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 !

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