Sunday, April 3, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US: Jefferson Co WI :: Hartford CT :: Mercer Co NJ :: Solano Co CA :: Wichita Falls TX

Funding tight for literacy
Daily Union: 3.10.2016 by Pam Chickering Wilson

The Jefferson County Literacy Council continues to grow, serving a vital need in area communities, with 2015 having been its biggest year yet.

However, the nonprofit has placed a hold on further growth due to a tight budget, as grant funding has remained the same over the past six years while costs have gone up.

JCLC director Lynn Forseth said that the organization will be applying for new and reorganized grant funding in the coming year in hopes of receiving additional monies to provide adult literacy and related services in the local area.

“This last year, the JCLC served the highest number of people it ever has,” Forseth said. “But in terms of funding, we are struggling. For six years, we’ve received the same level of federal funding, and the little we get from the county has not changed. We’ve had to make the decision to hold the line at where we are now until we get more funding. For the first time, we’ve actually started to put people on waiting lists.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the JCLC’s official organization as a nonprofit. However, the group first coordinated on an informal basis, the brainchild of librarians from Watertown, Lake Mills, Waterloo and Fort Atkinson.

“They had seen people coming to the library seeking to improve their reading skills, and they recognized that a need existed within the community,” Forseth said. “So they organized some volunteers to help.”  READ MORE @

YMCA Of Greater Hartford Ending Read To Succeed Adult Literacy Program
Hartford Courant:  3.09.2016 by Vinny Vella

When the Rev. David Hendricks' kids were younger, he had to generate a litany of excuses whenever they'd ask for help with their homework.

He had a headache. He was too tired. He was busy with work of his own.

It wasn't that he was unwilling to help; he simply couldn't. At the time, Hendricks, then in his early 40s, didn't know how to read.

And he says he stayed that way, stunted in his interactions with the world, until he enrolled in the YMCA of Greater Hartford's Read to Succeed program, which boosts literacy skills in adult learners.

After three years in the program, taking classes at night at the Downtown Hartford YMCA while juggling shifts at CT Transit and studying for theological school, Hendricks graduated. A few years after that milestone, he graduated again, this time from Capital Community College with a degree in urban community counseling.

"If I didn't go to Read to Succeed, I wouldn't be where I am today," Hendricks said. "It gave me the motivation and ambition to move forward in my life."

He was devastated to learn Wednesday that, after nearly 30 years and hundreds of students, Read to Succeed will graduate its final class in June.

"It's a great loss for our community, especially those who are trying their best to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and be educated in a more firm and direct way," said Hendricks, who was inspired by Read to Succeed to start Voices of Connecticut Adult Learners, his own advocacy group for adult literacy.  READ MORE @

Ecuador native learns English from Hamilton nonprofit, gets promoted  3.10.2016 by Lindsay Rittenhouse

Four years ago, after moving to Hightstown from Ecuador, Adriana Toledo would walk around grocery stores confused and frustrated by her inability to read the labels and signs in English.

With the help of tutors from Literacy New Jersey's Hamilton office, the 34-year-old mother of two can now shop for her family with ease, talk to her children's teachers with confidence and she's even secured a promotion and raise at her job.

"I've never seen anybody who puts so much into it," Toledo's tutor Ken Fredericks said of Toledo. "She is very determined to get ahead."

Literacy New Jersey said four years ago Toledo's father-in-law, a U.S. citizen who lives in Mercer County, encouraged her and her husband Fabian Avilla to come to America.

The nonprofit said Toledo and Avilla soon did. Toledo got a job unloading trucks in a toy company warehouse and Avilla works as a machine operator.

"In the warehouse I would like to understand better what they are saying," Toledo told Literacy New Jersey. She spent two years learning with the nonprofit.

Before moving to Mercer County, she had already earned a bachelor's degree in Ecuador and was working for the government there.

"I would like to contribute something but I didn't speak English well," Toledo said. "I felt I needed to improve my job."  READ MORE @

Solano library literacy program honors hard work, dedication
Daily Republic: 3.13.2016 by Susan Hiland

One of the cornerstones in life is good communication. Whether it be the spoken word or the written language, communication is the key to becoming a success.

Participants in the Solano Adult Literacy Program know that all too well.

Adult participants in the literacy program took on many challenges to accomplish personal goals and were celebrated Saturday at the Solano County Events Center for their achievements during the library’s annual literacy celebration.

Program participants, as part of a program called Writers to Writers, were asked to write letters to authors whose books touched them in some personal way.

This year’s top participants included Gloria Mejia of Fairfield, Haydeh Zaravar of Vacaville, Eufrosina Ruiz of Rio Vista and Ana Noriega of Vallejo.  READ MORE @

Collaboration serves community best

"No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you." —Althea Gibson

Today I will take on a little different approach to my column because this column will be a collaboration of three agencies. Why, you ask? I believe it is important to show the community how three agencies working together cannot only get the biggest bang for the collective dollars in our community but also show how collaborations can have a huge impact on a community. I have asked WALC's two strongest collaborative partners, Mona Statser, the executive director of Workforce Solutions, and Octaviano Garza, Region 9 Adult Education coordinator, to show the community how our collaborations serve the community without competing for funding or clients and without duplicating services.

I am Sara Shelton, the director of the Wichita Adult Literacy Council, Inc. (WALC) for over 20 years. We live in a great community that offers many opportunities through the diversity and collaboration of resources. Workforce Solutions and Region 9 Adult Education have been partners with us for years in our attempt to help citizens in our community become independent through education and in the job market.

WALC began as a collaborative effort in 1982 under the direction of Region 9 Education Service Center because many of the clients in the Region 9 Adult Education GED classes did not have the reading skills to obtain a GED; therefore, one-on-one tutoring became a need for these clients. WALC also offers Region 9 ESL and/or GED classes at the Galaxy site where WALC is located. Workforce Solutions is our local Texas Workforce Commission's workforce center where WALC is co-located. WALC has partnered with Workforce Solutions for many years and in many capacities.  READ MORE @

No comments: