Sunday, May 18, 2014

Literacy – Spanning the US: Del Norte CA; Atlanta GA; Henrico VA

Literacy: Spanning the US

Knowledge is power
Nonprofit assists libraries, helps encourage reading
Henrico Citizen: 5.06.2013 by Eileen Mellon

In 2007, when brothers Barrett and Cameron Roberts found themselves out of work, they turned to selling books that they purchased from local library book sales. The process quickly transformed into Shared Knowledge, a nonprofit, growing partnership with Henrico County libraries that works to provide funding for literacy and education programs in the area through the sales of books online.

Cameron Roberts said that the start in Henrico began when the brothers were approached by Beverly Ziegler at the Dumbarton Library during the spring book sale. She expressed her ideas for raising additional funds to support the programs run by the Friends of the Library, a volunteer-based group that strives to enhance, promote and provide supplemental funding for Henrico Libraries.

“We had thought about partnerships in the community before, and when Beverly approached us we saw a major opportunity for us and the libraries,” said Roberts. “We are book nerds, and we were both avid readers and it just made sense to give Shared Knowledge a shot. We believed in what we were doing and thought that if we stood behind our goal, we had a good chance to succeed.”

In the summer of 2007 the Robertses started a trial with Dumbarton, Twin Hickory, Tuckahoe and Gayton libraries scanning books and selling them online through Amazon. The libraries soon realized that partnering with Shared Knowledge could be an important way to raise income for the libraries, and the relationship with Shared Knowledge hasn’t stopped since.  READ MORE !

Making A Difference: Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta
Atlantain Town Paper: 5.05.2014 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.

LVA uses a student-centered approach to enable adult learners, like Goode and Linzy, to reach their personal literacy goals. Put simply, LVA meets students where they are. The nonprofit matches adult students who read below the 5th/6th grade level into free classes or with one-on-one tutors staffed by trained volunteers. Thirty-three classes per week at LVA’s Decatur office or the Decatur Recreation Center cover reading, spelling, writing, math, and entry-level computer skills. LVA also offers English and citizenship classes.

With more than 800,000 adults in metro Atlanta who read below the 5th grade level, it’s no surprise that LVA always has more students than volunteer tutors and teachers. To address that gap, LVA started a student mentor program in January led by advanced students. Goode and Linzy agreed to serve as the first mentors. READ MORE !

Camille’s Story
World Education-I Am A Mother in School: 5.2014
By Camille Myers, ABE/GED Student

My name is Camille Myers and I am a 52-year-old mother of one son and grandmother of three. I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah but I was raised by a widowed mother in Nampa, Idaho with an old-fashioned Midwestern upbringing. My schooling was varied; I was diagnosed with seizures and was given a wide variety of drugs starting at 6. Because of the drugs, I was labeled mentally challenged and spent my first four years in a state school for people with severe mental retardation. In the fifth grade I went to a special school for mentally challenged students until I was 16.

At 16 I became a mom and quit school. At the time I quit school, my reading ability was at the 4th grade level. It was a struggle to be a single mom. It was very hard to get employment as I could not fill out the applications. I missed many opportunities for work even though I was a good worker. Because of the misdiagnosis on my educational abilities, I feel that I missed out on the opportunity to fulfill my dream of becoming a nurse. Yet somehow, even though it was a struggle, I managed to raise my son and provide for us.

When I was 50, I realized that I wanted to work on the education that was denied me. I started going to an adult literacy program, Del Norte Reads in Crescent City, California. Much to my amazement, I was able to learn. I embraced learning and am working to get my GED. I love learning, and it has opened up so many opportunities and doors for me. What an exciting and fulfilling time of life because I took that first step. I am unemployed right now, but I have chosen to stay unemployed as I work to raise my educational level to enable me to get a better job. I struggle to make ends meet but I know it will be worth it in the end when I am able to get my dream job.  READ MORE !

No comments: