Sunday, April 6, 2014

Literacy - Spanning the U.S: Stanislaus Co, CA; Forsyth, GA; Rockwall, TX

Literacy:  Spanning the U.S.

Success & Service: Literacy Network of Stanislaus County hands out annual honors
Modesto Bee: 3.22.2014 by Bee Staff Reports

The Literacy Network of Stanislaus County handed out awards to improved readers and top volunteers during its annual event, this one at CrossPoint Community Church in Modesto.

Mayra Martinez, who spoke no English in 2010, was honored as the English as a second language winner. In three years, she improved her adult student assessment score by 30 points and can now help her children with their homework.

Juliet Albazi, who came to the United State from Iraq, earned the award for literacy. When she arrived in the country in January 2010, she spoke minimal English and her reading comprehension was at a third-grade level. She advanced to an eighth-grade level in just two years, passed her General Educational Development courses in October, and enrolled at Modesto Junior College in January.

Adriana Martinez received the GED award. With her husband in Mexico, she worked, studied and raised her children. She passed her GED, and is training for a supervisor position at a Turlock retail store.  READ MORE !

Community column: Too many Johnnies and Janes can’t read
AJC News: 3.22.2014 by Marty Farrell

Forsyth County has one of the fastest growing and affluent populations in the nation along with an award winning school system.

Yet, here and in many other places in Georgia and America there is a dirty little secret: one in every ten adults is functionally illiterate, a term defining people whose reading and writing skills are inadequate to meet the everyday needs of modern life.

Annaliza Thomas, executive director of Literacy Forsyth says there are a host of reasons for illiteracy in the U.S. It can be a consequence of poverty, learning disabilities or a history of illiteracy within a family. There are also individuals whose primary language is not English. Thomas estimates their target demographic at around 16,000 people. That includes those needing basic reading tutoring, individuals learning English as a second language and an estimated 13,000 without a high school education.

Her agency, supported by United Way and other donations works with schools, libraries and even jails to tutor groups and individuals to enhance their reading and writing to at least a 6th grade level. For many, these classes provide a second chance to prepare for a better life through a GED test. which could open doors to places such as Lanier Tech, an institution otherwise closed to young adult dropouts who have come to realize a high school diploma is more valuable than just a piece of paper.

With a small paid staff of retired teachers, and a group of committed volunteers, Thomas’ organization serves approximately 1,300 people annually. Literacy Forsyth helps around 100 students get a high school equivalency diploma each year. In addition, they assist hundreds more improve basic reading skills and provide help for non-English speaking residents working to acquire sufficient language skills to take and pass the U.S. Citizenship Exam.  READ MORE !

AT&T Pioneers join hands with Rockwall County Adult Literacy Program
Blue Ribbon News: 3.31.2014 Submitted by Jamie Rubush, RFA.

AT&T Pioneers, a volunteer organization made up of retired and active AT&T employees, and Reading For Adults (RFA), Rockwall County Library’s Adult Literacy Program led by Carol Cease, Director, recently met at the library for a special presentation. The Pioneers gave over 300 Spanish/English and English Only dictionaries to students in the various classes including GED studies, English as a Second Language (ESL), Citizenship Preparation and Basic Literacy.  In addition, ten headsets were donated to assist the students with their on-line language tutorial program.

For over 14 years, RFA Literacy program at Rockwall County Library has provided free educational services to adults, offering classes in ESL (English as a Second Language), Citizenship, GED preparation and Adult Literacy. Supported by The Friends of the Rockwall County Library, the RFA classes are taught by local volunteer tutors, who give hundreds of hours of instruction each year, offering morning and evening classes weekly. The tutors, with varied business, educational, financial and technical backgrounds, follow the curriculum material selected and approved by the Literacy Program. READ MORE !

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