Sunday, March 9, 2014

Literacy - Spanning the U.S: Roseville CA, Twiggs Co GA, Nashville TN

Literacy:  Spanning the U.S.

Roseville’s adult literacy program helps 84-year-old learn to read
Press Tribune: 2.13.2014 by Sena Christian

After a lifetime of having the messages in birthday cards read to him, Roseville resident John Var veered from the norm on his 84th birthday last August when he told his granddaughter he no longer needed her assistance.

“I fired her,” Var said, of granddaughter Kimberly Monnot.

But that was fine with Monnot, as it indicated her grandfather was finally able to read most of the messages on his own. Only a couple years before, Var decided he wanted to give reading a shot and he signed up for the Roseville public libraries’adult literacy program.

The free program is open to Roseville residents at least 16 years old and not enrolled in high school, who seek the services in English (participants must also do the intake interview in English). The program started in 2009 thanks to a bequest by long-time Roseville resident Virgil Harrington and is funded by the California Library Literacy Services.

Throughout California, about 10,000 trained volunteers provide tutoring to more than 22,000 adults in some 900 libraries, according to Acting State Librarian Gerald Maginnity. The majority of these aspiring readers are between the ages of 20 and 49.  READ MORE !

Central Georgians battle illiteracy
13WMAZ: 2.27.2014 by Kristen D Swilley  [ Video ]

"I just don't believe in the word 'can't' because that's one word I ain't never seen in the Bible, 'can't,'" Estella Sams says.

The entrepreneur doesn't let much stop her, but for almost 60 of her 75 years, there's one thing that's slowed the Jeffersonville native down.

She left school in 1956, even though her mother told her not to.

"She tried to get me to go on to school, but no, I wanted to get married, so I stopped, " Sams said.

Like Sams, more than one out of every four Twiggs County residents struggles with literacy.

She runs her own catering business with help from her family, but says it kept her out of a traditional job.

"When you can't read and write, the boss man might tell you to go get a glass of bleach and I go get a glass of water. Because both of them look the same, but it's not the same. Because I can't read, so if I can read, I can see the difference in it," she said.

According to the U.S. Department of Education's National Assessment of Adult Literacy, Twiggs County has one of the worst adult illiteracy rates in the state at 27.7 percent.

That's the number of adults who read at a sixth-grade level or lower.  READ MORE !

Reading tutor benefits from lessons, too
Young lawyer volunteers for literary agency
Tennessean: 2.28.2014 by Jessica Bliss

Inspiration to do good can be found in unexpected places.

Kristen Bailey saw a small flier hanging near the ladies room at The Frothy Monkey. On it was a call for volunteers to tutor at the Nashville Adult Literacy Council.

A young lawyer with a history of community service, Bailey, 33, decided to pursue the opportunity.

For the past year, she has been helping an older gentleman, Morris Mays, learn to read.

“There’s just a lot more adults who have reading difficulties than I ever even thought,” Bailey said. “They are working and contributing to society, but I think of the struggle it must be. You have to hide it, you have to fake your way through different things, and it seems like a hard way to live.

“I have seen so much progress in my learner, so it’s gratifying to me to know we did it together.”  READ MORE !

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