Sunday, April 10, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US: Altus OK :: Pensacola FL :: Mariposa Co CA :: Lafayette Co MS :: Virginia

Health and Literacy Education Combined
Altus Times: 3.15.2016

According to the 2014 State of the State’s Health Report, the leading causes of death in Jackson County and Harmon County are heart disease and cancer. In both Jackson County and Harmon County, one in five adults (20 percent) reported 3+ days with limited activity in the past month. These statistics illustrate why there are several needs to target Jackson County and Harmon County adult population, who will in turn influence the youth.

Another alarming concern about Oklahoma was included in the most recent National Assessment of Adult Literacy. It estimated 43 percent of Oklahoma’s adults function with the most basic or below-basic literacy skills of reading simple everyday literacy activities.

These statistics illustrate why there are several needs to target Jackson County and Harmon adult population. And for these reasons, the Great Plains Literacy Council wanted to address both health and literacy issues. This educational grant project has been made possible through the federal Library Services and Technology Act funding received through the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries Literacy Services.  READ MORE @

Gulf Power honors nonprofits
Pensacola News Journal: 3.16.2016 by Carlos Gieseken

When someone is functionally illiterate, it means bank statements, road maps or road signs, job applications, apartment leases and all the other forms of necessary written communication are inaccessible.

“There are about 34,000 estimated adults in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties where, if we tested them, they would be functionally illiterate,” said Manette Magera, executive director of Learn to Read of Northwest Florida. “They can read a little bit but not at a level where they can survive."

The adult literacy program, which was founded in 1984, pairs adult students with tutors. It was one of four honored Tuesday night at the Power of Service Awards, hosted at Voices of Pensacola by Gulf PowerREAD MORE @

Local Mariposa County Woman is Sworn in as U.S. Citizen

Hiliana Gleave of Midpines recently became a U.S. citizen during a swearing-in ceremony at the Fresno Convention Center.

A native of Honduras, Gleave visited her cousin in Yosemite in 2009. There she met her future husband, Mark Gleave, who was employed by Delaware North Company. They married the following year. In 2012 enrolled in the adult literacy program at the Mariposa Library to work on the skills Gleave she would need to take the citizenship test, including English language and U.S. history.

Volunteer tutors Mitchel Terkildsen and Linda Erhardt worked closely with Gleave during the next three years. When it was finally time to complete the application forms, Tom Martin volunteered to help. They also attended the swearing-in ceremony, along with her husband, family friends and Adult Literacy Coordinator Karen Dusek.

When asked about his experience tutoring Gleave, Terkildsen said, “The words that keep coming to mind are hard-working, motivated and very pleasant. It’s very satisfying as a volunteer to have been able to experience with her becoming an American citizen.”

Gleave understands the importance of a good education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán and worked as an elementary school teacher and college administrator in Honduras. She is currently working as a housekeeper and hopes to find expanded job opportunities with her new status as a citizen and by continuing to improve her spoken and written English language skills.

“It is a great opportunity to live in a great country in peace and work hard to build a wonderful life,” Gleave said. “And now English is my language, so I have to learn my language.”  READ MORE @

Lafayette County Literacy Council marks 20 years
Oxford Eagle: 3.18.2016

Twenty years after its founding as a small community nonprofit, the Lafayette County Literacy Council is realizing its earliest goal of equipping adult learners, while also fostering literacy skills at the family level.

“Literacy transforms people’s lives by opening up new opportunities,” said Board President Vicki Fowlkes, a former educator. “Beyond those individual gains, we benefit as a community when more people can read well and pass those skills to their children. Having a literate citizenry raises the social, economic and cultural quality of life for us all.”

Its mission is to “improve the quality of life in Oxford and Lafayette County through literacy and reading.”

While the goal is broad, the Literacy Council has spent recent years honing in on those activities that are most effective and finding new ways of reaching those who need its services the most.

“We believe that it is never too late to start learning,” said Sarah McLellan, Lafayette County Literacy Council executive director, “and are fortunate to have an amazing community by our side supporting our programs.”  READ MORE @

Virginia Literacy Foundation recognizes Literacy for Life director Joan Peterson
Virginia Gazette: 3.18.2016 by Heather Bridges

The Virginia Literacy Foundation has named Literacy for Life executive director Joan Peterson winner of the 2016 Nancy Jiranek Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements by a director of a literacy organization.

In Peterson's eight years of leadership, the adult literacy program at Literacy for Life has grown from 370 learners to nearly 750, and revenue has tripled, according to a recent news release.

But Peterson attributes the organization's success to teamwork: "Literacy for Life is a dynamic organization with an incredibly talented staff that has allowed us to do some innovative work," she said.

One such innovation is the Health Education and Literacy (HEAL) Program, which is funded by the Williamsburg Health Foundation. HEAL both improves health literacy among low-literate adults and trains medical staff in working with low-literate patients. In 2015, the program received a national Award for Program Innovation and Collaboration from ProLiteracy.

A recent initiative is "Destination Graduation," a partnership with Williamsburg-James City County schools. This mentoring and tutoring program supports high school students at risk of not graduating on time, or at all. Destination Graduation is slated to launch in the fall.  READ MORE @

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