Sunday, May 31, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: Corpus Christi TX :: Santa Fe NM :: Oakland MI

Corpus Christi Literacy Council fights illiteracy
Corpus Christi Caller Times: 5.04.2015 by Mary V. Gleason

In Nueces County, about 17 percent of all adults do not read well enough to function in our society. The term for this is functional illiteracy. That figures to almost 60,000 people. San Patricio and Bee counties have even higher rates of illiteracy. What if all these people could become literate? Think of the added benefit to the workforce. More people working at higher level jobs would add so much to the economy. The number of medical problems caused by poor understanding of instructions would decline. In fact, low literacy is linked to poor health, poverty, and even incarceration. When inmates learn to read, they are far less likely to return to jail, and they are far more likely to find and keep a job.

Corpus Christi Public Libraries are a wonderful resource for emergent readers. For those who cannot read well enough to function in English, there is an agency to help them, the Corpus Christi Literacy Council. The council resulted from a city commission appointed in the 1980s, and is a private nonprofit organization housed in the McDonald Public library. Since its inception, almost 7,000 adults have improved their lives through the organization's services. Volunteers meet with individuals and small groups in classrooms provided by the library. Many adults in the program go on to higher education, better jobs, and more involvement in their community and in their children's education. When adults become literate, the whole family benefits. Children raised in a literate environment will get a better start in school. READ MORE !

Literacy Volunteers celebrates 30 years of changing people’s lives
Santa Fe New Mexican: 5.09.2015 by Anne Constable

Sister Sun, a tiny, 50-year-old Buddhist nun with a shaved head and dressed in a plain brown robe, has lived in the United States for 20 years, until recently at the Fa Yung Monastery in Vadito, N.M.

But she never learned to read, write or speak English fluently.

Since moving to Santa Fe, however, she is getting help from Literacy Volunteers, a 30-year-old organization based at Santa Fe Community College that provides free tutoring services to adults who want to improve their reading skills or learn English as a second language.

She is also getting assistance in becoming a U.S. citizen.

On Thursday, Sister Sun, who was born in Taiwan, was working with her tutor, Rick Land, a software developer, who coincidentally speaks Mandarin, at a table outside the organization’s SFCC office.  READ MORE !

Volunteers turn page on adult illiteracy
Oakland Literacy Council helps adults learn how to read
Click on Detroit: 5.14.2015 by Angela Reilly, Force 4 Good Producer

From reading a bus stop sign to the newspaper or even reading a good night story to your children, words are all around us. But imagine going through life, knowing the words on the pages mean nothing to you.

For Royal Oak resident, David Mullins, 64 years of his life were spent thinking just that.

"It is very difficult, very difficult, even catching a bus," said Mullins. "If you can't read where the bus is going, you may end up. God only knows where! I memorized my address, phone number and that stuff, but that's it.  I said if you want more your going to have to do it."
Mullins heard about the Oakland Literacy Council in 2012 and his life has forever been changed.

"There are pockets of anywhere between 13-15 percent illiterate within our county," said Oakland Literacy Services coordinator, Julie Hoensheid. "We service both basic students, which are native English speaking people, as well as foreign born- or E.S.L- English is a second language.

At the Oakland Literacy Council, adults wanting to learn how to read are paired with tutors.

"Every person who comes through here is just here because they want to be," said Hoensheid. "They are giving from their hearts, they are not getting paid, they are volunteers."

"Literacy has always been really important to me," said volunteer tutor, Gabrielle Erken, " So I said let me find a way to use my skills and I love working with adults.

"I was a custodian working for the school district, 34 years," said Mullins. "At my job that I did, I was scared to death all the time. I never knew what was going to happen if I got exposed, cause I hid it really well."  READ MORE !

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