Sunday, June 8, 2014

Literacy – Spanning the US: Hayward CA :: Napa CA :: Lincoln NE

Literacy: Spanning the U.S.

Calif. county inmates soon to be offered GED classes
New program allows some Napa County Jail inmates to prepare for and take GED high school diploma equivalency exam
CorrectionsOne: 6.06.2014

VALLEJO, Calif. — Starting July 1, a new program will allow some Napa County Jail inmates to prepare for and take the GED high school diploma equivalency exam, Napa County officials announced.

The program, which provides weekly group classes and one-on-one tutoring, is the result of a partnership between the Department of Corrections, the Probation Department, the Library Literacy Center and Napa Valley Adult Education, they said.

Designed to improve rehabilitative programming, increase opportunities for inmates and lower recidivism as inmates re-enter the Napa community, the program's classes and tutoring prepares inmates for the GED and teaches essential life skills for future employment. Napa County Probation will also recommend probationers or those recently released from custody, attend the out-of-custody GED program offered at the Napa County Library. Napa Valley Adult Education will visit the jail to administer the GED exam.

"We know that people who leave jail or probation have a much better opportunity to succeed if they have completed high school," Director of Corrections Lenard Vare said, "When community residents are educated, the entire community benefits."

The two-year pilot program is expected to start with 10 to 12 jail inmates and six to eight people in the out-of-custody program. It's meant to provide a bridge between jail and re-entry, as inmates released from custody will be able to continue the program through the out-of-custody version at the Library.

The Words In The Margins - VIDEO

When 31-year-old Axel seeks help learning to read at his local library, he meets Steve, a Kenyan immigrant with a love of language. Steve becomes Axel's tutor, but who is helping whom? Presented by POV, The Words in the Margins is an intimate portrait of two men born worlds apart but connected by their dreams of a better life.

Pilot literacy program at jail yields impressive results
Lincoln Journal Star: 5.26.2014 by Kevin Abourezk

One inmate struggled with attention deficit disorder to such an extreme he had to point at each letter of a word in order to stay focused as he read, but he didn’t quit.

Another inmate, hesitant at first to meet with literacy tutors at the county jail, eventually learned to appreciate the help they provided improving his reading and asked jail administrators if he could meet with those tutors more frequently.

Another man, who couldn’t speak English very well, became so enthusiastic about meeting literacy tutors each week that he expressed plans to continue working with those tutors once he was released from the Lancaster County jail.

Jail administrators and a local literacy program director shared those stories recently about a literacy program at the county jail that began in early February.

“It really goes a long way toward boosting confidence and self-esteem,” said Brenda Fisher, programs director for the jail. “I think it just fills a much-needed gap in the educational services we provide.”

Administrators at the new county jail, 3801 W. O St., enrolled 16 inmates in the pilot program. Five Lincoln Literacy volunteer tutors visited the jail each Tuesday night during the 12-week program, meeting with inmates in small group sessions. All but one of the inmates was male.

Lincoln Literacy tested each inmate before beginning their tutoring sessions and then tested each of them again once they completed the program.

All but one of the inmates who completed the program showed improvement on tests, said Clay Naff, executive director of Lincoln Literacy. Inmates showed as high as 24 percent improvement.  READ MORE !

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