Sunday, May 1, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US: Kennett Square PA :: Oklahoma Co OK :: Bell Co KY :: Dearborn Co IN :: Henderson NC

Library’s literacy program seen as lifeline
Chadds Ford Live: 3.28.2016 by Kathleen Brady Shea

Most area residents can only imagine the disadvantages of being unable to speak, read, and write in English; however, for many, that inability threatens their chance to live a productive, independent life.

Nearly half of the Kennett Square Borough population is Hispanic or Latino with the vast majority having emigrated from Mexico, according the 2010 U.S. census. And many have struggled with the language barrier.

Since 1979, the Adult Literacy Program (ALP), located downstairs in the Kennett Public Library, has been offering English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and tutoring to the community. To date, it has served more than 6,500 adult learners from more than 50 countries. Yet, despite countless success stories, the program faces its own challenges.  READ MORE @

Opportunities Industrialization Center of Oklahoma County needs literacy volunteers
News OK: 3.30.2106 by Steve Gust

Not knowing how to read, or being able to read proficiently, is condemning thousands of Oklahomans to lives of poverty and limited opportunities, according to leaders at the Opportunities Industrialization Center.

The center's literacy services division wants to change the statistics and is seeking volunteer mentors to help adults master the written word and improve their lives.

The National Assessment of Adult Literacy estimates 30 million Americans, or 14 percent of the adult population, have below basic literacy due to poor reading, writing, comprehension and math skills. For Oklahoma, it's estimated that number is 343,045.

There is a second level of literacy problems, said Blair Lanning, hosting a recent seminar for potential tutors. Lanning said those problems involve the people reading at first- or second-grade levels. They may be able to glean television listings but are challenged by more difficult situations.

"When you go to the doctor and try to fill out one of the forms when you're a new patient, these people can't do it," Lanning said.

The number of people in Oklahoma estimated to be on that second level of literacy is 883,618.

"So we're looking at one in five people in the state with a literacy problem," Lanning said READ MORE @

Letters for literacy
Middlesboro Daily News: 3.31.2016 by Kelsey Gerhardt

Reading is such an integral part to everyday life and it is often taken for granted. Street signs and restaurant menus are effortless to understand for many, but without reading skills even simple tasks can be confusing, off-putting or even prevent some from getting the basic necessities of life.

The National Assessment of Adult Literacy reports that among the 23,583 residents of Bell County, 18 percent are unable to read or comprehend basic sentences at an eighth-grade level. This striking number means that nearly one fifth of citizens will have a tough time performing basic tasks in a fast-food workplace or understanding ingredient lists on food items in the grocery store.

The Bell County Council on Literacy aims to prepare citizens with educational materials and skills needed to better their future including basic reading, improving study habits or receiving a GED.

“The majority of people here want to learn how to read so they can read the Bible and read books to their grandchildren. This region is very proud, there’s a lot of pride, but when they can’t read a story book to their grandchild, that’s when they show up for help from us,” said Ann Maciula, co-chair of BCCL.  READ MORE @

Who doesn’t love a good super hero story?
DC Register: 3.30.2016 by Laura Priebe

Ever wonder what life would be like if you couldn’t read well?  Maybe you don’t have to wonder. Maybe that’s a struggle you’ve experienced. Illiteracy is more common than you think.

And literacy means many things to many people. We talk about cultural literacy, digital literacy, financial literacy, even emotional literacy. The definition is ever changing.

In 1986, a small group of Dearborn County men and women noticed the need for improved basic literacy among adults in their community. They took action and formed the Hoosier Hills Literacy League.

They didn’t have super powers; it wasn’t that kind of a league.

Today, 30 years later, we still don’t have super powers, but we do have the ability to take action. We have the ability to live generously.
Heroes abound

There are many “heroes” around us, and we love to tell the stories. The well-known ones (such as No. 22), and the quiet ones, people serving as mentors through Big Brothers, Big Sisters, teachers and coaches going the extra mile, law enforcement and government officials who allow their hearts to be touched.

I could never list them all, but the thing they have in common is they take action prompted by a supernatural love that comes from a power greater than themselves.

They gather in churches, homes, businesses, libraries and community centers, get their act together, and then they act.  READ MORE @

Blue Ridge Literacy To Adopt Roanoke Valley Reads
Roanokes Star: 3.31.2016 by stuart

Blue Ridge Literacy (BRL) will adopt Roanoke Valley Reads (RVR).  BRL, whose mission is to support achievement of life goals by providing opportunities to strengthen literacy skills to area adults, will take over the operation of the project immediately.

“The project has outgrown its ‘kitchen table’ roots and needs a larger umbrella under which to grow and thrive.  This is a clear mission match, and will allow Roanoke Valley Reads to continue as a community building project which highlights the value of reading.” says long time RVR volunteer Meg Carter.  Roanoke Valley Reads is a community-wide reading project, bringing citizens of the Roanoke Valley together through the reading of a common book. This year will mark the sixth project offered to area residents.

Blue Ridge Literacy is the largest provider of adult literacy services in the region. BRL was founded 31 years ago, and serves over 400 adults a year through 1:1 tutoring and classes. “We’re very excited,” said Russ Merritt, BRL Executive Director. “The Roanoke Valley Reads program has given thousands of persons throughout the region the wonderful opportunity to come together in conversation, in learning from one another and in building bridges of appreciation and understanding through shared literature.  READ MORE @

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