Sunday, October 23, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Humboldt Co CA :: Oxford GA :: Porterville CA

Volunteer tutors help local learners gain reading, writing skills
Times Standard: 9.24.2016 by Heather Shelton

September is National Literacy Month, four weeks set aside to promote the importance of reading and writing skills throughout the country.

On the North Coast, staff and volunteers with the local Humboldt Literacy Project are working each and every day to teach adults in the county the literacy skills they need to succeed on the job, at home and in the community.

“We’re focused on one-on-one tutoring (of the) English language for adults,” Humboldt Literacy Project Executive Director Emma Breacain said.

The Humboldt Literacy Project — which opened in 1985 — has about 80 trained volunteer tutors and 80 adult “learners” that get together regularly to work on literacy skills. Currently, Breacain said, nearly 14,000 adults in Humboldt County are functionally illiterate — reading below a fifth-grade level.

Learners — like tutors — come to the Humboldt Literacy Project from different backgrounds and range in age from 18 to over 80. Some have learning disabilities; others fell through the cracks of the educational system. Some suffered economic hardships and worked instead of going to school; others suffered traumatic brain injuries that robbed them of their literacy skills.

“It’s really everything you could possibly think of,” Breacain said. “I have met people, both native English speakers and ESL (English as a Second Language) students, who aren’t totally competent on alphabet letter recognition and I have ESL students who are illiterate in their native language as well as English … You can be a doctor or a lawyer from another country and you come here and you don’t speak the language and you’re basically starting over until you get your English under your belt … I have people who are working at a high school or college level who need to improve their composition and their comprehension. I get everybody all over the map. If you want help with your reading and writing, then probably this program is for you.”

Learners also come to Humboldt Literacy Project for many reasons, she said. Some want to work toward a better job. Others want to be able to help their kids with schoolwork. Some want to improve their lives in general.  READ MORE @

Adult literacy volunteer tutors are honored at luncheon
“I tell the kids you can journey anywhere in the world you wanted to go. All you do is pick-up a book
Covington News: 9.26.2016 by Sandra Barnes

For Ann Stokes, learning to read has been exciting because she has been able to read the Bible daily.

“The most important thing I wanted to learn is reading the Bible,” the 65-year-old Covington resident said. “I understand it and read it all the time.”

Stokes began taking literacy classes and working with a one-on-one tutor a decade ago. “The Lord told me it was my time! It makes my day.”

The literacy class she takes that has enabled her to finally read the Bible is one of two offered through Allen Memorial United Methodist Church in Oxford. Mary Jo Roberts, of Oxford, is one of the tutors working with adults learning to read. In fact, she is Stokes’ tutor.

“It’s really helped her confidence and self-esteem,” Roberts said. The former teacher, Roberts, said she began volunteering to contribute to her community and “to keep my brain active.”

The two women were part of the “Celebration of Literacy/Work Force Development” held Wednesday at Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) to honor adult literacy volunteers.

Laura Bertram, Executive Director of the Newton County Community Partnership, announced that Newton Family Connection, GPTC’s adult education program, the Covington Housing Authority and Action Ministries are partnering to promote literacy in the county.  READ MORE @

Improved learning center good for the community
Recorder: 9.26.2016

On Friday, city leaders and civic leaders gathered to officially open the greatly enhanced Adult Learning Center.

The City Public Library’s Adult Literacy Program has been given a new home, more space and now offers even more opportunities for adults who cannot read or write to learn these needed skills.

The city has moved the learning center to the building across the street from City Hall at 15 E. Thurman Ave., above Hoagie’s restaurant. The city purchased that building a while back and decided it would be a great location to expand the adult literacy program.

The center has operated out of the city’s library for years, but never really had a place of its own. Adults wishing to learn to read, had to sit in a corner of the library with their tutor. It was not always the most conducive place.  READ MORE @

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