Sunday, August 31, 2014

Literacy – Spanning the US: Solano Co CA :: Arlington Heights IL :: Stockton CA :: Midland Co TX

Literacy:  Spanning the U.S.

Solano County Counsel Dennis Bunting wins prestigious award for lead paint fight
The Reporter: 8.25.2014 by Melissa Murphy

.     .     .     .     .     .     .
In other action, Supervisors will consider a recommendation from the Department of Library Services for the county to recognize September as Adult Literacy Awareness Month and honoring the Library's Literacy Services for 20 years of service to adults the county.

The California State Library is sponsoring a state-wide campaign, staff explained. In 1984, the California State Library began sponsoring library literacy programs in an effort to combat adult illiteracy throughout California. Solano County received a start-up grant in 1994 to offer these adult literacy services to residents.

Approximately 20 percent of the adult residents in Solano are considered functionally illiterate. This number equates to approximately 60,000 adults. Another 32 percent are considered marginally illiterate, bringing the total of adults who struggle with reading to more than 50 percent of the adult population.

On Sept. 8, International Literacy Day, Library Literacy Services will host an informational and interactive display in the lobby of the Solano County Administration Center from 8 a.m. to - 5 p.m. Adult learners, volunteers and staff will be on hand to talk about the work of the program and to increase awareness of adult literacy issues in the community. A program at 9 a.m. in the multipurpose room will feature California State Librarian, Greg Lucas, who will speak about his work with the State Library and the campaign to eliminate adult illiteracy statewide. Adult learners, Velma Benson and Yolanda Sixto, will talk about their literacy challenges and successes. Literacy volunteer and county employee, Elaine Pulido, will round out the agenda with her personal story of her role as an adult literacy tutor for over seven years. READ MORE !

Volunteer tutors boost reading skills
Chicago Tribune: 8.25.2014 by Tracy Gruen

Each year, hundreds of adults learn how to read or become better readers through the Read to Learn program offered by Township High School District 214's community education department.

Last year, 357 people volunteered to be tutors and 515 students participated in the program.

"Every student has an individualized lesson plan," said Rhonda Serafin, manager of adult education and family literacy. "It's based on the learners' reading level and based on their interests and some of their needs."

"We're always looking for more volunteers," she said, adding that while a training session just concluded, another will be scheduled in January.

The majority of participants speak a language other than English at home, while others might have learning disabilities or did not finish high school.

"There's a very large population of English as a second language learners in this area," Serafin said. "The learners learn how to read and get a lot of cultural information from their volunteers, make friends and learn about our community. The volunteers step into the role of a teacher and learn a lot in that role."  READ MORE !

Council: Improved library services key to economic recovery
Record Net: 8.27.2014 by Roger Phillips

It will take years for Stockton to recover from bankruptcy, but City Council members agreed Tuesday night that a vibrant library system would play a vital role in the city’s economic recovery.

Responding to public outcry, council members said the city should do whatever it can to improve library services even as Stockton struggles with post-bankruptcy economic realities likely to stretch well into the future.

The council comments came at the end of a City Hall meeting highlighted by a strong turnout of library supporters who urged Stockton officials to repair the struggling system. The shape of those reforms, however, remain to be determined.

“Literacy is really connected to our economic recovery,” Councilman Elbert Holman said. “We need to provide a clear vision as to where the library needs to go.”

The Stockton-San Joaquin Public Library system serves all of the county with the exception of Lodi and has been a casualty of Stockton’s economic hardships in the past five years.  READ MORE !

Adult literacy improves community’s productivity, safety
Midland Reporter-Telegram: 8.30.2014 by Katie PanKratz

Children of adults with low-literacy skills are far less likely to attend college or obtain a high school diploma than children of adults with average to above average skills. However, when it comes to the topic of education in America, much emphasis is placed on programs tailored to youth. In 2010-2011, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Adult and Vocational Education invested $596,120,000 in the education of roughly 2 million students — a mere $296 per student — according to the National Coalition for Literacy, while total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in the United States during that time amounted to $632 billion — or $12,608 per student — according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Although elementary and secondary education is important, adult education tends to go overlooked and may very well be the missing link in cultivating an educated, productive and safe society.

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Adult literacy not only affects the overall education of our community, but also affects our community’s productivity and safety. McGraw-Hill Research Foundation found that benefits of adult education programs include increased tax revenues, greater business productivity, decreased reliance on government financial support and reduced crime rates. Therefore, with an investment in adult education, our community stands to yield several valuable returns.
Local organizations such as the Midland County Public Library offer adults the opportunity to improve their literacy skills. The library provides information access to all people to meet their individual, cultural, educational and recreational needs.

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Midland Need to Read (MN2R) is another local organization with a mission to enhance lives of Midland County adults through literacy.  READ MORE !

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Floyd Mayweather Can’t Read: Can The Men In Your Life Do Better?

Floyd Mayweather Can’t Read: Can The Men In Your Life Do Better? 
Vibe: 8.24.2014 by Aliya S. King

Amidst 50 Cent and Charlamagne Tha God's shaming of Floyd Mayweather for his reading disabilities, are you forgetting about the many everyday people who can't read?

We now all know that Floyd Mayweather may be a poor reader, thanks to 50 Cent’s challenge and radio host Charlamagne Tha God’s co-sign with audible proof of his reading disability.

Now what?

America's Literacy Directory 

National Literacy Directory

Chances are, if there are young African-American men in your life, many of them can’t read well either.

According to a study from the Nation’s Report Card, only 14 percent of all African-American 8th graders performed at or above a proficient level in reading. And the statistics for boys are even more depressing—they scored, on average, six points lower than the girls.

And not being able to read well doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Floyd may have earned millions last year but the millions of little Black boys around the country who fumble through reading aren’t making that kind of cash. And reading levels are a predictor of academic success, (especially when you can’t box like Floyd). Right now, fewer than half of African-American males receive their high school diplomas and less than 5% go on to college.

And of course, we know education is a major factor in a person’s life trajectory. The literacy rates of African-American men in this country are directly connected to the fact that the unemployment rate for Black men is twice the rate for white men.

Will making Floyd the butt of a national joke encourage young black boys to strengthen their reading skills? Doubtful. It’s more likely to make poor reading skills a source of greater embarrassment. Especially since Floyd’s response to the controversy was to post pay stubs totaling $70 million dollars with the caption: Read This.

If you put the script that Floyd was trying to read into a search engine that measures reading levels, it’s on a ninth-grade reading level. (A sentence like “The Cat In The Hat knows a lot about that,” is on a first-grade reading level).

Floyd dropped out of high school in his senior year, more than 20 years ago. So is it really a surprise that he doesn’t read on a ninth-grade level?  READ MORE !

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Adults Celebrate Learning with Stories About Literacy

Adults Celebrate Learning with Stories About Literacy
UpNext: The IMLS Blog: 8.20.2014 by M Heintz
By Michele Farrell, Senior Library Program Officer

Being able to read and write is something that most of us take for granted. But, for 32 million Americans, this is not the case. Many who lack these skills don’t know where to look for help. Some find out about assistance through word of mouth from friends, others see advertisements that have been placed in their community by libraries and literacy providers. Once they do locate assistance, their lives are changed for the better.

In Oklahoma, the Department of Libraries works with the Literacy Resource Office to help adults obtain these skills. Their collaborative works resulted in a publication calledCelebrating the Journey,“ a compilation of the writings of the adult learners who received instruction in reading and writing. Each learner was invited to submit an original story of up to 300 words, and tutors or program representatives were asked to review the writing for editing. The tutors assist with correcting spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

The latest issue, volume 8, contains 99 stories from 16 library and community-based literacy programs and adult learning centers. There are many stories of hope and inspiration like that of Steve Hohler, whose story, “New Confidence,” gives you a real sense of the challenges you face when you can’t to read.  He received his training through the Miami Public Library Literacy Program. As he says in the story, “I can read the words to the hymns at church. I used be so self-conscious about this, but I don’t have to fake this anymore. You can hear me sing out, not like I used to, mumbling or using other words.”

The Bartleville Public Library provided training for Sister Maria D. Ugbe, an immigrant who arrived here from Nigeria eight years ago, and who hopes to become a U.S. citizen. She wrote in her story, “My Companion Word: Coraggio,” ’Life is lived by courage. Each one of us sees the world through a unique lens. Unfortunately, that is why not all can survive. We need to be there for one another to have coraggio (courage) and not give up

Authors will be attending their book signing on September 21 at the Fall Literacy Conference held in Norman and hosted by the Oklahoma Literacy Coalition. If you would like to read more from this publication click here to be inspired.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Literacy – Spanning the US: Detroit MI :: Solano Co CA :: Lafayette LA

Literacy:  Spanning the U.S.

Adults get help with literacy at Westland library
Hometown Life: 8.12.2014

Low literacy is a problem that increases the prevalence and economic impact of socioeconomic problems like poor health and poverty. There are more than 30 million adults in the United States today who aren’t able to read and write well enough to fill out job applications, understand information from a doctor, or read nutrition labels at the grocery store. Low literacy is a problem that is often passed from generation to generation – half of children born to illiterate parents grow up to be illiterate adults.

If you’re reading this article, it might not be challenging for you to perform routine tasks like reading a map, helping children with school work, writing checks, or reading a medication label. However, these tasks can feel insurmountable for adults who have low literacy skills.

Many of the adults who need help don’t look for it, or don’t know where to find it. Libraries are a natural center for literacy and often the first place people go when they are looking for help. If you know someone who needs help reading, come to the library and ask about our free Adult Literacy Program.  READ MORE !

Literacy program has far-reaching impacts
The Reporter, Opinion: 8.12.2014 by Lani Clarke,
Solano County supervising librarian

There is a small group of library employees whose work impacts your life in ways you are probably unaware of, but you won't find them behind a service desk at your local branch.

They staff Solano County Library's Literacy Services department, and they help many people with whom you interact with on a daily basis.

The library's literacy program supports those who want to improve their reading and writing skills, as well as those who wish to learn English as a second language. Sometimes a learner falls into both categories. You may not think their work affects you in the least, but I'll make book on the fact that it does. Here's why: About 36 million adult U.S. residents read at or below the third grade level. That number's so big that I'd like to put it in perspective for you: Roughly 38.3 million people call California home. Picture the vast majority of them unable to decipher anything in print more complicated than the type of book you read in primary school, and equally limited in expressing themselves through the written word. It's safe to say that if this were the case, California wouldn't be the eighth largest economy on the planet.

Of course, this barely literate segment of the U.S. population isn't confined to one state, but statistically speaking, at least 10 percent of residents in any given community either cannot read or can barely read. In Solano County, that translates to roughly 42,000 people. And that distressing figure is dwarfed by another: according to the National Center for Education's Adult Literacy Survey, almost half of the country's population has low literacy skillsREAD MORE !

Adult literacy program volunteers honored
KLFY News: 8.19.2014

Research has proven that there is a direct link between a community's literacy levels and its crime rate and that point was driven home today by U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley.

Finley served as keynote speaker at a gathering Tuesday recognizing the contributions of volunteer tutors in the VITA program, or Volunteer Instructors Teaching Adults, which is Acadiana's adult literacy program.

Finley told the group that thirty six million Americans are below the literacy rate, that's one in four Louisianans, and being unable to read and write means being unable to fully function as a community member.

"When you see literacy rates go up in a community, you see the crime rate go down, that's what the statistics prove, but it's so important for all Americans to be able to function at one hundred percent in our society, and the work they do here at VITA is vitally important to us at the U. S. Attorney's office, but also as community members " said Finley.  VIDEO

Friday, August 22, 2014

Think Libraries Don't Matter? Think Again

Think Libraries Don't Matter? Think Again
91 percent of Americans say libraries are important to their communities. Why?
Psychology Today: 8.20.2014 by Denise Cummins, Ph.D.

There is a growing chorus of critics who argue that public libraries are no longer needed, and they are fueling efforts to cut public funding of libraries.
These detractors tend to fall into three camps.

First, there are those who believe books-as-physical-objects are quaint relics of the past. In this brave new 21st century, print media is getting replaced rapidly by digital media.
.   .   .   .   .   .   .

The second camp includes writers who believe that libraries cut into their personal profits precisely because people can go there to rent their books for free.
.   .   .   .   .   .   .

The third camp includes primarily affluent people who don't use libraries much and therefore argue that because they do not use something, it has no value for anyone.
.   .   .   .   .   .   .

Are these detractors right to argue that libraries are nothing more than antequated [sic] places to go to rob authors of their hard earned dollars? Well, not so much. You see, libraries are more than places to rent books for free. They are the hub—the lifeblood—of American communities.  READ MORE !

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I Love My Librarian Award: 2014

I Love My Librarian Award

Nominations for the 2014 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Awards are open through September 12.

There are more than 122,000 libraries nationwide, and librarians touch the lives of the people they serve every day. The award encourages library users to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarians. How is your librarian improving the lives of the people in your school, campus or community.

Nominate a Public Librarian
Nominate a School Librarian
Nominate a College, Community College, or University Librarian


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Campaign launched today to address growing illiteracy: World Literacy Foundation

Campaign launched today to address growing illiteracy

MMD Newswire: 8.19.2014

The International community received a warning today to lift its efforts to improve literacy rates.

The next generation will suffer from an even greater economic and social impact if we don't act now. Speaking in Los Angeles today at the launch of the campaign for International Literacy Day, the Chief Executive Officer of the World Literacy Foundation, Mr Andrew Kay said both Government and the community need to focus more on addressing the high level of illiteracy.

Nearly 22% of people in America are illiterate or have low level reading skills and the rates are three times greater in a developing country. Mr Kay said a person's reading and writing ability can impact many aspects of their life, such as opportunities for future education, their income earning capacity, their health and welfare, and their ability to overcome poverty and disadvantage. He cited the long-term cost to an economy due to illiteracy as lost productivity and lower wages. We need to ensure every child completes their education with strong reading and writing skills, which is the ticket to future success in further education and employment.

International Literacy Day is a UNESCO day aimed at raising attention and awareness of the importance of literacy in our day to day lives.

"We must ensure no child grows up in modern world with their futures limited by the blight of illiteracy"

"We need to ensure that in our lifetime we eliminate illiteracy in the world," Mr Kay said in the same way that more than one hundred years ago, we knew we had to eradicate polio and tuberculosis if children were to flourish... so now in the 21st century we must ensure no child grows up unable to read and write.

Today, at the launch of a community engagement campaign leading up to International Literacy Day on September 8, Mr Kay said we need to draw attention to this serious problem and ensure that the Government makes literacy a high priority and remains committed to improving literacy rates each year. With 500 days before the end of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals, sadly 70 millions of children still don't have access to education.

Mr Kay said we need for stronger collaboration between governments, schools, businesses and the community to ensure the issue of illiteracy doesn't fall between the cracks.

He asked people to run a localized event or activity to celebrate International Literacy Day and raise greater community awareness about the importance of literacy.

They can register their event or activity on www.internationalliteracyday.org

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Literacy – Spanning the US: Polk Co FL :: Palm Beach Co FL :: Santa Barbara Co CA

Literacy:  Spanning the U.S.

READ Polk Nurtures Adult Literacy
The Ledger: 8.08.2014 by Steve Chapman

Are your children having a hard time learning to read? Did your daughter graduate high school but still needs remedial help? Is your husband lacking the necessary reading skills to make it in the workplace?

READ Polk can play a role in supporting learning on all levels by helping adults become better educated and helping parents to become more involved with their child's education.

In 1999, the U.S. Congress defined literacy as: "The ability to read, write and communicate in English, to compute, solve problems, and use technology at a level of proficiency necessary to succeed in today's world." This also means succeeding and being self-sufficient in today's complex economy. READ Polk, along with the work the councils do, engages these adults and helps them achieve their goals to become more productive citizens, employees and parents.

Here are some facts about literacy:
More than 18 percent of Polk County adults 25 and older have low literacy skills.  READ MORE !

Glades-area libraries help adults learn to read
Florida Newszap: 8.11.2014 by Melissa Beltz, The Sun

Retha Pourch has worked in the fields for most of her life. She said she could read OK, but her ability stopped at big words.

“When I first started, I used to get frustrated when I would try to read. I couldn’t get the words,” said Pourch. “But now, I can read.”

Pourch attributes her success to the Palm Beach County Library’s Belle Glade Branch, whose Adult Literacy Program brought her together with tutor Mary Catherine Luikart.

“Every time I come, Mary is here and she teaches me a lot. The words I can’t get right, she’ll say, read the sentence, but skip that word and come back. And I do that and I read it,” said Pourch.

“And does that ever make me feel good,” said Luikart, who has been tutoring Pourch at the Belle Glade library for almost a year. “There’s nothing better than volunteering and helping someone.

Luikart taught second, third and fifth grade in Palm Beach County before she retired.

But the great thing about the library’s program is anyone can become a tutor, said Adult Literacy Coordinator Elizabeth BraunworthREAD MORE !

The true power of reading
Lompoc Record: 8.13.2014 / Opinion-Editorial


When was the last time a 20-something clerk used his or her math skills to figure how much change you get from that 20-dollar bill?

It’s probably been a while, because modern cash registers do the math for the cashier.

To be sure, technology has changed the way we live. It won’t be long until computers drive our cars for us, while we’re busy texting friends and family.

But there is one basic human requirement that technology has not eliminated — the need to read.

Literacy is a basic necessity — a building block, really — for education, and education is a basic requirement and building block for a better life, especially here in the United States. If you can’t read, you are, for all practical purposes, sentenced to a life of toil and trouble.

That national problem is brought home by sobering statistics about illiteracy in Santa Barbara County. Officials at the Central Coast Literacy Council reckon there are at least 76,000 fundamentally illiterate people in Santa Barbara County, out of a baseline population of about 430,000.

Even more sobering for those of you reading this editorial, more than half of the people in that illiterate population live here in North County.  READ MORE !

Friday, August 15, 2014

Birmingham attorney shares how being able to read saved her life

Birmingham attorney shares how being able to read saved her life
Fox6 WBRC: 8.14.2014 by Janet Hall

At age five Liz Humphrey Huntley lived in a Huntsville housing project with her drug dealing parents.

After her father was sent to prison and her mother committed suicide, Humphrey and a sister were sent to live with their grandmother in Clanton where they were still in poverty and where Huntley would be sexually assaulted.

Despite all that, Huntley is now an attorney in a top Birmingham law firm, Lightfoot, Franklin and White.

"I give glory to God first and foremost. He's the one that puts those angels in our path sometimes that we need to get us through things," she said.

Some of the first angels were in her grandmother's neighborhood, who started a church kindergarten where Huntley first learned to read.

On her first day of first grade, she was sent to school alone but because she could read she was able to find her name on a list of students. She found her way to the classroom where she met another angel, her first grade teacher Pam Jones.

Huntley explained how that moment was a crossroads in her life.

"And [Pam Jones] looked at me, and I didn't appreciate it at the time, but her eyes watered up and she looked down at me and her response to all of that - which could have been call DHR, it could have been a lot of things - she said, "Elizabeth Humphrey, you're gonna be the brightest student I ever have,'" Huntley said.  READ MORE !

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Infinite Library: The Places of Learning in the Ancient World

The Infinite Library: The places of learning in the ancient world
March 14, 2014 – October 5, 2014
Colosseum
Rome Italy

Divided into 7 sections, the exhibition, curated by Rossella Rea and Roberto Meneghini, documents, by means of some 120 statues, frescoes, reliefs and and writing instruments, the evolution of books and reading in the Greco-Roman world from the Hellenistic Age to Late Antiquity, as well as the public and private sites where knowledge was exchanged and preserved.

On this occasion, the monumental ambulatories of the Colosseum are covered with armaria, the ancient shelves, and images of the spaces dedicated to Culture, in an unprecedented scenographic setting.

The exhibition issues from the results of two major archaeological excavations in Rome: the discovery of the Auditoria of Hadrian in Piazza Madonna di Loreto, which took place in 2008 during the preliminary excavations pursued for the construction of the metro C line, and the necessity to reconstruct in a unified context the results of the archaeological surveys carried out thus far, and still in progress, in the Templum Pacis, along via dei Fori Imperiali, which have returned unpublished findings, presented now for the first time.

The exhibition is promoted by the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma and by the Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali, in collaboration with Electa.

Slide Show @ Demotix: 3.13.2014 by Stefano Montesi


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Literacy – Spanning the US: Beaufort County SC :: Amarillo TX :: Bronx NY

Literacy:  Spanning the U.S.

The Literacy Center celebrates 40 years of success stories
The State: 8.02.2014 by Joe Distelheim
The Island Packet (Hilton Head Island, S.C.)

'The Power of Literacy'

They remember the one-time professional boxer who wanted to learn about the world, and the women from Poland and Russia who now have their own businesses here. They tell of the man who couldn't read his Bible who's now a pastor preaching on the radio, and of the man who didn't know when his birthday was but wanted to be able to read to his children.

Ask the four former directors of The Literacy Center (formerly Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry) about the students they've met and the stories come in great number. They span four decades and many thousand students, some who were born in this country and never learned to read, some who knew no English when they arrived to live in the United States.

This year, the effort marks 40 years since people in this county began helping local adults enrich their lives by learning to read, write, speak and understand the English languageREAD MORE !

Finding his passion late in life
Amarillo Globe News: 8.06.2014 by Jon Mark Beilue

When H.D. White of Amarillo was approaching retirement more than a quarter-century ago, he knew he would have to find some cause to stay engaged.

He soon found it, and the former Amarillo attorney has been an advocate for adult literacy ever since.

White, 92, was recognized on Monday as the Literacy Texas 2014 volunteer of the year. He was honored by the organization at its annual luncheon in San Marcos.

In 1986, White joined a group which was considering starting an adult literacy ministry in Amarillo.  The city, with its influx of immigrants, was rife with new adults who could not speak or read English.

"It's all about helping a person become all he can be," White told Literacy Connexus.

White became the first director of the Amarillo Area Baptist Association Literacy Council -- a position he still holds 25 years later.

Students usually seek White after participating in an English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Both First Baptist Church and Paramount Baptist Church ESL ministries maintain close ties with White.  READ MORE !

New York City Libraries Struggle to Meet Demand for English-Language Classes
NY Times: 8.06.2014 by Winnie Huaug

They came, one after another, through the glass doors of the Bronx Library Center, the largest public library in the borough. Some rode multiple trains or buses from home; others took precious time away from work. A few struggled with young children in tow.

It was not books they wanted, but something more basic: to learn English.

The Bronx library on East Kingsbridge Road has become a hub of English instruction at a time when many of New York City’s public libraries are seeking to expand their language and literacy programs to better serve patrons who increasingly come from all over the world. The programs are free to local residents, regardless of their income or immigration status, and have become so popular in some neighborhoods that people stand in line for hours to sign up and many have to be turned away because there are not enough spots.

“I need to learn English,” said Rafael Villeta, one of 153 people waiting to register for classes at the Bronx library on a hot Tuesday afternoon in July. “Every job, the first question is, ‘You know English?’ ”  READ MORE !

Friday, August 8, 2014

7 Reasons Job Seekers Should Volunteer

Volunteer Tutor
7 Reasons Job Seekers Should Volunteer
USNews.com: 8.05.2014 by Arnie Fertig

When it comes to searching for a new job, almost everyone thinks about building a résumé and LinkedIn profile, networking in person and online and responding to advertised positions. Of course, these are all critical elements of your job hunt.

There is another, less obvious thing you should be doing: volunteering for an organization, group or cause in which you believe. Here’s why:
1. Volunteering can multiply your networking opportunities
2. Volunteering provides opportunities for you to use your skills and gain new ones.
3. Volunteering can help build your résumé.
4. Volunteering can defeat your sense of isolation.

Plus, the best websites for finding local volunteer opportunities.READ MORE !



Sunday, August 3, 2014

Literacy – Spanning the US: Sioux Falls SD :: Grimsby Ontario CA :: Apalachicola FL

Literacy:  Spanning the U.S.

Demand for adult reading tutors grows
Argus Leader: 7.22.2014 by Carl Anthony

As owner of Grand Prairie Foods, Valerie Loudenback has almost 50 employees with English as a second language.

"I am interested in trying to provide things that will enhance their job retention and their advancement," Loudenback said. "Reading is one of those very essential building blocks as far as being able to acclimate to our society and be a fully participating member."

Grand Prairie Foods is one of several local organizations and individuals who use services from Reach. The nonprofit, which used to be called the Sioux Falls Area Literacy Council, started as a prison ministry. It now assists adults struggling with reading and comprehension and is looking for volunteers to help meet a growing need.At Grand Prairie, the tutoring happens on paid time. The company hopes it will bring down barriers and negative stereotypes, Loudenback said.

"They may not respond to a poster somewhere else because of the stigma associated with illiteracy, but this is a safe environment," she said. "They are our employees, and we want to help them any way we can."

Reach Executive Director Paige Carda said the need for tutors outweighs the volunteers available.  READ MORE !

Never too late to learn to read
Niagara This Week: 7.29.2014

Grimsby Lincoln News

In an era when kids are graduating from high school at age 17, Robert Payea took a little longer to get his diploma.

About 41 years or so longer.

Not long ago, the Lincoln man had to choose the food he was buying in supermarkets by looking at the pictures on the tins or boxes because he couldn’t read the labels. Figuring out whether one of those little cans he was holding was tuna fish or cat food proved tricky.

When he reached the one-year mark of sobriety, Payea’s sponsor told him the next natural step for him as part of his recovery was to go something to get his life back on track.

That talk happened to take place in a church parking lot next to a library in town. Payea looked at the library, longing to be able to read books but ashamed of the fact that at his age he — like many other Niagara residents – couldn’t read.

He gathered up his courage and walked in the library, where staff told him about the Niagara West Adult Learning Centre. At the centre, Payea spent close to seven years working with tutor Sue Minchin.  READ MORE !

County literacy program shuts down
Apalachicola Times: 7.31.2014 by David Alderstein

After 27 years, growing from an all-volunteer outreach to a fully funded program with a full-time director, the Franklin County Literacy program has shut its doors.

The reason for the closure, said both the director as well as the chair of the board overseeing the non-profit Franklin County Literacy Inc., was a shortfall in funding leading up to the start of the next fiscal year in October.

“It’s a sad day. I’m not happy about it,” said Maxine Creamer, who has served as the program’s full-time director since 2007, after starting in 1997 as a community outreach specialist.

Because of the closure, Literacy will not accept about $35,000 in funding from the county commission, which would have started flowing in on Oct. 1, at the start of the next fiscal year.

“We needed $13,000 to continue from July through September and we didn’t have the money,” she saidREAD MORE !