Sunday, April 20, 2014

Literacy - Spanning the U.S: CA :: IL :: Penn Yan NY :: Pittsburgh PA

Literacy:  Spanning the U.S.

Feedback on Literacy, Library Horror Stories, and More
Library Journal: 4.10.2014

Literacy in libraries
Thanks so much, Rebecca Miller, for bringing this issue forward (“Bold on Literacy,” Editorial, LJ 3/1/14, p. 8). California’s Library Literacy Service will celebrate its 30th anniversary this fall. Currently 97 library jurisdictions annually serve 22,000 adult learners with 10,000 to 12,000 trained volunteer tutors in more than 500 locations around the state. Libraries are ideal settings for literacy services. They are easy to access in communities and are comfortable, information-rich environments where new readers can thrive.

Our most recent annual statewide outcomes show that of those adult learners who set the goal, 72 percent were able to share a book with their child and 65 percent were able to help their children with homework. Also, 65 percent were able to complete a job application, 57 percent wrote a résumé, 50 percent interviewed for a job, and 31 percent actually secured a new job or were promoted at work.

Hooray for all the library staff and volunteers around the country who make this important work happen!
—Carla Lehn, Lib. Programs Consultant, California State Lib., Sacramento

One In Two Illinoisans Struggles With Reading
Progress Illinois: 4.11.2014 by Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service

Adult literacy goes beyond being able to curl up with a good book.  Experts say reading struggles also can translate into troubles functioning in an ever-changing world.

Dorothy Miaso, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Illinois, says being literate means knowing how to be successful within a family, community and workplace.

She says studies show that one in every two adults has difficulties in one of those areas.

"They may not be able to compute as well, use technological equipment," she explains. "Math has always been a problem. They may not be able to follow editorials, and another thing is health literacy."

Meanwhile, an estimated one in four has severe difficulty with reading, which Miaso says could mean needing a lot of help from others, including with directions in the workplace or elsewhere.

On Saturday, educators, tutors and new readers will gather for a conference at the University of Illinois at Chicago to learn about the latest strategies, techniques and materials to help students and teachers in adult literacy programs.  READ MORE !

Public Policy Sunday: Illiteracy and poverty
Chronicle Express: 4.12.2014

Sunday means more than prayers and hymns for the parishioners of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church; it means examining how their religious belief is to be put into practice to make the lives of other people better. And one Sunday each year is set aside for a special focus for the congregation to examine together.

St. Mark’s has observed Public Policy Sunday each spring for more than a decade, focusing on hunger, poverty, and health, both at home and abroad. Over the years, the program has helped generate support for Penn Yan’s Community Garden, Milly’s Pantry, and Bread for the World. This year’s focus is literacy and the connection between illiteracy and poverty.

Featured speakers for Public Policy Sunday, April 6 were Angela Gonzalez, executive director of the Penn Yan Public Library; Paul J. Miller, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Ontario-Yates; and Anne Schuhle, executive director of Geneva ReadsREAD MORE !

Adult literacy boost

Right now 6,000 Pennsylvanians are on waiting lists for adult literacy programs. They urgently want to improve their lives through education. The programs do not have the capacity to serve these needy people because of cuts in state funding over the past several years.

Although labeled as “adult literacy,” these programs provide a wide range of services including GED preparation, GED testing, English as a second language and workforce skills training. A report by the Pennsylvania Association of Adult Continuing Education shows that the programs return more than $2.50 to the state government for every dollar invested in them. That is possible because they lower expenses for welfare and unemployment compensation, and they increase the amount of income tax paid as students find jobs.

Adult literacy programs have the ability to lift families out of poverty. We urge state legislators to approve a $2 million increase in funding to serve the thousands of people on waiting lists. Our economy and our state will benefit.

JACKIE KALOCAY HOGG, President, Board of Directors

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