Sunday, May 15, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US: Salinas CA :: Pickaway Co OH :: Salem OR :: Richmond CA :: NJ

A place of learning for everyone
Salinas Californian: 4.09.2016 by Juan Villa

Diego Guzman works for his uncle’s landscaping company but has dreams and aspirations of someday working in the music industry.
-Before that can happen, the 20-year-old Salinas resident who recently moved back from Mexico wants to complete the high school equivalency exam.

Guzman is doing just that with help from the Salinas Public Library Literacy Center.

“I’ve been a singer and composer since I was a kid. I’ve really liked that since I was 8 years old, so I’d like to work in that field someday,” Guzman said in Spanish. “A lot of people tell me it’s too difficult to achieve, but I love it and it’s something I want to do. It’s a lot better getting paid to do what I love.”

The literacy center offers classes in things like high school equivalency, computer literacy training, citizenship and adult basic education. It also offers early literacy playgroups for parents and their children.

Individualized or small group instruction through the literacy center is available at the three Salinas Public Library locations: John Steinbeck, Cesar Chavez and El Gabilan.
“It’s gone well. I’m going over things I knew and learning new things,” said Guzman, who is also taking an English class. “It’s hard sometimes, but you just have to practice to understand it well.”  READ MORE @

Literacy Council to close doors in Circleville
Circleville Herald: 4.09.2016 by Amanda Plotts

After 29 years of service, the Pickaway County Literacy Council (PCLC) will be closing its doors due to funding issues. The closure is slated for the end of this month. Coordinator Katherine Robb said the majority of funding for the facility came from the United Way of Pickaway County. The Circleville Presbyterian Church provided PCLC office space and computer access, while additional backing came through donations and grants. At one point, PCLC received government funding but Robb said that ended nearly 10 years ago. “The last five years we knew it was inevitable as funding kept decreasing,” Robb said of the closing. PCLC provided services to people who needed help with reading and math skills. The organization also conducted family literacy programs in many schools to encourage parents to read with their children. The PCLC is made up of one paid staff member (Robb). All tutors and board members are volunteers.

“Over the 29 years, it’s safe to say we’ve helped several thousands of people through various services offered,” Robb said.  READ MORE @

Mid-Valley Literacy Center helps adults learn
Statesman Journal: 4.12.2016 by Natalie Pate

Can you name three homophones?

How about "ate" and "eight," "ant" and "aunt," or "male" and "mail"?

Homophones are words that sound the same when pronounced, but have different spellings and different meanings.

These nuanced differences probably come naturally to those who were born and raised speaking English. But for those who learn English as a second language, understanding homophones and other parts of speech can be difficult.

Adults who are learning English as a second language — or third, fourth, sixth or 11th, for that matter — can work with tutors at the Mid-Valley Literacy Center in Salem to learn these things and more.

The Mid-Valley Literacy Center trains volunteer tutors to provide literacy-based classes. The center recently moved to the East Salem Community Center, 1850 45th St. NE.

The center can also help students obtain their GED, begin nursing courses, or take classes on business management.  READ MORE @

Richmond Public Library helps adults complete their high school diplomas
Richmond Confidential: 4.12.2016 by Isara Krieger

Lorena Gonzalez didn’t start high school just to drop out two years later. She wanted to be a nurse. But before her junior year, at age 18, she gave birth to a baby girl and stopped going to class. “Work was what I had to do, you know, being a single mom,” Gonzalez said.

Now she’s 34, and after getting married, raising two children, leaving San Francisco for a house in Richmond and finding work that she loves case-managing foster youth, Gonzalez is determined to finish what she started 19 years ago. “I just feel like it’s my time,” she said.

Through its Literacy for Every Adult Program (LEAP), the Richmond Public Library is now offering scholarships for adults to complete a Career Online High School Diploma course. While LEAP has offered GED courses for years, a high school diploma course is less focused on one big test – like the GED – and more on helping people complete something they might have previously started and have wanted to finish. The GED has also moved in the direction of college readiness in recent years, but people looking to enter the workforce might prefer a high school diploma.

Gonzalez and a young client of hers that she brought along are among the program’s first class of accepted scholarship students. Israel Clarke, a 22-year-old Richmond resident, is the third. Clarke attended Pinole Valley High School. During her junior year she started a job at Starbucks. “I was so eager to become an adult,” Clarke said. “I was 18 at the time and I thought I could work and go to school full time. And I just, you know, found out that it doesn’t work that way.” Clarke tried a different online diploma program but it was still too much. “You really have to commit a lot of time to school and, at the time, money was more important,” said ClarkeREAD MORE @

Literacy New Jersey helps adults become U.S. citizens
My Central Jersey: 4.16.2016 by Jessica Tomkins, Literacy New Jersey

Last year, 196 Literacy New Jersey students became citizens, registered to vote and voted for the first time, becoming more active in their communities.

For Chin Vivian Hsieh, who immigrated to the United States from Taiwan seven years ago, one of most intimidating experiences in her new homeland was simply walking into a store and approaching the checkout counter.

“I was scared. I thought they were saying ‘What are you doing?’” said Hsieh, 53, of Edison. “They were saying ‘How are you doing?’”

It was that small misunderstanding – just one word – that kept Hsieh her from venturing out most days.  VIDEO

No comments: