Sunday, November 29, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: Houston TX :: Harrison Co WV :: Alachua Co FL :: Tulsa OK :: Canton MI


Literacy Volunteers of Harrison County honored at state conference
The Exponent Telegram: 10.21.2015
West Virginia Department of Education
Literacy coordinator awarded for helping adults learn to read
Independent Florida Alligator: 10.22.2015 by Ashley Martin

Theresa Sterling’s passion is helping people learn how to read.

As the literacy coordinator for the Alachua County Library District, Sterling ensures adults across the Gainesville community still have the opportunity to learn how to read.

"Reading is a skill that gets better with intervention, instruction and practice," she said.

For her work with the program over the past three years, Sterling received the 2015 Carol Combs Hole Award last week. The award is given annually to staff within the library district in honor of Carol Combs Hole, a former staff member who worked in the district for 32 years.

"She’s done amazing things in revitalizing the literacy program," said Rebecca Kirkland, a library assistant at the Alachua County Library Headquarters. "She’s reaching a lot of people."

The program, which Sterling coordinates and manages, draws volunteers from across the community to work with non-English- speaking and dyslexic adults. The adults range from 40 to 76 years old.

"It’s a real niche," said Nickie Kortus, the library’s marketing and public relations manager. "She has that spark that makes everybody feel like they have the ability and they can do it. I think it’s a talent."  READ MORE !

Literacy class for English language learners is more than reading, writing
Tulsa World: 10.24.2015 by Ginnie Graham   VIDEO

It’s easy to get in a good mood around Carmen Trujillo. She has an infectious smile even as she puzzles through definitions of English words from a computer program.

The 57-year-old works as a supervisor at a McDonald’s restaurant from 1 p.m. to midnight. Then, she spends her mornings at the YWCA Multicultural Center perfecting her second language.

“I work with Hispanic people all the time, and I don’t get to practice too much,” she said. “I practice with the American people who come into the restaurant. I enrolled because I need more English on my job.”

Trujillo arrived in Tulsa from Mexico City 15 years ago. Her first job was at the McDonald’s where she is now, working her way up into management. She is planning to live the rest of her life here.

“My family is here, and I like it here,” she says.

Trujillo is in a class using the Reading Plus literacy program, which has the flexibility for English language learners and native speakers. It moves people from learning to read to reading to learn.
When arriving at the class, my intention was to write about what makes this literacy program different from others. My interest quickly changed to those in the class. There is a camaraderie, optimism and dedication among the adults, who have traveled varied and distant roads to live in our city.  READ MORE !

“I find the job is rewarding, to be able to match the tutors and students,” said Downs. She does a half-hour assessment of the student, learning background, goals and giving a simple test of English skills.  READ MORE !

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Participate in the Great Thanksgiving Listen : : Story Corps

Participate in the Great Thanksgiving Listen

Make a plan to interview someone you love on Thanksgiving.

Commit to being part of this historic effort. Pick a grandparent, or neighbor, or family friend over the age of 65 who you’d like to interview. Simply download the StoryCorps app, use the built-in prompts to record and publish an interview over Thanksgiving weekend. There are resources here to help you get the most out of your interview experience.

After you publish your interview, please log in to your account at and tag it for #TheGreatListen 2015 [Your state abbreviation], i.e. TheGreatListen2015AZ or TheGreatListen2015KS.  READ MORE !

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: Worcester MA :: Springfield MA :: N Charleston SC :: Batesville AR :: Victoria TX

Giving the Gift of the English Language

"Children will break off and with a children's teacher," Gonzales said. "Our families also get a book of the week."  READ MORE !

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

5 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Adult Low Literacy in the United States :: fiverr

5 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Adult Low Literacy in the United States
fiverr: 11.17.2015 by Shlomy Kattan, Prize Lead-Barbara Bush Foundation

This November 18, with the generous support of Fiverr, MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City will host a Kickoff for the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE presented by Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The Adult Literacy XPRIZE challenges teams from around the world to develop mobile software leading to the greatest literacy gains among adult learners in the U.S. 

These solutions will eventually help the over 780 million adults worldwide who lack basic literacy skills.

In honor of Fiverr’s support, here are five facts about adult low literacy in the U.S. that may surprise you.

1. The rate of adult low literacy in the United States is in line with global figures
2. Low literacy adds an estimated $230 billion to the United States’ annual health care costs  READ MORE !

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Literacy – Spanning North America: Pittsburgh PA :: Naperville IL :: Invermere BC :: Contra Costa CA :: Monongalia & Preston Co's WV

Literacy campaign launches in Cranbrook
Daily Townsman: 10.02.2015

Community leaders and volunteers will join Black Press, Kootenay Savings Credit Union and the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy on October 7th to raise awareness about the importance of literacy and to celebrate the power literacy has in Cranbrook.

The 5th Annual Reach a Reader campaign will raise funds for Cranbrook’s community-based literacy programs.

Why literacy? Statistics indicate that up to 45 per cent of BC’s adult population has difficulty with some daily living tasks - due in part to limited literacy skills. These include reading a newspaper, filling out an application form, reading a map, or understanding a lease.

“Literacy is not just the ability to read or write. People today must be able to fill out online materials, service agreements, job applications, and use social media,” says local Community Literacy Coordinator, Katherine Hough. “Through our Reach a Reader campaign, we hope to increase awareness of literacy needs in our community and raise funds to support the literacy programs and services available for children, families, adults, and seniors.”  READ  MORE!

Contra Costa Library's fundraiser helps adults with reading skills
Daily Democrat: 10.07.2015 by Janice De Jesus

Cheryl McKeon, Project Second Chance board and committee member, is especially excited about this year's fundraising event for the Contra Costa County Library's adult literacy program.

An avid reader, McKeon counts memoirs to be among her favorite reads, and she and fellow board members are hoping the public will join them for "Mending Lives: A Conversation with Bay Area Memoirists," to be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Oct. 15, at the Walnut Creek Library's Oak View Room.

"I have a particular affinity for memoirs," said McKeon, who manages Book Passage at the Ferry Market Building in San Francisco. "This year we've seen a surge of Bay Area authors so we thought what a wonderful opportunity for us if they can come to present their books, and they were all willing to give their time."

The author panel this year includes San Francisco authors Katie Hafner, Jessica Fechtor, and Melissa Cistaro, who will be discussing their memoirs and how they overcame physical or emotional adversity, said McKeon, who has read all three books.

"All three faced major obstacles and overcame them, and are brave enough to share their experiences with the world," she said.

Memoirs, like all good stories, can be a source of personal inspiration and comfort to readers who may be experiencing or have experienced similar challenges to those described by the authors, said Jill Lorenz, Project Second Chance board member.  READ MORE !

LVMPC hosts ‘read-in’ at Woodburn Circle to raise awareness about illiteracy
The Daily Athenaeum: 10.08.2015 by Paige Czyzewski

On a college campus, illiteracy may not be a problem on the forefront of everyone’s mind, but in West Virginia, one in five citizens are illiterate, according to Ben Wasser, a West Virginia University strategic communications student.

Wednesday afternoon in Woodburn Circle, the Literacy Volunteers of Monongalia and Preston Counties held a "read-in" to raise awareness about West Virginia illiteracy and to highlight the importance of literacy. Wasser coordinated the event.

"Right now, the literacy level in West Virginia is (that) 20 percent of adults can’t read beyond a fourth grade reading level," Wasser said. "... It’s pretty upsetting."

Wasser and Alyssa Cantisani, another strategic communications student leading the project, paired with LVMPC this semester to assist with the Need to Read Literacy Awareness event.

The LVMPC, a non-profit organization, is the second- largest literacy advocate in West Virginia, Wasser said. It offers small group classes, writing workshops and a mobile library for towns in Monongalia and Preston Counties without access to such services.

Volunteers cover computing, financial and literacy skills, as well as provide one-on-one tutoring, English as a second language and a United States Citizenship Prep Course—all for free.  READ MORE !

Thursday, November 12, 2015

5 Ways to Improve Adult Literacy

5 Ways to Improve Adult Literacy
5 Ways You Can Help an Adult Learn to Read Adulted: 11.12.2015 by Deb Peterson, Continuing Education Expert

Adult literacy is a global problem. In September of 2015, the USESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) reported that 85% of the world's adults age 15 and older lack basic reading and writing skills. That's 757 million adults, and two-thirds of them are women.

For passionate readers, this is unimaginable. UNESCO had a goal to reduce illiteracy rates by 50% in 15 years compared to 2000 levels. The organization reports that only 39% of countries will reach that goal. In some countries, illiteracy has actually increased. The new literacy target? "By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy." You can find statistics on the organization's website:

What can you do to help? Here are five ways you can help improve adult literacy in your own community:
1.  Educate Yourself by Researching Literacy Websites
Start by researching some of the online resources available to you and then share them on social media or anywhere else you think they will help. Some are comprehensive directories that can help you identify help in your own community. Here are just three:

2.  Volunteer at Your Local Literacy Council
Even some of the smallest communities are served by a county literacy council. Get out the phone book or check at your local library. Search online. Your local literacy council is there to help adults learn to read, do math, learn a new language, anything literacy and numeracy related. They can also help children keep up with reading in school. Staff members are trained and reliable. Participate by becoming a volunteer or by explaining the services to someone you know who might benefit from them.  READ MORE !