Sunday, June 1, 2014

Literacy – Spanning the US: Brevard Co FL :: Kalamazoo MI :: Menomonie WI

Literacy: Spanning the US

Literacy for Adults has big plans
Florida Today: 5.21.2014 by Pam Harbaugh

For the past 42 years, Literacy for Adults in Brevard has been serving Space Coast residents from age 18 to 70-plus. The organization has worked quietly, in the background, far from the glare of the public arena.

But that's all about to change, says Kristen Tinker, its new executive director.

"We have done considerable repositioning in the last eight months to become more relevant and visible in the community," says Tinker, a former principal at Explorer Elementary and Middle School. "We teach reading or literacy skills to adults with the goal that they can reach full potential."

She's so passionate that she enthusiastically stepped up eight months ago to take on the executive directorship, a nonpaid position. There's not much to be done about that, because the organization works on an annual shoestring budget of about $6,000.

The organization began in Titusville in October 1971 when a group of women from a Methodist church became aware of a growing problem of illiteracy in their community. Now, it is based at the Brevard Library Foundation's River House next to the Central Brevard Library and Reference Center in Cocoa.

The U.S. Census Bureau shows that Brevard's illiterate population is roughly 10 percent, which amounts to an estimated 45,000 people not being able to write, read or communicate adequately, Tinker says.

Many of those people are high school graduates, she says. That fact makes her scratch her head.  READ MORE !

WSW: Wiping Out Adult Illiteracy

WMUK: 5.20.12014 by Gordon Evans & Earlene McMicael

The Kalamazoo Adult Literacy Council says not being able to read is an invisible impairment -- or at least one easy to conceal.

That's why it is trying to raise awareness about the estimated 25,000 adults in Kalamazoo County who struggle to read, and its free tutoring services to assist this population.

WMUK's Earlene McMichael introduces us to Anthony Everson. The 53-year-old warehouse worker from Kalamazoo shares his story about getting through life with limited reading ability. Everson hopes to earn his GED, and so has turned to the council for literacy instruction. 

A video of Everson was shown Tuesday night during a 40th anniversary celebration for the Kalamazoo Literacy Council.

About 250 adults receive reading assistance at the Adult Literacy Council each year, projected to continue growing by another 100 adults annually. That means ever more volunteer tutors will be needed.

Some might wonder how it is that many of us don’t know tens of thousands of Kalamazoo County residents grapple with reading in a community that values education. It is happening because, officials say, those who can’t read well work hard to mask their reading challenges. READ MORE !

Words from Jail
Literacy Volunteers of the Chippewa Valley
Dunn County News: 5.24.2014

The following story was written by one of Mary Riordan’s students in the Creative Writing class at The Dunn County Jail. Working through Literacy Volunteers-Chippewa Valley, Riordan teaches a four-session class approximately every other month at the jail—one class for men and the other for women.

I Am
By M.P.

A mother
A daughter
A friend
Always ready for a good laugh
Not the tree of knowledge, but I am smart
Happy on most days, but the sad ones come too
From the school of purple and white — Memorial
Anxious to move on with things and get back to my life
Ready to try new things and make new choices
Missing those I care about
Remembering the times we had this
Summer on Dave’s boat, the bright yellow and white
That ironically matched my swimsuit perfectly.
Wondering what the weather will bring
When I get out — will it be cold — will it yet be winter?
Tired of the waiting, trying to be patient
Making the best of each day, in the
Meantime and will try to keep doing so each day.

To volunteer for the Literacy program, call Claudia Manning, the Menomonie director, at 715-232-9143, or stop by her office in the lower level of the Menomonie Public Library, in the morning, Monday through Thursday.

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