Sunday, January 24, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US: Chicago IL :: Wichita Falls TX :: Altus OK :: New Bern NC :: Franklin DE

With unique techniques, Literacy Works tutors can reach adult learners
Chicago Tribune: 12.20.2015 by Lolly Bowean

Tears welled up in Nube Vidal's eyes when she remembered how lost, confused and scared she felt when she arrived in Chicago from Cuenca, Ecuador.

Not only was she in a new city and new country, Vidal couldn't speak English, couldn't read the street signs and couldn't find her way around, she said.

"My daughter was in kindergarten, she had homework I didn't understand," Vidal said. "The letters, the bills. I couldn't understand the paperwork for the doctor I had to fill out. Because I could not explain to the doctor, I'd have to wait and wait for a translator. It's so hard when you don't understand English."

Five years later, Vidal is not only fluent, she helps her children with their homework, handles all of her household logistics and even assists her friends and neighbors with learning the language. Because she now can read at a proficient level, she has earned her driver's license, passed the exam to become an American citizen and even landed a part-time job caring for children.

Vidal, 33, is one of thousands in the Chicago area who have benefited from literacy tutoring and adult learning programs offered by Literacy Works. Trained volunteers and professionals go to community centers, churches and educational centers, using the techniques they've learned to teach adults literacy.  READ MORE @

One woman’s story of rising from illiteracy
Times Record News: 12.23.2015

Do you know her?

Throughout the years we have given you statistics about literacy, described programs, and offered solutions. This month, we interviewed a student about what changes have occurred since she came into our office. She is not ready to use her real name, so she and her tutor will be identified as May and Trudy, and the student's employer will not be identified.

I asked May what brought her into the Wichita Adult Literacy Council's (WALC) office.

"The final push was humiliation. I had never been put in that position before. I have always been able to hide. At work one morning, the credit card machine wasn't working and a message was on it. I didn't know what it said so I called the company and told the man on the phone I couldn't read or write and didn't know what it said. I would spell the words for him. He yelled at me and said that I needed to read the words, not spell them. I got so mad I hung up. I had to go find someone else in the building to call for me. I found a friend and told her I needed help. I told her what happened and said that I can't read or write. She said not to worry she would take care of it. She called the company back and resolved the problem. I was humiliated because I didn't want anyone to know. I never wanted another person to hurt me the way he did. I went to the work office and asked my HR lady if she know where I could go to learn to read. She knew of WALC and Region 9 because of other employees. I called the next day and it was the best call I ever made."

I asked who else knew she couldn't read before she started tutoring.

"My hiring boss discovered it when he interviewed me, so for 10 years he knew. My two best friends and my brother, sisters, and two grown children."  READ MORE @

Citizenship certificate early gift for Ortiz
Altus Times: 12.26.2015 by Ida Fay Winters, Great Plains Literacy Council Coordinator

Christmas can be a special time of receiving gifts, but Andres Ortiz of Altus received his gift early…the US citizenship! Unlike some presents, his citizenship was not free as it took determination, money, study, time and hard work to learn about the United States. He passed the citizenship test on Nov. 9 and attended a formal ceremony in Oklahoma City on December 8th to swear a solemn oath to this country. His wife Hortencia traveled with him to give support at the ceremony.

“I am very happy about becoming a new American, and I am thankful to all who helped me at the Great Plains Literacy Council at the Altus Public Library,said Ortiz. “I knew I wanted to become a citizen for many years.

Andres grew up in Mexico. He first came to Houston, Texas, in 1974 and later arrived in Altus as his cousin said there were better jobs in this area. He has worked in maintenance with the Altus Public Schools since 1987. Using his “Green Card” entitled him to permanent US residency with immigration status, but it had to be renewed every ten years. The citizenship study really began in 2009 when Ortiz enrolled in a Great Plains Literacy Council’s citizenship group class held at the Plantation Assisted Living Center. Maria Shelley, the volunteer tutor from the Altus Air Force Base, taught weekly classes for eight weeks on social studies, writing, speaking, and the testing procedure. Later Noel Beltran became his tutor. But due to other conflicts, he put his goal on hold for a few years. Then in April 2015, he notified the literacy council that he wanted to reach his citizenship goal. In August, Andres traveled to the Naturalization Service in Oklahoma City to begin the background check process before the final exam.  READ MORE @


But learners must actively participate and study to truly benefit.  READ MORE@

No comments: