Sunday, November 1, 2015

Literacy – Spanning North America: Greensboro NC :: Kelowna BC :: Roanoke VA :: Oakland CA

Adult Education And Family Literacy Week
WFMY News: 9.22.2015  VIDEO

Every week the Good Morning Show team inspires kids to Read 2 Succeed. But that message extends to the entire family too.

Local non-profit, Reading Connections is doing something special during Adult and Family Literacy week to help more adults learn to read.

"We're launching an Adult Literacy Day of Giving on September 25, 2015 to raise awareness about adult literacy and encourage people to get involved by volunteering, supporting and donating," said Lydia Davis, the organization's volunteer services coordinator. "We're hoping to raise $25,000 with its $25 for 25 years campaign."

Davis points to all the people that have learned how to read or improved their skills through Reading Connections and how many more would be able to learn with more funding.

"I've only been a tutor with Willie and his group for about a year now, but I've already seen so much growth in everyone there.  We're a little pack, essentially. There are a lot of good people there," said Davis.  READ MORE !

Manager hid lack of literacy skills
Kelowna Daily Courier: 9.21.2015 by Ron Seymour

Judy Brown had a long and successful career managing paint stores despite a personal limitation she concealed from co-workers and customers.

Brown never graduated from high school, and her reading comprehension and writing skills were below average.

“I didn’t want people to know I didn’t have the education they probably thought I did,” Brown, a 66-year-old Kelowna woman recalled Monday.

“For example, I could read novels, but I couldn’t understand some of the words in them,” she said. “I would try to puzzle out the meaning from the context, and I could usually get by that way.”

However, she had no confidence in her writing ability and would try to avoid any tasks that involved setting pen to paper or using a keyboard.

It was two years ago that Brown began using the services of Project Literacy, a non-profit group that helps adults and new Canadians improve their reading, writing and numeracy skills. During that time, the transformation in Brown has been remarkable, says her tutor, Miriam Tetler.  READ MORE !

Feldmann: Tackling illiteracy 9.23.2015 by Greg Feldmann Feldmann,
member of the board-Blue Ridge Literacy

During National Literacy Awareness Week (Sept. 20-26), it is worth noting that the United States is facing a literacy crisis. Literacy is generally defined as having the ability to understand, evaluate, use and engage with written text to participate in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.

While much attention has rightly been given to the importance of childhood literacy, there is also the related challenge of adult illiteracy. An estimated 36 million adult Americans cannot read above an average third-grade level, and many cannot read or write English at all. A study conducted between 2011-2012 by the Project for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies found that the U.S. mean literacy score was below the international average, ranking 16th out of 24 participating countries.

ProLiteracy, a leading national nonprofit literacy organization, provides alarming statistics on its website about how profoundly low literacy affects U.S. society:

~Among adults over the age of 16 with the lowest literacy rates, 43 percent live in poverty;
~75 percent of state prison inmates and 59 percent of federal prison inmates did not complete high school or can be classified as low literate;
~Low literacy adds an estimated $20 billion annually to U.S. health care costs;
~The effects of low literacy cost the U.S. economy $25 billion annually in lower workforce productivity and lower tax revenues due to unemployment;
~Statistical analyses show that English proficient legal immigrants (who comprise approximately 16 percent of the U.S. civilian workforce) earn between 13-24 percent more than immigrants who are not.

The adult literacy crisis in the U.S. is also a reality in our region. The Weldon-Cooper Institute at UVa estimates that more than 25,000 adults living in the region — including the cities of Roanoke and Salem, as well as the counties of Craig, Franklin, Roanoke, Botetourt, and Alleghany — are functionally illiterate. That alarming number is divided between native-born English speakers, and refugees and legal immigrants.  READ MORE !

Literacy Week: Help Us Help Adults Become Literate
Oakland Public Library Blog: 9.24.2015 by Resonja Willoughby,
Student Advocate, Second Start Adult Literacy

We are celebrating National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week to raise awareness of about the effects of not having the basic literacy skills to survive in a world that is forever changing.

I work for Oakland’s adult literacy program, Second Start. We have been in existence for 30 years and we have watched the demographics change. We are serving more immigrants from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The region of South and West Asia is home to more than one-half of the global low-literate population (51.8%), while sub-Saharan Africa is home to an additional 21.4%. There are many changes for these communities, and literacy is one.

At Second Start we try to make the transition to America smoother. We help students access citizenship resources online, fill out forms, practice pronunciation and build vocabulary. While we don’t offer formal ESL instruction, we do help many adults -- who are conversational in English – to build literacy skills and achieve their goals.  READ MORE !

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