Sunday, December 6, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: Solano Co CA :: Delaware Co PA :: Ruidoso NM :: Greenville SC :: San Bernardino CA

Tutor and student grow from Adult Literacy Program
The Reporter: 10.26.2015 by Melissa Murphy

I was just doing by job.

I attended Solano County’s International Literacy Day a little more than a year ago.

I expected to hear stories of great achievements for adults learning how to read and write in English.

I would write the story, it would be printed in the newspaper the next day and then I would be on to the next story.

What I didn’t expect was to feel compelled to help.

How could I not?

I read and write every day for a living and there were more than 100 adults on the waiting list.

Despite my years of writing experience it’s hard to describe in words what happened next.

I attended the tutor workshops and with each session I got more and more excited about imparting my knowledge on the next adult literacy student.

Instead, I was the one that had much to learn.

I was paired with Martha who is closer to my mom’s age than mine and is from Mexico.

She speaks fluent Spanish and English, a skill that I admire very much. We do have some things in common, our faith, we’re both United States citizens, enjoying a good workout at the gym and a deep love of Mexican food.

During the course of a year I watched Martha blossom from a shy adult scared to read out loud simple sentences and tongue twisters to reading books on her own and not wanting to stop.

I saw the frustration on her face of not knowing how to pronounce unknown words fade as Martha put the skill of sounding out words to use.  READ MORE !

Delco literary council to honor 4 contributing Champions
Philadelphia Tribune:  10.28.2015 by Louis Bolling

To mark 40 years of providing free literacy services to local adults, the Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) will honor four Champions at the Third Annual “Champions of Adult Literacy” Awards Reception.

This year’s Champions have made significant contributions to the Literacy Council over its 40-year history.

“She’s awesome. She’s a good trainer and a good listener,” stated Kenya Jackson regarding one of the Champions of Adult Literacy being honored next month, the recently retired Gwen Cottman. “I wish she wasn’t leaving.”

Jackson, a Chester resident and one of Cottman’s former students who is pursing her GED, reflected the sentiments of many that Cottman has taught over the years. After teaching evening GED preparation classes for 30 years, she also organized and hosted DCLC’s Annual Black History Celebration for many years.

“I met so many people who hadn’t finished high school, and there weren’t many programs out there to help them,” Cottman stated, speaking of her motivation for getting into adult education. She added that she “was inspired by the self-help philosophy of Reverend Leon Sullivan (founder of a world-renowned vocational training program) and by an early Laubach Literacy slogan: “Each one, teach one.”

Commuting from Penns Grove, N.J., Cottman shared that “so many people need help, but now it’s time to enjoy my grandchildren while I can.”

In addition to Cottman, Bob Preston, Charlotte Hobson Griffin and Madeline Bialecki are being honored as well. One of the founders of the Literacy Council in the 1970s, Preston volunteered first as a tutor, then trained tutors, only to to move on and help the organization establish itself.  READ MORE !

Literacy group suspects students are hiding
Ruidoso News: 11.03.2015 by Dave Tomlin

Nearly 40 years ago, Cloyce Salazar dropped out of high school in Mescalero just short of his graduation day. He still remembers it as a horrible decision.

“I messed up,” Salazar, 57, said in an interview last week. “There is nothing worse than filling out a job application and you can’t put anything in the place where it asks what diplomas you have. That was a big void in my life.”

What made the decision far worse was that he kept making the same bad choice by breaking his promise to himself year after year that he’d go back for his GED.

“I kept saying, ‘I’ll go back next year,’” he recalled. “That never happened.”

Except finally it did. Two years ago, Salazar enrolled in a GED program at ENMU, aced all his courses, took the tests, and got the certificate.

“He blew them out of the water,” said Cindy Fuqua, the former ENMU volunteer who tutored Salazar and enjoyed a warm reunion with him last week at the Ruidoso Public Library, the current headquarters of Lincoln County Adult Literacy (LCAL).

“I wish I’d done this a long time ago,” Salazar said. “I could have had some good jobs. Government jobs. They just flat told me, we can’t hire you without the GED.”

Deborah Abingdon, LCAL literacy coordinator, is interested in giving Salazar’s hard life lesson the widest circulation possible. She knows she’s not hearing from anything close to the number of Lincoln County residents who need her programs.  READ MORE !


Greenville Literacy Association


San Bernardino Public Library joins San Bernardino County’s Vision2Read literacy efforts
IECN: 10.30.2015

The county-wide vision embarked in September on a year-long campaign titled “Vision2Read” to foster literacy within San Bernardino County.

SBPL’s Jack L. Hill Lifelong Learning Center (formerly known as the Literacy Center) has been providing literacy services to the San Bernardino community since 1989.

“We’re pleased to support increasing literacy, especially early literacy, in our city as part of the project throughout the county,” said SBPL Library Director Ed Erjavek, who received the proclamation for the library. “Our literacy and library services offer residents a great opportunity to increase their knowledge and improve their educational levels at a great price – free. And we’re grateful to the mayor and common council for honoring our contributions.”

The “Vision2Read” effort will promote reading and literacy programs throughout the county, direct those who need assistance to those programs, encourage members of the community to volunteer in reading and literacy efforts, and raise overall awareness of the importance of reading and literacy to the county’s future.

“Coming to the Learning Center has changed my life. When I started I couldn’t read, and now I am helping people overcome the same problem I had,” says Mark. Mark, who prefers not to share his last name, is now a full-time volunteer with the Lifelong Learning Center and is our student advocate.  READ MORE !

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