Sunday, January 3, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US: Melfa VA :: Honesdale PA :: Alameda Co CA :: Prescott Valley AZ :: Kalamazoo MI

Area demand for English classes sees a huge increase
Contra Costa Times: 12.01.2015 by Beth Jensen

Every day in the Tri-Valley, hundreds of educated, competent adults struggle to talk on the phone, speak to their doctors and fill out a job application -- stymied by the gargantuan task of becoming fluent in a second language.

Such is the world of many immigrants in the Tri-Valley, who struggle to learn English while simultaneously working and, often, raising families. Many enroll in courses at Las Positas College and at local adult schools, but hundreds more flock to local libraries, where scores of committed volunteers teach speaking, reading and writing skills to determined students of all ages from around the world.

"We're seeing all different kinds of folks with very different backgrounds," said Carey Gross, coordinator of Livermore Library's literacy services. "We have people who have had up to a sixth-grade level of learning in their native country and who are working several jobs to earn a living while trying to get better access to language, up to seniors with Ph.D.'s from their country ... every person is here because they want to be here; they're looking to improve themselves, not because they are mandated to do so."

English learners in Livermore and Pleasanton can participate in one-on-one tutoring, for which there are often long waiting lists, as well as group discussion classes in which they practice speaking English in a patient and friendly environment. Dublin Library, part of the Alameda County Library system, operates a book club discussion group for English learners as part of the county's "Write to Read" literacy program. One-on-one tutoring is limited in Dublin, however, with beginning non-native speakers referred to other area programs.

The need for English instruction for non-native speakers is growing in all cities, according to program coordinators. Alameda County libraries provided more than 13,500 hours of instruction to 397 students in 2014-2015, thanks to 63 volunteers. Pleasanton has seen a huge increase in need.  READ MORE @

PV literacy program teaches essential skills
Program always looking for volunteers to tutor
Prescott Valley Tribune: 12.02.2015 by Briana Lonas

For people who can't read or speak English, a free program exists that could help.

The Prescott Valley Adult Literacy Group is an all-volunteer organization that teaches reading, writing, and English to adults in western Yavapai County. The program is free to adults 18 and older.

The PVALG volunteers service the Quad-Cities areas including Dewey-Humboldt.

Parents who can't read, often have children who also can't read - or at least very well, explained Kathy Lewis who helps oversee the program.

Lewis said that currently, the Quad-Cities area has 60 tutors available and they are always looking for more.

The PVALG program began in the 80s, from a library volunteer, and it operates separately from the library.

According to the PVALG:
Arizona has one of the highest high school dropout rates in the country.
Nearly one in five adults in Arizona is functionally illiterate
At least half of all adults who are functionally illiterate live in poverty
Children whose parents can read are five to six times more likely to succeed in school
93 million adults in the U.S. (43 percent of adult population) function below high school level
80 percent of the fastest growing jobs in the U.S. require some post-secondary education  READ MORE @

Evans describes the symposium at Western Michigan University as a “one day opportunity to get into a deep discussion about adult literacy.” Evans says he hopes that will lead to conversation about the solutions to adult literacy.  READ MORE @

No comments: