Sunday, October 2, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Florence Co SC :: Arlington TX :: Bangor ME

Rotarians learn of illiteracy problems in Florence community
SC Now: 9.12.2016 by Jessica Imbimbo

The executive director of the Florence Area Literacy Council talked Monday, Sept. 12, 2016 to the Rotary Club of Florence about the connection between illiteracy and other aspects of life.

“Illiteracy plays into your livelihood,” said Christina Lawson, who has been the agency's executive director for 11 years. “In a community that has a high illiteracy rate, they equally have a high crime rate.”

Lawson addressed illiteracy concerns in Florence County and how the council is adapting to educate adults in the community. She and others have been working to provide adult education to those who need it. Trained volunteers act as tutors at the council to offer lessons in reading, writing, math and critical thinking.

Lawson said creating a more literate community can decrease the amount of poverty in a given area.

She said the council teaches more than 100 students at a time, but that number does not even come close to the amount of adults in need of basic education. In Florence County, one-third of adults are functionally illiterate and do not read above a fifth grade level. Part of the issue, according to Lawson, is that the inability to read can be passed down from parent to child.

“Do you think that if you are an illiterate parent you could potentially have an illiterate child?” Lawson asked the crowd of Rotarians. “Do we need to help parents learn to read better so they can help their children? Absolutely. It goes hand and hand. Illiteracy is generational. It is a cycle.”  READ MORE @

Library Promotes Adult Literacy Through Graphic Novels Program
My ArlingtonTX: 9.14.2016 by Arlington Public Library

A graphic novel can be defined, at its most basic, as a novel in comic-strip format. But while the word “comic” leaves many with visions of the funny papers in mind, a graphic novel packs much more punch. From memoirs to historical events to richly-illustrated tales of fiction, graphic novels run the gamut of literary genres, and the Arlington Public Library is using them to educate and empower its adult learners.

Graphic Endeavors is a graphic novels class for adults that completed its first session in the summer of this year. Billed as part book club, part educational class, the weekly meetings focus on one title and look at the many elements involved in telling the story.

Adult Literacy Coordinator Wes Young said the summer class, which focused on the holocaust experiences of Maus by Art Spiegelman, was beneficial to students on multiple levels. “One of the students was in our GED class at the same time, and the graphic novels class helped him develop his vocabulary and his knowledge of world history and WWII,” Young saidREAD MORE @

Literacy Volunteers Help Bangor Woman
WABI TV: 9.14.2016 by Zachary Warren

Ana Guzman came to the United States two years ago. Working for Las Palaps in Bangor, she found that she was having trouble communicating with customers in the restaurant.

“I try to study English because I want to have more friends and I want to talk to people because the people here are really nice and I don’t want to say ‘I don’t understand.’”

So Ana took action and began tutoring sessions with the Literacy Volunteers of Bangor, a group who is fighting low adult literacy in the area.

When I’m with her, I said I want to write read speak everything. And she said wait wait wait, what do you want to learn first? And I said everything because I’m read for learning.

It wasn’t an easy process. But Ana says that the flexibility and understanding of her tutor is what helped her become fluent in English in just over a year.

“She’s really my good friend. I know it’s hard for her because I have work, and I have a house, and I have kids. She’s a nice person.”

“When she says you know my customers understand me better… that kind of thing makes you feel like I’m making a difference.”

The Literacy Volunteers see Ana’s story as a prime example of what they hope to achieve with their students.  VIDEO

No comments: