy Gap

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Know: Journal of Lifelong Learning

Literacyworks introduces the first issue of Know:
The Journal of Lifelong Learning
Business Review India: 9.26.2012 - PRNewswire-USNewswire

Paul Heavenridge, Executive Director of Literacyworks, a nationally recognized nonprofit providing literacy resources to adult and family education programs, announced today the launching of the organization's journal of lifelong learning, Know.

Heavenridge says: "We instinctively want to learn the why of something. It's that pull of the unknown that compels us. We ask questions of ourselves. It's what makes us human. Aristotle perhaps said it best when he noted 'People by nature desire to know.' We have seen in our own lives that given freedom, the proper education, access, space, and encouragement, our species is capable of wondrous things. Kids become gloriously creative, teens become masters of subjects that amaze, adults build technologies that seem like magic, and seniors keep reinventing themselves."

Know is a quarterly online journal that offers a compelling mix of reporting, commentary, and interviews related to lifelong learning. Know doesn't indoctrinate readers with the value of literacy in its varied forms. Instead, it demonstrates the lasting significance of knowledge acquisition with content that is equally engaging and illuminating, promoting learning as the ultimate tool for self-advocacy.

For this first issue, Pulitzer Prize winning author Jane Smiley talks about strategies for filling the blank page; Steve Bryson, lead mathematician of the NASA AMES Kepler mission, switches discipline to muse on why the Higgs Particle is important; Stanford University Professor of History Ian Morris asks what happens when societies stop asking questions, author Frances French pays tribute to his old boss Sally Ride, and Jill Tarter, outgoing Director of the SETI Institute, examines the probability of intelligent extraterrestrial life.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Literacy Tribune Newsletter: September 2012

Literacy Tribune: September 2012
The Adult Learner Network Newsletter

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: Presidential Election is Around the Corner
The people of the United States will once again go to the polls to elect a president on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

Establishing Healthy Eating Habits
Julia Pusztai, Guest Writer
In past issues, we have talked about exercise and the need to maintain a healthy weight. So what is the next step to improve your health?

Camping – A Great Outdoor Pastime
Armando Martinez, Guest Writer
California allows for a number of great outdoor summer pastimes, but your choice depends on what you consider recreational fun.

My Collection
Tungaa Khasbaator, Guest Writer
I came here to the U.S.A. six years ago. I like it here. It is nice and different to me.

Member Spotlight: Shadena Lutin
is a student in the STEP UP program at the American River College in Sacramento, California.

Technology Watch: Nexus 7 Tablet
Have you heard the latest buzz? Google finally release its own tablet

The Literacy Tribune is looking for adult learner writers.
Are you an adult learner ?
Do you want to write ?
Do you want to publish your writing ?

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 !

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Phone Booth Library

New York Designer Creates the Most Polished Phone Booth Library Yet
Good Design: 9.10.2012 by Zachary Slobig

When's the last time you used a pay phone? We're guessing it's been a while. Those fixtures of urban living are fast becoming relics and John Locke, architectural designer and "spontaneous interventionist," can upgrade any old drab phone booth into a pocket library in five minutes flat. "Is the pay phone an anochronism, or an opportunity?" asks Locke.

The New York Times caught wind of Locke's hijinx this weekend, but design blogs have been gushing over his playful structural elaborations for some time now. Here at GOOD, we noted an early iteration of defunct phone booth to guerrilla lending library in the streets of Los Angeles from Future Studio, but we'll admit that Locke's product is far more polished. The designer also resists taking the whole thing too seriously. READ MORE !

Monday, September 10, 2012

National Coalition for Literacy: Literacy Leadership Awards

National Coalition for Literacy
Literacy Leadership Awards
Sep 12 @ 5:30pm

The National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) will present its 2012 NCL Literacy Leadership Awards on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 5:30 PM at a ceremony in the Senate Dirksen Building (SD-106) in Washington, DC. The awards recognize individuals and/or organizations that have made extraordinary national contributions to improving adult literacy and English language learning in the United States. The event is free and open to the public and press. Pre-registration is required.

NCL will recognize the following outstanding individuals and organizations:

David Baldacci, Successful author, philanthropist, and passionate adult education advocate who founded the Wish You Well Foundation. The Foundation has funded adult and family literacy programs that help provide literacy solutions in more than 40 states.

Ruth J. Colvin, Founder of Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse and Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. (now ProLiteracy). Mrs. Colvin is widely regarded as the “mother” of the US volunteer literacy movement, which has helped hundreds of thousands of adults and families to acquire literacy skills and learn English across the country.

Save Adult Ed Campaign, A group of dedicated advocates in Los Angeles who took on the largest proposed cuts to adult education in the history of CA by conducting a rigorous, strategic, innovative, and successful public relations and advocacy campaign.

US Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), Senator Webb introduced the Adult Education and Economic Growth Act of 2012 and has been a strong supporter of preserving appropriations in support of adult education.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

International Literacy Day: September 8

International Literacy Day
September 8

The theme of International Literacy Day 2012 is Literacy and Peace. This theme was adopted by the United Nations Literacy Decade (UNLD) to demonstrate the multiple uses and value that literacy brings to people.

For over 40 years now, UNESCO has been celebrating International Literacy Day by reminding the international community that literacy is a human right and the foundation of all learning.

Why is Literacy important?
Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy.

Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy. There are good reasons why literacy is at the core of Education for All (EFA).

Statistics on Literacy
Today, nearly 17% of the world’s adult population is still not literate; 2/3s of them women, making gender equality even harder to achieve.

The scale of illiteracy among youth also represents an enormous challenge; an estimated 122 million youth globally are illiterate, of which young women represent 60.7%.

The 67.4 million children who are out of school are likely to encounter great difficulties in the future, as deficient or non-existent basic education is the root cause of illiteracy.

With some 775 million adults lacking minimum literacy skills, literacy for all thus remains elusive.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Books That Shaped America

Books That Shaped America
Library of Congress
June 25 – September 29

The Library of Congress began its multiyear "Celebration of the Book" with an exhibition, "Books That Shaped America." The exhibition is part of a larger series of programs, symposia and other events that explore the important and varied ways that books influence our lives.

On view in the exhibition are many rare editions from the Library’s Rare Book and Special Collections Division, as well as other related items chosen from various parts of the Library.

The list is intended to spark a national conversation on books written by Americans that have influenced our lives, whether they appear on this initial list or not," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "We hope people will view the list and then nominate other titles. Finally, we hope people will choose to read and discuss some of the books on this list, reflecting our nation’s unique and extraordinary literary heritage, which the Library of Congress makes available to the world." READ MORE !

Friday, August 17, 2012

Oakland Public Library - Occupied

Victor Martinez People’s Library Open
by * Occupy California: 8.13.2012

OAKLAND, California – On Monday morning, the former 23rd Avenue Branch of the Oakland Public Library was occupied and renamed the Victor Martinez People’s Library. The building was shut down as a public library in 1976 and was briefly an alternative school and later a social services facility(1). The building has been vacant since 2010, located on 1449 Miller Avenue in East Oakland.

Here’s an initial statement from the people’s library:

The building unveiled today as the Victor Martinez Community Library was part of a Carnegie Foundation endowment of four libraries given to the city of Oakland between 1916 and 1918. Oakland’s librarian at the time, Charles S. Greene, believed that the city’s people would benefit most from libraries placed within their communities.

.     .     .     .     .

11:40pm: Police raid the library, boarding it up and closing the fence off. Organizers call for a meeting outside the library for 10am (Tuesday).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

9 Reasons to Save Public Libraries

Nine Reasons to Save Public Libraries 8.08.2012 by Emmily Bristol (Education, Headline, Issues)

While the War on Women and Chick-fil-A might be getting all the juicy headlines lately, there’s another issue quietly smoldering in the background noise of this election season. It’s buried under all the campaign rhetoric and doom-and-gloom forecasts about the economy.

Our public libraries are not just threatened this election season. They’re fighting for their lives — and with them, the livelihoods and well-being of hard-hit communities all over the country. Library districts in California, Illinois, Ohio, Nevada, Texas, Washington, and more have measures or proposals to slash budgets in 2012. California alone is looking at 50% budget cuts. Where I live, the library district is facing a 30% budget cut, which will close at least two branches. According to the American Library Association, 23 states are looking to cut library budgets in the most recent fiscal year.

But I have yet to see a demonstration to save the libraries. Or read national news coverage about the potential collapse of one society’s most valuable resources. Indeed, it wasn’t by accident that our nation’s founding fathers established the first American lending library.

But the truth is that the state of our public libraries is a kind of litmus test of not only our economic health but that of our democracy, too. After all, libraries are the free, democratization of education, unbiased research, and uncensored enlightenment.

.     .    .    .    .

Here are some reasons why our libraries are still the place where we as a nation will achieve our destiny:
1. The house of the 99% . . .
2. Libraries build equity . . .
3. Community hope chest . . .
4. Renewable resource . . .
5. Literacy . . .
6. Leveling the playing field . . .
7. Safe space . . .
8. Cultural touchstone . . .
9. Drop in or drop out: Libraries can also be a place that means the difference between a child’s success or failure in school. Many libraries offer tutoring programs, free classes, as well as access to volumes of information and technology that a kid might not have anywhere else.

.    .    .    .    .

Doesn’t that seem like a space too valuable to lose?  READ IT !

Friday, August 10, 2012

I Love My Librarian Award: 2012

I Love My Librarian Award: 2012

Nominate your favorite librarian in your favorite library !
Deadline: September 12.

The award is administered by the American Library Association with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York and The New York Times.

10 librarians each will receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and $500 travel stipend to attend an awards reception in New York. In addition, a plaque will be given to each award winner’s library.

Recognize the accomplishments of your exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarian.

Nominate your school librarian
Nominate your public librarian
Nominate your college, community college or university librarian

Read about the Award and the winners from 2011 - 2008.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Literacy & Library Funding: Federal Budget FY2013

Congress is Working on the New Federal 2013 Budget

ACT NOW – Write your Representatives and ask them to support funding for Literacy and Libraries in the FY2013 budget.

The Senate appropriated $28.6 million for literacy. A minimum of half, or $14.3 million must go to low income school libraries while the rest of the money will go toward national not-for-profits that work for childhood literacy. The U.S. Department of Education has named this program Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL). Grant applications are available now. The House eliminated funding for the IAL program.

The budget also appropriates money for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) which includes $185 million for LSTA funding. Under LSTA; Grants to States was appropriated at $156.6 million, Native American Library Services was funded at $3.8 million, National Leadership for Libraries was funded at $11.9 million, and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian was received $12.5 million in FY ‘12.

The 2012 federal fiscal year will end on September 30, 2012.
Library & Literacy Funding Chart: FY 2013 (ALA)

Innovative Approaches to Literacy IAL
From 2002 to 2010, the Improving Literacy through School Libraries program had been the primary source for federal funding of school libraries. However, in recent years the President and U.S. Congress have consolidated or zero-funded this program. It is intended to support innovative programs that promote early literacy for young children, motivate older children to read, and increase student achievement by using school libraries, distributing free books to children and their families, and offering high-quality literacy activities.

The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)
The only federal program exclusively for libraries. State libraries use the funds to support statewide initiatives and also distribute the funds through sub-grants or cooperative agreements to public, school, academic, research, and special libraries. There is a requirement for a state match, which helps stimulate about three to four dollars for every federal dollar invested.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Restart the Economy by Stopping Illiteracy

Restart the Economy by Stopping Illiteracy
Huffington Post: 7.27.2012 by Rep. Hansen Clarke

The silver bullet for rebuilding our business climate, reducing crime, and restoring employment is as simple as ABC. It's time for bipartisan action to end the crisis of illiteracy.

If the absence of basic adult reading skills sounds like a problem of the past, consider the statistics: 47 percent of adults in Detroit are, according to a 2011 study by the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund, "functionally illiterate." This means that nearly half of adults lack the reading and writing skills to understand or complete a newspaper article, job advertisement, or bank statement.

This is not only debilitating for individuals and families. It's devastating for our entire region. Without attaining high levels of literacy, we cannot attract and keep high-quality employers that pay good wages. Without ensuring that people have the basic skills they need to succeed in the workplace, we cannot overcome our problems with crime. It should come as no surprise that 56 percent of United States adults in prison or jail in 2008 were deemed to have "very low literacy skills" according to the National Commission on Adult Literacy.

.   .   .   .   .

This month, I teamed up with Republican Congressman Tim Scott, a fellow African-American member of the U.S. House of Representatives, to introduce a bipartisan resolution for action on illiteracy. While we represent different regions, different parties, and different political philosophies, we agree that illiteracy is an urgent crisis, which disproportionately affects the lives of African-American and Hispanic men. We call on the federal government, private businesses, and citizens' groups to work together to reach the goal of reducing illiteracy by 50 percent among minority groups and 25 percent nationally over the next decade. READ MORE !

Thursday, July 26, 2012

2012 All-America City Grade Level Reading Awards

2012 All-America City Grade Level Reading Awards

The National Civic League recognizes ten communities each year for outstanding civic accomplishments. To win, each community must demonstrate innovation, inclusiveness, civic engagement, and cross sector collaboration by describing successful efforts to address pressing local challenges.

The award program was founded in 1949 when a newspaper reporter approached the National Civic League (then known as the National Municipal League) with the idea of naming the 10 best governed cities each year. Instead, the league created a program that recognized cities for civic achievements.

The National Civic League is adding its support to national efforts to address a persistent challenge in education: increasing the number of low-income children reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

2012 All-America Cities
Baltimore, Maryland
created a Grade-Level Reading Campaign to achieve three goals by 2020: 1) Average daily attendance of 97 percent for students in grades K-3. 2) More than 80 percent of students reading at grade level by the end of third grade. 3) More than 80 percent of all children fully prepared for kindergarten.
Dubuque, Iowa
coalition plans to connect more 4-year-olds to preschool, expand opportunities for 3-year-olds, and partner with local colleges to provide professional development for teachers, para-educators, and childcare providers. This process will ensure that early learning aligns with the primary grades.
Louisville, Kentucky
Every1Reads initiative: 100% of third graders will be reading on grade level by 2020. In addition, 80% of Jefferson County public school preschoolers will enter kindergarten “ready to learn,” and 90% of the system’s pre-K to third graders will attend school for 95 percent of the school year.
Marshalltown, Iowa
increase the number of children reading proficiently by the end of third grade to 90% by the year 2016. Other goals for 2016 are: 85% of children entering kindergarten will be ready to learn.
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
encourage teen moms to read to their children, creating programs like Third Thursdays – a monthly celebration of literacy.
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence Children and Youth Cabinet (CYC), a cross-sector collaborative of public, private, and nonprofit leadership focused on improving outcomes for all of Providence’s children.
Quad Cities, Iowa and Illinois
create a system of support for existing programs (both within and outside the school districts) that makes it easier to share resources across both district and state boundaries.
Roanoke, Virginia
Star City Reads committee to respond to the area’s core challenges in early education.
San Antonio, Texas
launch a campaign in both English and Spanish to raise awareness about the value of “Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing, and Playing,” the five components of its Every Child Ready to Read initiative.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco United School District, First 5 San Francisco, the Office of Mayor Edwin M. Lee, and the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth & Their Families have come together to develop a plan to double the number of third graders who are reading at grade level by the end of the decade.
Seattle and South King County Cities, Washington
Road Map Project aimed at dramatically improving student achievement from cradle to college and career.
Southern Pines, North Carolina
increasing the number of children enrolled in high quality child care and early childhood education; creating learning opportunities for low-income preschool children not enrolled in formal care; facilitating communication between early care providers and kindergarten teachers; and expanding number of at-risk children who participate in quality inter-session and summer learning programs.
Springfield, Massachusetts
Reading Success by Fourth Grade Campaign: educate parents, guardians, and childcare providers about their role in supporting early literacy and skill development through programs such as Ready! For Kindergarten; and providing more efficient training for teachers of all students in the fourth grade and below to boost early literary skills.
Tahoe/Truckee, California
Reads Campaign first met in fall 2011 to plan how community groups will increase the percentage of students reading at grade level by the end of third grade to 80% by 2020.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Literacy Tribune Newsletter: July 2012

Literacy Tribune: July 2012
The Adult Learner Network Newsletter

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: Getting it off & Keeping it off: First Steps: By Julia Pusztai, MSN RN, Director, The Neighborhood Wellness Center

A History Lesson: The Social Security Act of 1935
On June 8, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt told Congress that he wanted to start a program for social security.

Member Spotlight: Joe Buford
Learning to read and write has changed everything for Joe Buford, an adult learner of the Nashville Adult Literacy Council.

Technology Watch: LibreOffice for Students and Non-Profits
It is at the top of my list of “must-have” software. It's free. You get a complete office suite

The Literacy Tribune is looking for adult learner writers.
Are you an adult learner ?
Do you want to write ?
Do you want to publish your writing ?

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 5, 2012

Literacy Calendar: July 2012

Literacy Calendar: July 2012

For More
Literacy, Library and Education
Events & Conferences

July 12+ Conference of the Americas: Riviera Maya, Mexico
July 21:  Autism Sensory Friendly Films: ICE AGE @10am
July 23+ NIOST Summer Seminars: Boston, MA
July 25+ Autism Society National Conference: San Diego, CA
July 25+ Romance Writers of America Conference: Anaheim, CA
July 29+ Correction Education Assn Conference: St. Paul, MN
July 30+ National Comprehensive Literacy Institute: Anaheim, CA
July 31+ Mental Health - Learning Disabilities in Children Plano, TX

Friday, February 10, 2012

Education Gap Between Rich & Poor

Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Say
NY Times: 2.09.2012 by Sabrina Tavernise

WASHINGTON — Education was historically considered a great equalizer in American society, capable of lifting less advantaged children and improving their chances for success as adults. But a body of recently published scholarship suggests that the achievement gap between rich and poor children is widening, a development that threatens to dilute education’s leveling effects.

It is a well-known fact that children from affluent families tend to do better in school. Yet the income divide has received far less attention from policy makers and government officials than gaps in student accomplishment by race.

Now, in analyses of long-term data published in recent months, researchers are finding that while the achievement gap between white and black students has narrowed significantly over the past few decades, the gap between rich and poor students has grown substantially during the same period.

“We have moved from a society in the 1950s and 1960s, in which race was more consequential than family income, to one today in which family income appears more determinative of educational success than race,” said Sean F. Reardon, a Stanford University sociologist. Professor Reardon is the author of a study that found that the gap in standardized test scores between affluent and low-income students had grown by about 40 percent since the 1960s, and is now double the testing gap between blacks and whites.

In another study, by researchers from the University of Michigan, the imbalance between rich and poor children in college completion — the single most important predictor of success in the work force — has grown by about 50 percent since the late 1980s.

The changes are tectonic, a result of social and economic processes unfolding over many decades. The data from most of these studies end in 2007 and 2008, before the recession’s full impact was felt. Researchers said that based on experiences during past recessions, the recent downturn was likely to have aggravated the trend.

Both studies were first published last fall in a book of research, “Whither Opportunity?” compiled by the Russell Sage Foundation, a research center for social sciences, and the Spencer Foundation, which focuses on education. Their conclusions, while familiar to a small core of social sciences scholars, are now catching the attention of a broader audience, in part because income inequality has been a central theme this election season. READ MORE !

Friday, February 3, 2012

Health Literacy

Why Consumers Struggle to Understand Healthcare 1.27.2012

Older patients, caregivers, and family members face growing challenges in understanding and navigating the nation's increasingly complex healthcare system. Consumer illiteracy, long applied to financial matters, also has become an enormous issue in healthcare.

Sophisticated drugs and dosages are more complicated. With many seniors being treated for multiple chronic diseases, there can be dangerous interactive effects of taking medications for these differing problems. Dealing with medical professionals is also often challenging. Consumers don't understand medical language and many healthcare professionals seem incapable of speaking in any other tongue.

"Tens of millions of Americans have limited health literacy," according to a recent article in the journal Health Affairs that was authored by half a dozen government health officials, including Donald Berwick, the former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "Despite its importance," the experts said, "health literacy has until recently been relegated to the sidelines of healthcare improvement efforts."

Consumer difficulties in understanding healthcare communications can lead to a worsening cycle of health problems, including:
• The reduced ability to interpret medication labels and health messages
• Failure to select and enroll in the most appropriate health insurance plans
• Failure to understand and use the services provided by their health plans
• Problems taking medicines correctly
• Reduced use of a growing array of free preventive medical services
• More hospitalizations and readmissions
• Greater use of costly emergency room care
• Worse health outcomes and earlier deaths

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Value of Teachers

The Value of Teachers
NY Times: 01.11.2012 by Nicholas D Kristof

Suppose your child is about to enter the fourth grade and has been assigned to an excellent teacher. Then the teacher decides to quit. What should you do?

The correct answer? Panic!

Well, not exactly. But a landmark new research paper underscores that the difference between a strong teacher and a weak teacher lasts a lifetime. Having a good fourth-grade teacher makes a student 1.25 percent more likely to go to college, the research suggests, and 1.25 percent less likely to get pregnant as a teenager. Each of the students will go on as an adult to earn, on average, $25,000 more over a lifetime — or about $700,000 in gains for an average size class — all attributable to that ace teacher back in the fourth grade. That’s right: A great teacher is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to each year’s students, just in the extra income they will earn.

The study, by economists at Harvard and Columbia universities, finds that if a great teacher is leaving, parents should hold bake sales or pass the hat around in hopes of collectively offering the teacher as much as a $100,000 bonus to stay for an extra year. Sure, that’s implausible — but their children would gain a benefit that far exceeds even that sum.

Conversely, a very poor teacher has the same effect as a pupil missing 40 percent of the school year. We don’t allow that kind of truancy, so it’s not clear why we should put up with such poor teaching. In fact, the study shows that parents should pay a bad teacher $100,000 to retire (assuming the replacement is of average quality) because a weak teacher holds children back so much. READ MORE !

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Literacy Tribune Newsletter: January 2012

Literacy Tribune: January 2012
The Adult Learner Network Newsletter

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: Overcome Hurry Sickness in 2012
There is a sickness that you probably have not heard of, but you may have it. It is called Hurry Sickness.

A History Lesson: Benjamin Franklin, America’s First Postmaster General followed his own advice. He wrote things worth reading, and he did things worth writing about.

Organization Spotlight: South Coast Literacy Council
this California program which covers the southern portion of Orange County.

Member Spotlight: Jerome Nick
“Del Norte Reads staff and tutors are awesome,” says Jerome Nick, an adult learner who volunteers at the literacy program’s office, “They help me out a lot in the schooling part.”

Technology Watch: Google Chrome Extensions
Google Chrome is a free web browser. To use its extensions, you first need to have Google Chrome on your computer

The Literacy Tribune is looking for adult learner writers.
Are you an adult learner ?
Do you want to write ?
Do you want to publish your writing ?

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 !