Sunday, May 22, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US: Wichita TX :: St Joseph Co IN :: Massachusetts :: Dane Co WI :: Hastings NE

Teaching money literacy
Times Record News: 4.20.2016 Opinion|Wichita Adult Literacy Council Column

One of the Wichita Adult Literacy Council's (WALC) services is a financial literacy class we provide as part of our partnership with Workforce Solutions and the North Texas Area United Way. It might seem strange that teaching money skills would have any connection to reading skills, but actually they have much in common. Many of us consider ourselves to be savvy when it comes to handling money. However, we all know, work with someone, or have a relative who is not always making ends meet. This person has what we consider bad habits — overdrawn accounts and uses check-cashing services. Those who have a credit card (or two or three) might say, "I'm short right now so I'll just put it on the card and pay it off next month." But is this really a good idea or a bad skill for money management? It has been interesting to have this discussion with the students in the class. Most of the Workforce clients comment that if they don't have the money now, they sure won't have it when the credit card bill is due. In fact, many of them are in their financial straits because of poor money decisions.  READ MORE @

Area programs a response to link between literacy, incarceration
WSBT-TV: 4.21.2016 by Alex Elich

Research shows a link between illiteracy and incarceration. In fact, 85 percent of juvenile offenders have problems reading. Unfortunately, experts say this is the case in our area.

The Nation Center for Education Statistics estimates that 8 percent of people 16 and older in St. Joseph County lack basic literacy skills. Programs in our area are stepping up to do something about this and they seem to be working.

It starts early. Reading, math, overall literacy.

"It helps connect them," says Gladys Muhammad, director of the Charles Martin Youth Center.

Which Muhammad says opens so many doors, and prevent kids from being locked behind bars.

"If the situation arises where they are not able to get an education they will resort to other things and they call it a pipeline to the system," said instructor Huddah Faham.

Directors at the Charles Martin Youth Center started the Augustus F. Hawkins Literacy Program because of the alarming correlation between illiteracy and incarceration.  READ MORE @

Mass. Literacy Hotline helps adults further their education
Woburn Daily Times: 4.22.2016 by Ryan LaRoche

With 1.1 million workers in Massachusetts having less than a high school diploma and/or limited English skills, many can’t compete in the state’s rapidly changing economy. Plus, many adults with low literacy skills are half as likely to vote compared to their more educated neighbors.

For residents of the Middlesex readership area who fall into those categories, or who simply seek Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs, the Massachusetts Adult Literacy Hotline has you covered.

The hotline, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and administered by World Education, is a statewide service that provides free information and referrals to adult learners and people interested in volunteering in ABE programs. The database includes more than 300 programs statewide offering programs in ABE, Adult Secondary Education (High School Equivalency), ESOL (English as Second Language), Native Language Literacy, Family Literacy, Transition to College, Distance Learning, and Citizenship.

Learners can also use the hotline for prep classes for the High School Equivalency exam (HiSET), which has replaced the GED.  READ MORE @

Help expand Madison's capacity for adult literacy education 4.23.2016 by Jeff Burkhart executive director, Literacy Network of Dane County

Each time I hear a story about learners at Literacy Network, I’m reminded of why I am here. I’m reminded of why I started on this journey as a literacy volunteer more than 20 years ago. I have found inspiration and hope in the hundreds of adult learners I’ve met over the years.

My first learner, Juan, had three children and three jobs. He struggled with English, but managed to improve his skills, get more pay and help his children in school. Janie was dyslexic, had just escaped an abusive relationship and was trying to raise her two young daughters. Corinne, despite her low English language skills, eventually got herself on a career path in nursing.

Literacy is about access. Literacy is about dignity. It is about supporting one’s family. It is about achieving the dream of a better life.

More than 55,000 adults in Dane County struggle with literacy. That’s one in seven adults in our community. That’s enough to fill more than three Kohl centers.

The vast majority of adult learners live in poverty. Many have goals of gaining skills to better support their families. Many want better access to health care.  READ MORE @

Literacy program empowers many motivated students
Hastings Tribune4.23.2016

One classroom in Hastings boasts always having students who are eager learn no matter the day or the subject.

The Hastings Literacy Program provides adult education in the areas of English language, math, reading, General Education Diploma test preparation and civics.

“The adults that are here to learn English as a second language are here of their own free will, which I really like to stress,” said Anne Cannon, coordinator of the program. “They want to learn English. That is why they’re here.”

All programs at the Hastings Literacy Program are completely voluntary. Cannon said most students come in because of their desire to learn and improve their personal situation.  READ MORE @

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