Sunday, June 19, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US: Florence AL :: Fort Bend Co TX :: Suffolk VA :: Crossville TN :: Palm Beach Co FL

Northwest Alabama Reading Aides make a difference in the Shoals
WAAY: 5.18.2016 by Breken Terry

Northwest Alabama Reading Aides is a local non-profit that teaches anyone over the age of 16 how to read.

Northwest Alabama Reading Aides offer literacy programs for adults who have limited reading skills, teach English as a second language and work with stroke victims to help them regain their reading ability, all for free.

Jim Green, the director of Northwest Alabama Reading Aides, says reading is an important skill and in the Shoals there is a 15 percent illiteracy rate.

"We're here to help people so they don't have to be so closed off from society," said Green. "Whether it's reading flyers or how-to books, or even programming a GPS. We want more people to know who we are and what we do."

Green says anyone who needs their assistance can come in and get an assessment of their reading level. Then they are paired with a trained tutor.

"We train the tutors, then we hook them up with a student and that's all one-on-one. They can meet whenever and wherever they want," said Green.  READ MORE @

The Gift of Literacy
Katy News: 5.18.2016

Ellen came from Hong Kong 16 years ago; she lived in New York for several years and then moved to sunny Texas. When Ellen started at Literacy Council in 2011 she tested at an intermediate ESL student. Since, arriving she has worked her way through the ESL program and is now taking our GED courses. Her goal after completing her GED test is to start back in the workforce to help contribute to her family and community here in Fort Bend County.

2016 so far has been a success, with 80% of the students who have been re-assessed showing progress in the English proficiency and are even closer to reaching their goals of entering the workforce, continuing their education, and better their communities.

I would also like to share a few of our student successes with you:  READ MORE @

Shortage of tutors worsens Suffolk's literacy problem
Virginian-Pilot 5.19.2016 by James Thomas Jr.

Illiteracy in Suffolk is probably more widespread than many people think.

Consider one in six Suffolk residents cannot read this sentence. The statistics from the Suffolk Literacy Council continue: about 20 percent of the population lacks a high school diploma or equivalency and might not fully understand all of the words written here.

An uncertain number of people work on jobs that require basic writing skills but often cannot complete daily tasks. Then there are those who could use help but won’t ask for it and the overall situation could get worse before it gets better.

“It’s because we have a critical shortage of literacy tutors,” said Jessica Reitz, tutor coordinator at the Literacy Council. “I have a waiting list for students to serve. So it’s a reasonable expectation this problem is going to continue.”

The council’s tutor shortfall can be traced to a greater demand for skilled tutors in recent years, Reitz said. Over the past three years, the council has on average tutored about 100 students a year, but in the last year it’s been averaging that many in six months.

At present, 50 volunteer tutors offer time to the council but the agency is still overwhelmed.  READ MORE @

Adult Literacy Program ready for new students
Crossville Chronicle: 5.23.2016 by Rebekah K Bohannon Beeler

The Cumberland Adult Reading Council (CARC) desires to break the language barriers and tear down the walls of incomprehension with the Adult Literacy Program to help more students live fuller, more productive lives. Quality of live hinges on learning and learning starts with literacy. Being able to read, write and communicate well enables residents to function better in their daily lives and become more independent. At the meeting on May 10, CARC board members and Adult Literacy Program tutors discussed the program's most pertinent needs, addressed the latest funding issues and grants, the tutor recognition program, and the implementation of the new student and tutor development committee.

"Our biggest challenge right now is getting the money to pay staff and training tutors," said Jeff Keagle, CARC board chairman. Keagle mentioned CARC was actively pursuing grants and that several civic service clubs had generously supported CARC. However, with books at $430 per student in the Adult Literacy Program, it takes a lot of funding and support to keep the program going.

"We have plans to get out and do more presentations and we are going to raise the money," reassured Keagle. "This program isn't going anywhere."

The new student and tutor development committee will be comprised of board members, tutors and volunteers to suggest and oversee improvements to the Adult Literacy Program, represent tutors at CARC board meetings, enhance communications between tutors and volunteers to better assist each other, determine best practices and educational sources for the program, and integrate a tutor training program for new tutor volunteers.  READ MORE @

Essays from 80 Adult Education students picked for essay book 'Going Places' 5.24.2016 by The School District of Palm Beach County

The Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC) selected essays from more than 80 adult ESOL and GED® students from Palm Beach County District Schools for inclusion in the 2016 Florida Adult Learner Essay Book, “Going Places.” This number has doubled from last year's 37 students who were selected.

This annual contest offers an opportunity for adult ESOL and GED® students to express themselves and hone their writing skills in a variety of topics. Students are able to present to an authentic audience of their peers, both locally and statewide.

The student authors were invited for the unveiling of the book at the FLC Annual Conference held on May 6, 2016 at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida. Adult education students from throughout the state of Florida attended the meeting. Palm Beach County adult students from Adult Education Center, Atlantic CHS, Jupiter CHS, PB Gardens CHS, Youth Empowerment Center, Family Impact Pahokee, Family Impact Greenacres and many other schools participated in this essay contest.

“My students were thrilled to be able to participate in this essay contest, and those who were chosen to be published were beyond excited!”  READ MORE @

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