Sunday, August 28, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Columbia SC :: Lee Co IL :: San Bernardino Co CA ::Franklin Co PA :: Madison WI

Reading program keeps incarcerated mothers involved in their children's lives
Live5 News: 8.01.2016 by Michal Higdon

A program in the Midlands is helping incarcerated mothers in prison stay connected with their children. According to the South Carolina Department of Corrections there are about 1,400 women incarcerated in the state and about 80 percent of them have children.

So the initiative called a Mother's Voice, was started in the state.

This initiative provides incarcerated mothers with recordable books suitable for toddlers and young children. Mothers record their own voice as they read the book, then give the book to their child or children to keep and listen to over and over again.

The overall mission of A Mother’s Voice is to connect children with their incarcerated moms through reading with the objective to reinforce bonds between mother and child, increase mother and child communication through reading, and improve literacy skills of both the mother and the child.

"It's so meaningful. It's that thing that hasn't happened and we want to make sure that the mothers and the children stay in touch no matter where they are,” says Camden Councilwoman Laurie ParksVIDEO

Tutors VITAL to Sauk program's success
As GED, ELS classes ramp up, help sought in Twin Cities
SaukValley: 8.03.2016 by Christopher Heimerman

As a bilingual administrative assistant with Lee County Health Department, Laura Moreno knows many folks who could use a free English as a Second Language course. She also knows that, regardless of heritage, a lot of folks could use some help getting their GED.

And she knows just how good it feels to help folks better themselves.

She knows all these things because she’s been there, done that.

Two pivotal programs at Sauk Valley Community College, Project VITAL (Volunteers in Teaching Adult Literacy) and Adult Education, helped Moreno, 25, learn English when she emigrated from Mexico in October 2010, then get her GED and help others follow suit.

When Moreno’s sister, Mirna Cabrera, persuaded her to move to Sterling, she knew little to no English. She’d left Universidad Autonama De Chihuauha in Mexico during her third semester of studying international relations, only to start over, more or less, at Sauk.

“It was exciting, because I knew I’d learn a new language,” she said. “But it was hard and scary. I knew I was going to be behind. I knew I was going to have to start over.”

Moreno’s not the only on who’s felt that way.

Emily Kruger, Sauk’s adult literacy outreach coordinator since January 2015, said she’s been approached this summer by numerous students looking for tutoring, many of them fluent only in Spanish. She’s got a decent stable of tutors in Dixon, but needs help in Sterling and Rock Falls.

“Tutors are the backbone of our entire program,” Kruger said. “If we don’t have our volunteer tutors, we don’t have a program.”  READ MORE @


Group aims to promote literacy in community
Public Opinion: 8.10.2016 by Vicky Taylor

The Franklin County Literacy Council is urging area residents to follow the path to literacy and to help others do the same.

Thomas said nearly one in five Franklin County residents needs help in basic reading, math and computer skills, putting the region at greater risk for poverty, domestic abuse and poor health.

Improving literacy helps the economy, lowers health care costs and reduces crime, he said.

That involves more than just teaching people to read, he said.

The Literacy Council does its part by offering tutoring classes for adult students enrolled in adult basic education classes who need basic literacy skills, and classes for English as a Second Language (ESL) students, as well as offering employability training.

The employability training program is designed to help with math, basic computer skills and reading and writing in the workplace.

To make it run, Thomas said the council needs the help of a large number of volunteers passionate about helping others who can give between three and five hours a week of their time to the cause of literacy.  READ MORE @

Madison woman uses Literacy Network services, becomes MPD officer
NBC15 WMTV: 8.10.2016 by Meredith Barack

As a child, everyone dreams about what they want to be when they grow up, and for one Madison woman, her dream job was finally in reach.

But it would take the help of a local non-profit to make it a reality.

"Since the age of 8, I've always wanted to be a police officer. But not just a police officer, I wanted to be an officer with the Madison Police Department."

Growing up on the east side, Lyjya Miles said it was the positive impact from the officers in her neighborhood that inspired her dream.

"It was the things that the Madison Police Department did for me that I don't think the officers realized they did that affected my life and helped me become who I am today."

But finally becoming an officer didn't come easy. Initially, Miles didn't pass a test given to MPD applicants.

"When it comes to things like reading, speed reading, that's kind of where I struggled a little bit, but that's definitely where the Literacy Network came out and helped me."

Like the new Literacy Network building, at the corner of S. Park St. and Dane St., many of the people who seek out their services are a work in progress.

"There's 55,000 people here in Dane County who could use our services. Right now, we're serving about 1,000 students each year, and really it's not enough," said Jen Davie, Literacy Network's development director, "we've got to be able to serve more. We have to be ready for them, which is where this building kind of came into play."  VIDEO

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