Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: North Charleston SC :: York Co PA :: Waukegan IL

Trident Literacy Association breaking the cycle of poverty one student at a time
Berkeley Independent: 11.30.2016 by Matt Bise

Four nights a week inside a barely noticed building set back off of Rivers Avenue, every precious inch of space is used on a packed second floor. It’s a tight maze that winds through cubicles, doors and makeshift hallway-classrooms. For adults who want a better life, the journey starts here-- and there is a waiting list to get in.

It would seem an unlikely spot for such a mix of cultures. On this night, one of two nights a week, it is English as a Second Language. Adults from countries like: Turkey, Moldova, China, Russia, Mexico and Brazil squeeze into the small classrooms for a six-month semester, once they finish a semester they can move on to another higher class level. It’s just one of the “vital life skills” offered by the Trident Literacy Association (TLA), to help break the cycle of poverty.

Geovany Baires is from El Salvador. He has been attending classes for 2-years. His English is still a work in progress, but he is eager to fulfill an American dream. “Because a good life, because the economy is bad in my country,” he said. “It’s nice because I can help my family or build my house in the country.”

Magdalena Lopez, another student, answered slowly and cautiously to give her best English, wants the same, “I want many things here, for a better job and better future,” she said.

But the future is now mixed with uncertain times, politically and socially, those looking for a better life in America, even those here legally-- have real concernsREAD MORE @

Local tutor wins York County Literacy award

York Dispatch: 12.07.2016 by Alyssa Pressler

Sherrill Trimpey was recently awarded the Bea Blatner Award from the York County Literacy Council for her exceptional service as a tutor.

Trimpey started tutoring with the York County Literacy Council 37 years ago, shortly after the council was founded. She retired from tutoring this year.

The Shrewsbury resident's father died a week before she was supposed to start training as a tutor all those years ago, according to a news release from the council. She considered canceling but reminded herself that when one door closes, another opens.

“Each new student was another new door to open and enjoy," Trimpey said, according to the news release.

The Bea Blatner Award was established in 2002 in memory of longtime volunteer Beatrice Blatner. The award now goes to tutors who exhibit the exemplary qualities Blatner displayed during her 20 years of tutoring students in York County.

Trimpey was just the tutor for the award, which she received at the council's 40th celebration. READ MORE @

Waukegan library's adult literacy program helps those most in need
Daily Herald: 12.06.2016 by Abby Scalf

Cheryl Wildemuth said many of the adults she works with can read only at a first- or second-grade level.

Some have high school diplomas and some do not. Some have been to jail. Most didn't see going to college as an option.

So Wildemuth sees herself as a cheerleader for students, who have not had much success, and didn't have someone who believed in them.

"They all want to work. They all have bigger aspirations for their life, which is bigger than what we would anticipate and is against all the stereotypes that you hear, that they're lazy. It's not the case," she said.

The Lake Villa resident and former special education teacher is among the tutors who volunteer their time to teach basic skills, such as reading, writing and math to adults across Lake County.

The adult literacy tutoring program, which is run by the Waukegan Public Library, supports those most in need and hardest to reach, said Josh Anderson, the program's coordinator.

With the recent absorption of Literacy Volunteers of Lake County into the Waukegan Public Library Foundation, the library has become the go-to organization to improve adult literacy.  READ MORE @

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Empowering Individuals Through Literacy :: U Iowa, College of Education

Empowering Individuals Through Literacy
Through research, outreach, and engagement, the College of Education is empowering students of all backgrounds through literacy and literature.
College of Education, UIowa: 2016 by Kate Conlow

Reading and comprehending written language are critical skills.

Literacy can empower children and adolescents to perform daily tasks and navigate life as they grow into adulthood, while literature can offer insight into other people’s lives that a student may not have otherwise known—it is a way of passing along important stories and lessons.

Having the ability to read is also a foundation for success in virtually every facet of life, both personally and professionally.

At the University of Iowa College of Education, reading programs, faculty research, and outreach initiatives are empowering students and offering them new perspectives. From the Iowa Reading Research Center's literacy research and reading support services across Iowa and the nation, to community engagement programs that inspire young students to become successful citizens, to faculty who are teaching future teachers to become leaders in reading and literacy education, the College of Education is invested in and committed to ensuring all students are not only literate, but that they have the opportunity to learn and grow from what they read.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Nevada Co CA :: Tacoma WA :: Taos NM

Understanding the importance of adult literacy in Nevada County
Sierra Sun: 11.23.2016 by Alan Archer,
Director Read Up Learning Center, Nevada County Library

In 1986, the United States Congress designated September as Adult Literacy Awareness Month. They requested that then President Ronald Reagan issue a proclamation, which he did on August 27, 1986.

September continues to be recognized by literacy programs nationwide as Adult Literacy Awareness Month. California State Library had begun sponsoring library-based adult literacy programs throughout California in 1984, and now provides support to over 100 such programs.
Parental role in helping children learn to read

The National Research Council’s (NRC) report of the Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children found that children of parents with low literacy skills are likely to enter school with neither the language and pre-reading skills needed to succeed at literacy acquisition, nor the motivation to practice reading.

1. Parents who value reading and read because they enjoy it have children who are motivated to learn, and use reading skills, while parents who do not read, or find reading challenging, have children who view reading as a school experience unrelated to their life outside of school.
2. Parents who frequently ask their children questions and respond to the questions their children ask, provide a print-rich environment and read to their children, demonstrate reading’s ability to solve problems, interact with their children around reading activities, make reading an enjoyable experience, are helping their children develop strong oral language skills and prepare for learning how to read in school.

If you know an adult who could benefit from improved literacy skills, the speaking, reading and writing of English, you have the opportunity to make a tremendous contribution to their life, and their children’s lives, by encouraging them to enroll in the free adult literacy program at the Truckee Library.  READ MORE @

Changing Lives For Half a Century at the Tacoma Area Literacy Council
SouthSound Talk: 11.30.2016 by Daniel Beers

The story of the Tacoma Area Literacy Council (TALC) began in 1967. Two Tacoma women attended a class by Dr. Frank Laubach, the literacy expert famous for the “Each One Teach One” method, and became so inspired by Laubach’s international success that they established the Tacoma Area Literary Council in early 1968.

Since then, TALC has been operating as an all-volunteer, privately supported, adult literacy organization. A member of the ProLiteracy Education Network, TALC is on the cusp of celebrating their 50th anniversary, and is launching their new slogan, “Literacy is Golden,” to further their mission of increasing adult literacy and creating even more awareness of their life-changing program.

The “Each One Teach One” method is just as simple as it sounds. After completing a Training Workshop, each volunteer tutor is matched with an adult learner. Each pair sets their own schedules and locations. Ruth Anderson, TALC tutor and former chairman, says, “Each One Teach One simply requires a knowledge of our language, a love of reading, and the willingness to donate two to four hours a week sharing your ability with another adult.”  READ MORE @

Taos adult education center rebrands with new vision
Taos News: 12.01.2016 by Cody Hooks

Every year, about 200 adults take classes in a few rooms in the back of an old adobe building on Civic Plaza Drive. Some are looking to get the equivalent of a high school diploma, while others want to learn English or just learn how to read and write in a way they never had before.

The Taos Education and Career Center (TECC), previously known as the Adult Learning Center, is formally changing its name and ushering in a new vision of collaboration in a ceremony Dec. 1.

Nina Gonzales, program specialist with TECC, told The Taos News part of the reason for the name change was perennial confusion about what to actually call the center, as it has had several names both formally and in the local lexicon.

“People could never really get our name right, even our own students,” Gonzales said.
But the rebranding is more than a name change.

“The national legislation over adult learning is undergoing the biggest changes since its inception,” Gonzales said, adding that professionalism and clear roads to careers are among the most profound transitions.

The three pillars of adult learning used to be basic literacy skills, high school equivalency (alternatives to a traditional diploma) and learning English as a second language.

But more and more, Gonzales said, leaders in the workforce are looking for “soft skills,” — things like interviewing well, showing up to work on time, communicating with ones boss and working effectively with coworkers.  READ MORE @

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Titusville PA :: St. Lucie Co FL :: Pueblo Co CO

Titusville agency seeks to get families ‘on the same page’
Titusville Herald: 11.22.2016 by Joshua Sterling

As part of its mission to break a cycle of illiteracy, a local agency, less than two years after its inception, is supporting literacy skills from adults and parents all the way down to children yet to be born, so to speak.

In 2015, the Titusville Regional Literacy Council wrote and received an Early Childhood Education Community and Innovation Zone grant, a federal resource that is part of the state’s “Race to the Top” funding program.

The grant has allowed the agency to hire two new staff members — an early childhood family literacy coordinator and an assistant — whose specialty is preparing expectant parents for the educational needs of their child.  READ MORE @

Feast for Literacy benefits adult reading classes in St. Lucie County
TC Palm: 11.30.2016 by Jennifer Trefelner

Did you know 23.8 percent of the adult population in St. Lucie County functions at or below level one literacy, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics?

Many people take reading for granted, but there is something we can do to help those who do not have this skill.

The organization Learn to Read of St. Lucie County, Inc. was established in 1981 when the founder, Dorothy Brennan, learned that a mother had overdosed her child with a medicine because she could not read the instructions on the bottle. Since 1981, Learn to Read has offered free, confidential, one-on-one literacy and English as a second language instruction to adults needing literacy assistance.

The office is run by full-time executive director LuzMa Camacho, who benefited from the literacy program herself. Camacho and her team of volunteers along with the board of directors, help promote literacy in our area though a myriad of activities.  READ MORE @

Adult literacy program helping bridge educational gaps
Pueblo Chieftain: 11.30.2016 by Regan Foster

If you are comprehending this story, congratulations: You are in the approximately 91 percent of U.S. adults who can read at higher than a third-grade level. That may seem inconsequential until you consider that an organization called ProLiteracy, based out of Syracuse, N.Y., estimated that 30 million American adults can’t.

According to that group’s statistics, 8.1 million adults — about twice the annual birth rate in the U.S. — dropped out of school before eighth grade. But it also estimates that increasing the adult literacy rate by just 1 percent would be a $2.31 billion boon to the national economy.

In addition, adults with low health literacy go to the emergency room more often, are less likely to get flu shots and more likely to delay or forget vital health screenings than their more-literate counterparts. And American employers spend in excess of $125.9 billion each year on remedial reading, writing and mathematics training, according to ProLiteracy.

Such statistics are on always on Jackie Swanson’s mind. As the adult literacy coordinator for the Pueblo City-County Library District, she’s responsible for overseeing the educational enrichment of about 70 area adults and more than 40 volunteer tutors who have taken the leap of faith and joined her program.

“Education is freedom,” Swanson, a veteran educator with more than four decades of experience, said. “From crime to bettering the community, it scan solve a lot of problems.”  READ MORE @

Monday, December 19, 2016

36 million Adults Can’t Read at the Level They Should :: via attn

36 million adults can’t read at the level they should. 12.14.2016

Everyone Deserves To Know How To Read

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Charleston SC :: Midland Co TX :: Kansas City MO

Prison literacy program aims to empower
Post & Courier: 11.24.2016 by Adam Parker

When she moved back home to Charleston a couple years ago, Emilie Hancock searched for a literacy program serving incarcerated teens.

In Charlotte, where she previously lived, there were several such programs that received strong support from the city, its residents and federal agencies. She volunteered for two years as a book club facilitator for jailed youth.

But there was nothing like that in the Holy City.

In June, Hancock attended a screening of the documentary “First Degree” at the Charleston County Public Library. The film tells the story of a successful college program at the maximum-security Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York. It motivated Hancock to take action.

She started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $900, a modest sum that would be sufficient for buying the books she needed. She figured she’d have, on average, five book club members a month.

With support from librarian Megan Summers, Nancy Kreml in Columbia and Lynette Johnson at the Charleston County juvenile detention center, she started Books Unbound and got to work.  READ MORE @

MN2R named recipient of Texas Center for the Book Literacy Award
Odessa American: 11.26.2016

The Literacy Award honors qualified non-profit organizations that have made outstanding contributions to increasing literacy in Texas.

It provides public recognition to such organizations committed to addressing the continuing need for literacy services and increasing public awareness of the importance of literacy. “We were delighted to receive close to 20 worthy applications from across the state in the inaugural year of the Texas award. The purpose of this award is to highlight a winning organization, while promoting a greater appreciation and awareness of literacy efforts statewide,” said Texas Center for the Book Coordinator, Rebekah Manley.

Midland County Public Libraries provided a letter of support for MN2R’s nomination. “Midland Need to Read’s Adult Literacy Program often goes under-recognized and underappreciated. It is one of the few programs dedicated to identifying, advocating for, and addressing adult illiteracy in West Texas.  READ MORE @

Low literacy among adults in Kansas City is more common than you think
Kansas City Star: 11.27.2016 by Kevin Derohanian

A topic that seems to go largely unnoticed and therefore unaddressed is low literacy rates among adults. With an estimated 225,000 adults in the Kansas City metro area labeled as functionally illiterate, or reading below a fifth-grade level, it is important that the community work together to reach out and help these individuals.

Adult literacy is one of those issues that many people will learn about and say, “Oh my, I had no idea this was an issue in my community.” However, it is highly likely that you know someone who is struggling with some form of low literacy; you just may not realize it.

It is such a complex issue because it is a hidden issue for many people. It can be challenging to identify low literacy because of the associated stigma that causes many of these individuals to be ashamed and therefore not make it known that they need help. Many literate adults don’t naturally look out for illiteracy within the adult community, as they likely learned to read and write at a young age and take these skills for granted. An important part of improving adult literacy rates is increasing awareness that illiteracy exists in the first place.

Local organizations like Literacy KC are working to improve the reading, writing, math and digital skills of adults in the Kansas City metro area who may be struggling. The definition of adult literacy today is different from what it was 30 years ago when Literacy KC began. What originally primarily meant the ability to read and write has expanded to include increased focus on math skills, health and financial literacy, and digital skills. The primary reason for these changes involves the advancements in the skills needed to be a fully integrated member of society.  READ MORE @

Friday, December 16, 2016

Ruth Colvin, the Mother of the Adult Literacy Movement, Turns 100 on December 16

Ruth Colvin, the Mother of the Adult Literacy Movement, Turns 100 on December 16
Colvin has dedicated more than 50 years of her life to literacy, and shows no signs of stopping.
PR Web: 12.14.2016

“To many people the word “illiteracy” prompts images of downtrodden, starving people in third world countries. But illiteracy in America? How can that be possible? Our tax money provides schooling for every child.” These thoughts were expressed by Ruth Johnson Colvin in 1960. But when Colvin saw a 1961 newspaper article on the US Census figures that noted her hometown of Syracuse, New York had over 11,000 people who could not read, she knew something needed to be done. "Not in Africa. In my city. An educational city," Colvin said. “If I don’t do something, who will?”

Her life was transformed as she undertook the necessary steps needed to help correct the situation. Colvin determined that traditional classroom methods would not work and instead focused on the development of community networks that empowered adult learners. The organization developed effective tutor training programs to teach basic literacy and English as a second language with an ongoing support system.

Colvin earned support from Syracuse’s Church Women United (CWU) organization to sponsor a local literacy tutoring effort. She recruited volunteers and set up an office in her home’s basement. Under her leadership, the literacy volunteer movement quickly spread across the United States, and the national organization, Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc., was incorporated in 1972. Ruth and her husband, Robert, also spent more than 50 years traveling the world together to provide literacy training in more than 60 countries at the invitation of ministries, governments and universities.

During her more than five decades of literacy work, Colvin has published nine books, and visited or worked in more than sixty countries. She has been the recipient of nine honorary doctorates, and in 1987 she was given the highest award for volunteerism in the United States, the President’s Volunteer Action Award from President Ronald Regan [sic]. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006 from President George W. Bush, and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1991.

In 2002, Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. merged with Laubach Literacy International to form ProLiteracy Worldwide. Colvin still serves as a lifetime member of the board of directors of ProLiteracy, is an honorary member of the board of directors of Literacy New York, and a member of the board of directors and a tutor at Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse.  READ MORE @

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Omaha NE :: Madison Co NY :: Hamilton MT

Literacy Center keeping hopes alive
WOWT: 11.17.2016 by John Knicely

When the Literacy Center recently moved into its new location just south of Dodge on 72nd Street, some volunteer painters had already paid a visit.

A bible study group from Omaha's Calvary Chapel covered the office walls with fresh paint at no cost.

"We really try hard as a part of our body to find opportunities where we can just serve the community," said Nathan Warnock in an interview with WOWT 6 News.

And in terms of serving the community, the Literacy Center has empowered adults and families in the metro area to improve their reading skills for the last 50 years.

"We're working with people that want to change their lives," explained interim Director Christine Johnson. "I've been so impressed because they want to be here, it's not because they have to be here."

Fifty-two-year old Ali Ahmed is one of those students with aspirations to improve his life. He came to the United State two years ago and works a night shift.

"It's a good class," he said. "I'm trying to improve my language so I can have good job. I love Omaha."  WATCH VIDEO 📹

Literacy Coalition of Madison County celebrates success stories, plans for future
Oneida Dispatch: 11.19.2016 by John Brewer

More than three dozen members of local schools, libraries and community agencies convened at Madison Hall to discuss literacy needs throughout the county as part of the Literacy Coalition of Madison County’s annual fall meeting.

Members of the Literacy Coalition of Madison County, or LCMCNY, worked to identify key areas of focus as the coalition moves forward and shared success stories.

LCMCNY interim director Michael Drahos said in the future, members would like to have more meetings will the full coalition present and increase public awareness of literacy coalition and better broadcast the positive work being done.

“There was the feeling that we could do a better job communicating the existence and work of the coalition,” Drahos said.

Two of the programs celebrated at the fall meeting include Madison County Reads Ahead, MCRA, and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, DPIL.

MCRA is a free one-on-on tutoring program for adults seeking to improve their lives through improved English language skills and the desire to earn a high school equivalency diploma. At the meeting, Gary Johnson, one of the volunteer tutors, shared the success story of one of the learners, Brandon Fowler. While in the program, Fowler overcame many difficulities [sic] as he struggled to get his equivalency diploma.  READ MORE @

Literacy Bitterroot gets new home
Ravalli Republic: 11.30.2016 by Michelle McConnaha

Literacy Bitterroot has moved across the street with the Human Resource Council to 303 N. Third in Hamilton.

The signs are not yet in place and the remodel is not complete, but executive director Dixie Stark and the teachers at Literacy Bitterroot are changing the lives of their students by providing education, guidance and help in completing the necessary paperwork.

Literacy Bitterroot teaches adults who are reading below a 12th grade level to improve their skills in reading, writing and math.

The goal is high school graduation achieved with passing a High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) that replaced the General Educational Development (GED) in Montana.

In March, Literacy Bitterroot will have served students for 26 years. They typically have 150 to 200 students and 45 to 65 graduates each year.

Stark said when she started with the program she worked part-time. It had all volunteer teachers and they only worked with adults who could not read.  READ MORE  @