Sunday, December 27, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: Decatur GA :: Stillwater OK :: Canton OH :: Jacksonville NC :: Mattapoisett MA



Adult learning program at Mattapoisett Library

Adults who need to improve their reading and writing, or to learn more technical skills, can take advantage of free tutoring at the Mattapoisett Library.

As part of an adult literacy program called A.L.L. (Adults Learn at the Library), tutors have been trained to provide educational support for English language learning, basic reading and writing, and preparation for the high school equivalency exam (now called the HiSet).

The program was funded through a grant from the Phyllis W. McGillicuddy Charitable Trust, and Deena Kinsky serves as its coordinator. Kinsky meets with and trains tutors and works with adult learners to understand their learning goals. Out-of-school youth over the age of 16 are also encouraged to get assistance at the library with taking the high school equivalency exam. The program isn't intended to tutor students currently in school.  READ MORE @

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Bondage of Illiteracy arrival in Dickson quite a story

Bondage of Illiteracy arrival in Dickson quite a story
Tennessean: 12.19.2015 by Chris Gadd

Tommy Marvin has developed low expectations for trips with Jerry Smith, who pointed that out amid laughter at a recent gathering of local library leaders.

So Marvin didn’t expect while on a football game road trip with Smith and Dan Alsobrooks to discover a sculpture in a small Virginia town that would be displayed at the Dickson County Public Library.

Nor did Smith or Alsobrooks. But that’s how it happened.

The sculptor, Lynn Price, brought his piece, titled “Bondage of Illiteracy” to Dickson last week from his home in Abingdon, Va. The town, which has a population of about 8,000, is just northeast of Bristol.

Price, speaking to library board members and the Friends of the Library on Friday last week, said the sculpture was inspired partially by his own issues with reading and education. The hands, that are bound with chains in the piece, are replicas of Price’s own hands.

“I was not a good reader. It held me back. I just didn’t do well in school because I didn’t want to,” Price said. “But I got lucky in life.”

“I think everyone needs to learn to read and read well,” he added.  READ MORE @

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: San Joaquin Co CA :: Montgomery AL :: Bangor ME :: Cleveland OH :: Topeka KS


Montgomery area literacy group reaches new milestone
WFSA: 11.20.2105 by Allen Henry

For 30 years, the Capital Area Adult Literacy Club has been helping people learn how to read.

This week, the program hit a monumental achievement by graduating it's 3,000th tutor. That means an average of 100 tutors have graduated each year since 1985.

"More people are coming out of schools unprepared for life," said Woody Woodcock, a member of the Council. "So that means that they're going to need some help somewhere, or else they're going to be just struggling along."

Woodcock has been working with the literacy Club since 1991, and says while a lot has changed in the last 24 years, the basics of reading have not.

"The words have not changed. The wording has not changed except for updating some prices on the menus," said Woodcock. "You gotta be careful what age book you've got, make sure your students have the same prices when you ask them to add them up. But other than that, the wording has not changed."  READ MORE @

Literacy volunteers host statewide conference on adult literacy
WCSH6: 11.20.2015  VIDEO

At least 20% of the Greater Bangor area has trouble understanding written instructions according to the Literacy Volunteers of Bangor.

Educators, tutors and teachers gathered for the organization's annual literacy conference on Saturday. The event consisted of a number breakout sessions and guest speakers, including former students who shared stories about how their lives have been impacted by literacy.

Brandi Meservey, a single mother of three young boys, was one of those in attendance. After growing up in poverty and surviving an abusive relationship, she looked for a way to change her life. With only a seventh grade education, Brandi didn't know think college was an option.

"I had no idea of what there was out there, or what I could do to better our situation," she said.

She joined a pilot program that teaches mothers career and life skills. The program is where she met Mary Lyon, a mentor who Brandi said is helping her get to a place where she can be a better mom.

"It was just a matter of opening doors letting her know she was smart enough, letting her know that there was money to go to school," Mary said.

The story of their friendship was just one of the many shared Saturday at Toolkit for Tutors and Teachers.  READ MORE @

With those facts in mind, the Topeka Literacy Council trains adult tutors to work with students in a one-on-one setting. Tutors use the primarily phonics-based Laubach method developed in the 1930s.  READ MORE @

Friday, December 18, 2015

What Happens When Homes Have No Books ~ Acculturated

KaiLonnie Dunsmore
Douglas Fisher
What Happens When Homes Have No Books
Acculturated:  12.16.2016 by Stephanie Cohen

Carol Rasco, President of Reading is Fundamental, recently asked, “Can you imagine a childhood without books?”

Rasco’s piece noted that two-thirds of the country’s poorest children don’t own a single book. These children are little different than the character Francie, the poor girl living in the Williamsburg slums of New York in 1912, who has long captivated readers in Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Francie, who commits herself to reading every book in the library, in alphabetical order—twice—starts copying one of her favorite books page-by-page because she is worried that the library might lose this favorite selection:

A child without books is little different than a home without books. The bookless home is the logical consequence of a society that stops reading deeply. It is a state that has been imagined by some of history’s greatest science fiction writers.  Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451, for example, invites us into a society that investigates readers and burns down book-infested homes. In a 1993 introduction to his book (before the advent of the smartphone), Bradbury presciently pointed out that matches would never be needed to achieve a bookless world like the fictional one he had created. Killing off the hunger to read would do the job just as well (with far less smoke and mess) and be achieved by drowning everyone in a vacuum of empty noise, with no controversies, no opinions, no intellectuals:

Bradbury, who was too poor to go to college, understood that the case for books is partly about finding an economical way to fund dreams and build knowledge. He spent much of his childhood and early adult years in a library amassing an education shelf by shelf, instead of course credit by course credit. “Most of us can’t rush around, talk to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends,” Bradbury said. “The things you’re looking for… are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book.”  READMORE @

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Adult Nonliteracy: A Silent Epidemic

Adult Nonliteracy: A Silent Epidemic
Higher Education The data doesn’t lie; 36 million U.S. adults don’t read well enough to find a job, and yet funding for literacy programs has decreased in recent years. What gives?
National Literacy Directory
Educational & Career News: 12.2015 by Lauren Rosenberg

Campaigns to boost literacy usually focus on providing children greater access to reading materials. Children’s reading is important. But efforts to make better young readers and writers can overlook the reality that many adults struggle with low literacy.

Seeing nonliteracy

Adult nonliteracy occurs for various reasons, typically connected with poverty and complicated by factors like unequal quality of schooling.

The common view that a person who can’t read is a person who can’t “know” ignores the experiences of some Americans and denies their knowledge. Just because a person doesn’t read or write doesn’t mean that person is unable to think. The accounts of nonliterate Americans go unheard because this population is voiceless in a society that equates the ability to know with formal education.

Adult literacy learners are the best people to ask about their needs. They tell us about the importance of quality programs—in libraries, community centers or other accessible sites—that provide services determined by learners’ individual goals. Often people request help with tasks, such as completing forms or writing a note to a child’s teacher.

Know the goal

Adults also seek literacy for reasons that are not functional. They may wish to read for pleasure or to participate in political conversations. Personal uses of writing might include composing letters to relatives and reflecting on one’s life experiences.

Although training for workforce and GED preparation matters, adult learners have intentions that are not necessarily about getting jobs or returning to school. Sometimes they want to write so they can make changes in their communities. They create newsletters for their church or write on behalf of single mothers.

When people choose literacy for their own purposes, they may hope for a more public voice. Adult learners want their voices to be heard and their stories to be told to people who will listen.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: Kenosha WI :: Springfield OH :: Henderson NC :: Delaware Co PA

Literacy Council to celebrate 50th anniversary
Kenosha News: 11.09.2015 by Heather Larson Poyner

Susana Jamaica loves to read. Her recent favorite books are “The Hunger Games” and “I Am Malala.”

A native Spanish speaker, not long ago she would have been unable to read these in English.

When Jamaica came to Kenosha from Mexico with her young son in January 2013, she knew virtually no English. Today she is a quality assurance manager at Calumet Meats, attends classes at Gateway Technical College and spends her free time finding new books to read at the library.

For Maria Dewsbury, all learning is exciting. Each week she relishes classes, tutoring and a book club held at the Kenosha Literacy Council, 2419 63rd St. “It’s a wonderful place ... so magical. I just can’t get away,” she said.

Jamaica and Dewsbury are award-winning learners. On Saturday, they will recognized at the Kenosha Literacy Council’s 50th anniversary celebration at 5:30 p.m. at the Kenosha Country Club, 500 13th Ave. Jamaica will be honored as English Language Learner of the Year, Dewsbury as Adult Literacy Learner of the Year.

Role model

For the past five years, Dewsbury has worked with KLC tutors, has participated in numerous classes and a book club.

“Maria is now a role model and leader for other students at the council,” KLC executive director Cheryl Hernandez said.

Dewsbury, 52, who works as delivery supervisor for the Kenosha News, came to the United States from Spain 25 years ago. She began learning English 13 years ago.

Attending the KLC offerings opened a new world to her, she said. She particularly enjoys sharing perspectives with newcomers from other countries.

“I’m continually learning,” she said.  READ MORE !


Biz Times: 11.12.2015 by Erica Breunlin

Other honorees included Gwen Cottman, a recently retired DCLC instructor who taught evening GED classes at the Literacy Council for 30 years. Cottman was introduced at the event by one of her former students, Betty Vick Dorsey. Dorsey praised Cottman as someone with “the ability to persevere through anything” and someone who helped her to achieve “something I had been waiting 50 years for”—her GED. Cottman, in turn, praised all of her students throughout the years for juggling their adult responsibilities and still pressing on with their studies. “I’m so proud of them,” she said.  READ MORE !