Sunday, June 12, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US: Orlando FL :: Santa Fe NM :: Washington Co FL :: Seneca Co OH :: Manitowoc Co WI

Central Florida adults learning how to read
Fox 35 Orlando: 5.05.2016

The story of Jeremy White is one that chronicles a young man who never learned how to read when he was young, and his illiteracy has plagued him ever since throughout adulthood.

At age 21 Jeremy had no job, no prospects, and the reading level of a 2nd grader. Jeremy is not alone. 1 out of 6 people in central Florida are not functionally literate.  VIDEO

Overcoming The Stigma Of Illiteracy
KUNM: 5.09.2016 by Anna Lande

Imagine when you walk out of your house the road signs are blank. Billboards, too. You try to order breakfast at that new brunch place, but you have to listen to other customers to figure out what’s on the menu. This is the reality for thousands of New Mexico adults who are struggling to read. 

Peter Aragón is a radio DJ. He did not know how to read well, and he says that created everyday puzzles.

“We do get lost. It’s like where are the bathrooms? How do you get to point A to point B?" said Aragón .  "And you gotta read the prescription, what medicine are you going to be taking? Are you going to overdose on aspirin or Xanax?”

People who study literacy rates estimated that 16 percent of adult New Mexicans needed literacy services. That was in 2003. Another analysis in the late 1990’s found that only a fraction of those people seek help.

“I was ashamed when I first started literacy," said Aragón. "I was like ‘nah, I can’t do this.'”

But Aragón found out he actually could do it. He went with a friend to get tutoring at Santa Fe Literacy Volunteers in the 1990's. He was reading at a third grade level and has been improving ever since. The first book he finished was Bless Me, Ultima.  READ MORE @

A difference to read about: Volunteers work to improve literacy
Holmes County Times Advertiser‎: 5.10.2016 by Diane M Robinson

Teaching older adults to read was the idea the Literacy Volunteers program had in mind when it started in 1986. The program itself was initiated through the Panhandle Literacy Act, funded by a grant from the Older Americans Act and the Department of Education.

Locally, it was founded and spearheaded in part by the late Dorothy Clarke, from the time of its inception to Clark's passing in 2016.

"Dorothy was the driving force behind the program's success," said Literacy Volunteer President Mary Ann Pelletier. "All the volunteers are thankful to Clarke for seeing the need in the community and doing something to help alleviate it."

Today, the organization is part of the international ProLiteracy program and has morphed into more than just teaching seniors to read. The program now offers assistance to children who struggle to read, so that illiteracy can begin to be knocked out for the futureREAD MORE @

Project READ adult literacy effort seeks more tutors
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune: 5.11.2016 by Nicole Walby

Since 1986, Project READ has provided free tutoring to adults to improve their literacy skills. That work has continued over the years, and the effort in Seneca County is in need of tutors and students to assist.

Heidi Clark, marketing coordinator for Project READ, said the No. 1 goal is to raise awareness about the program and help adults in need of literacy skills.

Project READ serves area residents of Sandusky, Seneca and Ottawa counties who are age 18 or older. Students complete a reading assessment, if eligible, then are paired with trained, volunteer tutors.

Clark said all materials are provided to the tutor and students for free. Funding is provided through the United Way of Sandusky County, a component of the Vanguard-Sentinel Adult Career and Technology Center's Adult Basic and Literacy Education program, local Library Literacy Coalitions and Tiffin Charitable Foundation.

"We just want to really get the word out," she said.

According to Clark, National Center for Education Statistics in 2003 indicated Seneca County was at a 10-percent illiteracy level.  READ MORE @

Manitowoc Library helping realize American Dream
Herald Times Reporter: 5.11.2016 by Marcus Nesemann

The goal of any library is to expand the horizons of all who enter.

Manitowoc Public Library is taking that goal to heart with its One-to-One Adult Literacy Program.

While the name may suggest a program that helps learners gain only literacy skills, the program reaches far beyond learning to read and write. For many, it's a path to becoming a United States citizen.

The program's humble beginnings started in 2012, "and in those few years, we had a handful, maybe up to as many as seven learners, get their citizenship," said Cherilyn Stewart, library director.

The 2015 program was a great success, with one learner completing a high school equivalency diploma while two others achieved their goal of becoming citizens. One even became a citizen in time to vote for the first time.

"That was just a wonderful experience," Stewart said. "That learner was so proud to cast a vote."

The program is open to everyone who wishes to improve their literacy skills. Helping learners become citizens is just icing on the cake. The outcome for each learner varies, depending on individual learner goals.  READ MORE @

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