Sunday, November 13, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Buffalo NY :: Chicago IL :: Oakland Co MI

Local organization in need of volunteer tutors for adult literacy
WIVB: 10.13.2016 by Rachele Mongiovi

One in four adults in western New York read at or below a 5th grade level. Literacy New York is the region’s only provider that gives adults one-on-one reading tutoring for free.

The non-profit organization tutors more than 160 students to read, write or speak better English. Right now, 97 of those students are waiting for a tutor to teach them those skills.  VIDEO

For Adult Literacy Programs, Stop-Gap Budget Is Not an Open Book
Medill News Service: 10.12.2016 by Meredith Francis

Before a crowd outside the Thompson Center, Deyro Banguero speaks English fluently through a megaphone, advocating for more state funding for adult education. He’s been in the United States for five years after moving here from Colombia. In his citizenship classes at Erie House, he’s learning United States history, civics and reading and writing skills that will help him pass the naturalization exam.

“I’m very thankful to these organizations because they have helped not only me, but a lot of people,” Banguero said.
Since the Illinois state budget impasse this year, fewer people like him are getting the resources they need, Banguero said. In his citizenship class, there are only seven or eight other people.

“Our teacher told us there used to be more in the classes. Classes used to be like 15, 20, 25,” Banguero said. “There’s not enough teachers. There’s not enough tutors to help us.”

Banguero was one of dozens at a recent rally outside the Thompson Center calling on Springfield to pass a permanent budget. Though the Illinois General Assembly passed a stop-gap budget in June that will pay for state services through December, advocates and students say continued uncertainty is hard on adult education programs.

Nearly a million adults in Chicago have low literacy skills, many of whom benefit from adult education programs like trade schools, community colleges, GED programs, English-as-a-second-language classes and more. Because those programs receive state and federal funding, many were subject to cuts and layoffs when Illinois operated for most of fiscal year 2016 without a budget.

Though Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a temporary budget in June, Colleen McGaughey, development director at Literacy Works, said it’s still not clear which organizations have money to proceed with programs.  READ MORE @

Oakland Literacy Council Makes Training Easier for Volunteers

The Oakland Literacy Council has now made it easier than ever to help adults improve their English skills.  The Council provides free one-on-one tutoring for adults seeking better job skills, a high school credential, citizenship, or helping their child become successful learners. The Council relies on trained volunteer tutors who meet with students for two hours each week in local libraries, coffee shops, and other public buildings throughout Oakland County.

New volunteers are needed to help the over 170,000 Oakland County residents who need help with reading and English language skills.  The volunteer training program now includes an online learning course that reduces the time spent on initial training.  According to Lisa Machesky, Executive Director of the Oakland Literacy Council, “The time volunteers had to take out of their busy schedule was one of the biggest barriers we had to recruiting new tutors. Now with the e-learning course tutors only have to be on site for six hours of training before meeting their student. We are hoping that more working adults will be able to become tutors.”  READ MORE @

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