Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Literacy – Spanning North America :: Williamsburg VA :: Colusa Co CA :: Charlottetown PE Canada

Literacy for Life celebrates International Literacy Day
Virginia Gazette: 9.08.2016 by Heather Bridges

Cleo had a secret.

The 54-year-old resident of Mount Vernon, Ala. shared that secret in an episode of the “Secret Lives of Americans” documentary series screened Thursday morning at Williamsburg Regional Library.

“My secret is I didn’t learn to read,” Cleo said. “I went through 12 years of school, and I didn’t learn to read.”

Hosted by Williamsburg-based nonprofit Literacy for Life, the screening was followed by a panel discussion among local adults on their own literacy journeys, Literacy for Life tutors and community leaders.

“It’s a very critically important issue that needs to be addressed,” said Joan Peterson, executive director of Literacy for Life.

“There are thousands of people in Greater Williamsburg who need help with reading, writing, math and speaking English,” Peterson said.

Thursday’s event celebrated International Literacy Day, Sept. 8, a day first proclaimed 50 years ago by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. And on Friday, Aug. 9, Williamsburg mayor Paul Freiling proclaimed Sept. 8 as International Literacy Day in the City of Williamsburg and commended the work of Literacy for Life.

What started as an adult literacy program at the College of William and Mary in 1975 has become an independent nonprofit organization that, in the 2015 to 2016 year, served more than 800 adults.

Literacy for Life offers both adult basic education – such as reading, writing and math – and English as a second language. Other programs include Destination Graduation for Williamsburg-James City County high school students, a Work Skills Program for adults and the Health Education and Literacy (HEAL) programREAD MORE @

Free books to aid literacy
Williams Pioneer: 9.08.2016 by Lloyd Green Jr, Editor

Celebrating its 30th year of literacy service, the Colusa County Library kicked off what appears to be a successful step towards closing the gap in literacy.

“Studies have shown that the ownership of a book increases the chance that individual will pick up and read a book and have increased reading levels,” said Colusa County Librarian Stacey Costello.

At the end of August, the Colusa County Library began its Free Book Giveaway at the Princeton library.

“We had an exceptional turnout in Princeton and Stonyford,” said Literacy Coordinator Alissa Morrow. “We gave away dozens of books.”

The books are appropriate for children aged 0 to 17.

On Thursday, the Colusa Branch Library held its free book giveaway with great success.

“It has been steady most of the afternoon,” said Morrow. “Many of the children were excited to get to take a book home.”

Morrow commented that the books were made available at no cost from a grant provided by the California Library Literacy Services.

According to Costello, Colusa County has the second lowest literacy rate in California, and 34% of Colusa County adults cannot read above a sixth-grade level. She stresses the importance of the Colusa County Literacy program, and its many strides on increasing literacy within the County.

“Over the past 30 years, the Literacy Program has helped more than 1,000 adults improve their English reading and writing skills. It is a fantastic program,” Costello explained.  READ MORE @

More volunteers wanted to help adults read and write
There is a wait list of hopeful learners for the PEI Literacy Alliance's adult tutoring program
CBC: 9.12.2016 by Stephanie Brown

The PEI Literacy Alliance is looking for more volunteers to help adult learners on the Island with their reading and writing skills.

The organization started the PEI Volunteers for Literacy group last year and so far they have 12 volunteers but they are looking for at least 5 more.
Beazley said they have had success in the program, but there are 6 people currently on the waiting list, hoping for a tutor.

Illiteracy rate of 45 per cent on the Island

Amanda Beazley, the acting executive director of the PEI Literacy Alliance, said an international study done in 2012 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in partnership with Statistics Canada showed the province had a rate of 45 per cent illiteracy among 16-65 year old Islanders.

"Years ago there were levels established, there were levels one through five, level three was deemed the bench mark," explained Beazley. "That was the level you needed to be at to fully participate in society.  READ MORE @

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