Sunday, February 22, 2015

Literacy: Spanning the U.S. :: Santa Fe NM :: Madison WI :: Madison Co NY


When Rob Barry was growing up, he attended three different school districts.  Barry knew how to work hard and always had a job.  When he was 14, he worked on a farm every day while attending school.  He completed 10th grade at Chittenango High School, but found he had to support himself.   He left high school to work for a fence company.  READ MORE !

Friday, February 20, 2015

Families Armed With Books Repel The Effects Of Poverty :: Federalist

A New Majority
Families Armed With Books Repel The Effects Of Poverty
Families that read together build strong bonds and ward off poverty. Here’s what you can do to encourage love for books in your community.
Federalist: 2.20.2015 by Allison Kieselowsky

Let kids have it with both barrels. Blast them with an activity that answers many daily challenges of childhood: quality time with books. Parent-survival kits should include an arsenal of literacy activities as regular parts of household life. Ants in pants? Go on a book adventure. Bored? Enjoy a read-aloud. Bad attitude? Laugh through a silly story.

This call to arms—the recommendation to bring books into family life—is not just a fun idea for snuggle time. A whole generation’s academic future depends upon it. Long-standing statistics about low-income communities within the city of Philadelphia show that there may exist only a few dozen books in a community of 10,000 children.

These numbers are not unique to a single city or neighborhood—they are repeated across the country. Books are simply not finding their way into homes. This problem will only deepen the strain on the public education system, since a majority of students in public schools are currently from low-income families.

Watching Families Interact in Libraries

Susan Neuman, the researcher who unearthed the paltry books-to-child ratio in certain communities, has observed family behaviors and interactions in public libraries in two different Philadelphia neighborhoods—one affluent and one impoverished—over the course of years. The main difference she observed? How much the adults, whether parent, grandparent, or nanny, interact with the children during the visit, and how they use the library itself.  READ MORE !

Monday, February 16, 2015

Robert Shindler :: Literacy Advocate to Talk at Elmhurst College about How Reading Changes Lives

Literacy Advocate to Talk at Elmhurst College about How Reading Changes Lives
Author Robert Shindler will talk about promoting literacy as a matter of social justice 2.16.2015 by Morgan Searles

Robert Shindler was looking for ways to help his son overcome a reading deficiency when he decided to volunteer with the Literacy Chicago organization. Working with a diverse group of adult learners, Shindler received his own education about the realities of learning disabilities and adult illiteracy.

A Chicago-attorney and author, Shindler recently partnered with the United Church of Christ on Reading Changes Lives, the UCC’s ongoing, churchwide initiative to raise awareness about the impact of illiteracy on a range of social justice issues.

Shindler will present Reading Changes Lives on March 8 at Elmhurst College.

Robert Shindler is the author of Hotdogs & Hamburgers: Unlocking Life’s Potential by Inspiring Literacy at Any Age, which chronicles his journey to help his son and his experiences at Literacy Chicago. Last fall, the UCC used Shindler’s book for their all-church “One Read” program, hoping the book would make people aware of the importance of closing the literacy gap and would inspire them to get involved.

Shindler continues his work at Literacy Chicago, and also has begun tutoring inmates at the Cook County Jail. He is the founder of Abogados America, a small law firm in Chicago that specializes in representing the Hispanic community.  READ MORE !

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Literacy: Spanning the U.S. :: Palm Beach FL :: Dexter KS :: Kern Co CA

Lighthouse Library helping to encourage literacy

"Central Connecticut State did come out, they've done a survey," explained Nickell, "last 7 years or so, we have been 75 out of 75 of the bad end of the list."  READ MORE !

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Libraries play critical role in American education, literacy experts say :: American Libraries

OECD Skills Outlook 2013
Libraries play critical role in American education, literacy experts say
The Scoop-American Libraries: 2.01.2015 by Sanhita SinhaRoy

One in six American adults struggles with basic English literacy. That translates into 36 million people between the ages of 16 and 65 who grapple with reading on a daily basis, according to a 2013 study called Program for the International Assessment for Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

Speakers Michelle H. Washington, director of ALA’s Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS), and Peter Waite, executive director of the nonprofit ProLiteracy, based in Syracuse, N.Y., cited that statistic on February 1 at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago and talked about the work being done to help libraries reengage in adult literacy programs.

In that same PIAAC study, said Waite, the United States ranked 16 out of 26 countries in adult literacy. “That’s a shocking indictment of where we are and where we need to go,” he said.

Ten years ago, when the pressure increased for libraries to do more with less, there was a significant drop-off in some of the core services and programs geared toward adult literacy, Washington said.

Yet with immigration reform on the national agenda, there remains a growing need to teach English as a second language. This tradition of literacy instruction has historical roots, Waite said. In the 1900s and even earlier, libraries were perceived as institutions of social education — to teach women, freed slaves, and others how to read and write. “Libraries have had a critical role in American education,” he said.

During a video presentation, a quote from Frederick Douglass appeared on screen: “Once you are able to read, you will be forever free.”

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Literacy: Spanning the U.S. :: Gadsden AL :: Murfreesboro TN :: Buncombe County NC

Since then Parker has visited the Lon Nuell Literacy Center, located inside First Baptist Church on East Main, each week with literacy tutor Robin Coble. On most days, he’s early to his appointment.

“I enjoy it. ... It’s not been that hard,” said Parker, who said he could reach just a few words here and there, “enough to get by,” he added.  READ MORE !

It has the power to move people out of poverty and into better paying jobs, she said.  READ MORE !

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Library of Congress Accepting Applications for 2015 Literacy Awards

Library of Congress Accepting Applications for 2015 Literacy Awards

News from the Library of Congress: 2.02.2015

Deadline: March 31

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Library of Congress Literacy Awards, which are made possible through the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group.

The trio of awards initiated by Rubenstein were first conferred in 2013 to support organizations working to alleviate the problems of illiteracy, both in the United States and worldwide. The awards seek to recognize organizations doing exemplary, innovative and easily replicable work over a sustained period of time and to encourage new groups, organizations and individuals to become involved.

Applications must be received no later than midnight on March 31, 2015.

Last year, the awards went to Room to Read (the Rubenstein Prize), SMART (the American Prize) and Mother Child Foundation (the International Prize). More information about these organizations and 14 other literacy leaders is available in "Library of Congress Literacy Awards 2014: Best Practices."

The Library of Congress Literacy Awards are administered by the Library’s Center for the Book. Final selection of prizewinners will be made by the Librarian of Congress with recommendations from literacy experts on an advisory board.

By recognizing current achievements, the awards seek to inspire organizations, foundations, and other private sector groups to become involved in combating illiteracy.
- encourage the continuing development of innovative methods for combating illiteracy
- dissemination of the most effective practices
- draw public attention to the continuing need for literacy services
- increase awareness of the importance of literacy
The Rubenstein Prize ($150,000) will be awarded to any organization based either inside or outside the United States.
The American Prize ($50,000) will be awarded to any organization that is based in the United States.
The International Prize ($50,000) will be awarded to any organization that is based in a country outside the United States.
Each organization may only apply in one prize category. In the case of multiple nominations for the same organization, the board may review only one application.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: Stockton-San Joaquin CA :: Rowan Co, NC :: Wisconsin

“It started off as a six-month commitment,” she said.

How can people enjoy such freedom if they cannot read or write? How can someone use these freedoms if they cannot understand our language? About two million people move to the U.S. each year. Half of them arrive with very low literacy skills. Many more people born and raised in the U.S. also lack basic literacy skills. There are people willing to helpREAD MORE !