Sunday, August 23, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: Monmouth Co NJ :: San Angelo TX :: Tulare Co CA : : Birmingham AL

Literacy groups help students turn page toward better life
Sentinel: 7.23.2015 by Jessica D’Amico

Navigating through everyday life involves innumerable small tasks that many take for granted.

Signing forms, filling out bank deposit slips, reading information about one’s health care or sharing a bedtime story with a child are just a few examples of the kinds of activities to which most people don’t give a second thought.

For 30 million adults throughout the country, however, those tasks are insurmountable. According to the nonprofit Literacy New Jersey, that’s how many individuals lack basic prose literacy skills. In New Jersey alone, 17 percent of the adult population lacks such skills, the organization states.

“There are 13,000 people in Monmouth County alone who do not read and write above an eighth-grade level,” said Rebecca Lucas, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Monmouth County (LVMC), another nonprofit organization.

And it’s not a matter of a lack of schooling, according to experts.

“There are adults who may have graduated high school but still read at a very low level,” said Melissa Bernstein, program director for Literacy New Jersey in Middlesex County.

According to Lucas, some students slip through the cracks of a school system, somehow skating by until graduation.

“It happens a lot — especially in the lower economic regions of our county,” she said.

For some, survival — whether working to help with household expenses or the need to care for a child or other family member — forces them to drop out.

“It’s so sad,” Lucas said. “In today’s economy, you actually can’t make a living for a family unless you have a two-year college degree or a trade certificate.”

Fortunately, organizations like Literacy New Jersey and LVMC are there to help.  READ MORE !

Adult Literacy Council of Concho Valley Advocates for Education
San Angelo Live: 7.24.2015 by Benjamin Hettick

One in three residents of Tom Green County cannot write a simple sentence, said Marilynn Golightly, an employee of the Adult Literacy Council of the Concho Valley. Texas, she said, has the lowest literacy rate in the United States and Tom Green County also has an alarmingly high dropout rate. Golightly, and her team of volunteers, are working to change these statistics.

“There’s lots to be done and we have wonderful volunteers that come from all walks of life that have talents and abilities to help teach others,” Golightly said.

Although literacy is the council’s main focus, volunteers teach those in need of assistance many skills that can help in professional or daily life. According to Golightly, the council’s volunteers can teach students many useful skills, from how do dress for an interview to how to make cookies.

“If someone has an educational need and I can find a volunteer to meet that need, we can do it,” Golightly said.

Golightly estimates that about the council serves about 300 members of the community a year.  READ MORE !

Marshall said when Oliver began, his existing skills had him reading around a second-grade level. She began working with him on basic phonics, helping him to recognize words that he had a hard time pronouncing.  READ MORE !

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