Sunday, May 11, 2014

Literacy - Spanning the US: Baltimore, Florida, Atlanta

Literacy: Spanning the U.S.

Baltimore Reads To Cease Operations
26 Year Old Adult Literacy Non-Profit To Close June 30, 2014
Digital Journal: 5.01.2014

Today, Baltimore Reads, Inc. (BRI) announced the organization will cease operations on June, 30, 2014.  After 26 years providing adult literacy education, the Board of Directors reached the difficult decision to wind down operations in light of ongoing challenges with funding.

"This was not a decision made lightly, or without regard to its impact on the community which BRI has served for over 26 years," said Clare Miller, President of Baltimore Reads, Inc.

BRI was initiated as a quasi-governmental organization in 1988 and has helped many thousands of adults learn to read, get their GEDs and increase their ability to use English as a second language.  As times have changed, and funding has become scarce, BRI has continually looked for other sources of financial support and has met with many successes and failures.  In recent years, the board also has been actively looking for a partner to help the organization strengthen and grow, to no avail.  The Board of Directors recently concluded that it is time for Baltimore Reads to close its doors. The Book Bank created by Baltimore Reads has been transferred to a new non-profit; The Maryland Book Bank.  They are expected to grow and continue to be a valuable resource to the Baltimore Community.

"We sincerely thank all of our partners and generous supporters of BRI over the years," said Miller.  "We plan to work closely with our fellow community based organizations network to help place our students for their future success.  We will also support our staff in any way we can for their future success, and thank you in advance for your suggestions or thoughts on how we may best achieve these goals."

About Baltimore Reads
Founded in 1988, by then Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, Baltimore Reads teaches adults the literacy skills necessary to function in society, achieve goals and develop individual knowledge and potential. In addition to literacy classes BRI offers English as a second or other language classes and GED preparation courses. BRI is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit.  To learn more about the organization and to make donations, visit

Learning to read raises DeLand woman's hopes
News Journal: 5.04.2014 by Annie Martin

Shannon Voelbel read aloud to her tutor, Kim Morris.

“Angry shouts coming from the restaurant kitchen was/were disturbing the diners.”

Voelbel's task? To decide whether to use “was” or “were.”

“Were?” she said.

“Uh-huh,” Morris nodded.

Voelbel returned to school recently, taking literacy classes with Morris and job skills courses. The 39-year-old, whose lazy eye makes it difficult for her to read letters on a page, has spent nearly two decades doing what she calls “grunt work” in fast food restaurants. But she's ready for more now.

She's practicing skills that most children hone during their early elementary years, like selecting the correct verb tense for a subject, but the upbeat DeLand woman isn't discouraged. She rises at 5:30 a.m. each day so she can board a Votran bus and arrive at Daytona State College's main campus in time for the start of her 8:30 a.m. classes.

“When I first started school, I was nervous,” Voelbel said.

Resuming school is daunting for many adults, especially for those with deficient reading skills. Voelbel read below a sixth-grade reading level when she started meeting with Morris in March, but she's progressed to about a ninth-grade level now.  READ MORE !

Making A Difference: Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta
Atlanta InTown: 5.04.2014 by Clare S. Richie

When Linda Goode began taking classes at Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta (LVA), she read at the first grade level. Even though she dropped out of school as a girl to care for her younger siblings, Goode always valued education. She volunteered at her daughter’s school and proudly put her daughter through college. Two years ago she decided, “It’s my time now to get my education. I want to read, get my GED, and go to college.” Thanks to LVA, Goode now reads at the 3rd grade level, has learned basic computer skills, and started teaching other adult students.

Jeffery Linzy came to LVA to strengthen skills critical to completing his GED. While growing up, he was ignored or put down when he asked for help in school or at home, so he stopped asking. As an adult, he was “tired of feeling less than.” With LVA’s support and encouragement, “I was ready to prove I could make something of myself,” Linzy said. Now he is a positive influence to other adult learners.  READ MORE !

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