Sunday, January 31, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US: Greensboro NC :: New Orleans LA :: Wisconsin :: Arkansas

English Department
HoltOne Book One New Orleans
Literary Alliance
read at a 5th grade level
The State Of Adult Literacy In Wisconsin

It’s estimated that approximately one million Wisconsin adults quality for adult literacy and English language services, but few are actually receiving them.  Joy’s guest assesses the state of adult literacy in Wisconsin, and what’s being done to bring services to those in need of them.  
Host(s): Joy Cardin  Guest(s): Ezi Adesi  LISTEN

Literacy Services of Wisconsin got its start in Wauwatosa
Wauwatosa Now: 1.05.2016 by Abby Nitta

Literary Services of Wisconsin celebrated its 50th year of providing reading classes to undereducated and English as a Second Language students — and it all began at First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa.

Longtime church member Gordon Ralph first heard the world-famous Dr. Frank Laubach speak about the need for literacy at a Baptist assembly
in Green Lake in 1965. Laubach, a missionary dubbed the "Apostle of Literacy," created methods for teaching literacy skills and is credited with bringing reading and writing skills to millions.

When Laubach asked who would start a local chapter of literacy services in Wisconsin, Ralph stepped forward.

He first looked for volunteers within First Congregational.

"I made 34 phone calls and 32 said 'yes' — all were from the church," Ralph said.

After raising funds to send one of their volunteers to Baltimore to receive training, the group held their first meeting at Christ Presbyterian Church on 20th and Walnut Streets in Milwaukee. The group's initial focus was to teach reading and writing to illiterate adults in the city.

A "little miracle" happened at that first meeting, Ralph said, when one of their volunteers decided to take the literacy workshop and adapt it for use in teaching English as a second language.

By the end of 1965, members of the group had held 20 to 30 similar workshops, training tutors in 20 counties in Wisconsin.

"It's people helping people, and that's what I love — it's a very loving, caring, sharing thing, and heaven knows the world needs that," Ralph said.

Ralph also accompanied Laubach for three weeks to Kenya in 1965 to launch the "Kenya National Literacy Campaign" in partnership with the Kenyan Literacy Center and the Kenyan government.

Now 84 years old, Ralph lives in a retirement community in Florida with his wife, Jacquie.  

The group says that in the Central Arkansas area, more than 145,000 adults read at or below basic levels. Most do not have the reading skills necessary to succeed in the workplace; address their health care needs; read to their children; help with homework; talk to their teachers or read schedules, labels or billboards. Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read to aloud everyday than are children in families with incomes at or above the poverty line.  READ MORE @

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