Sunday, December 18, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Charleston SC :: Midland Co TX :: Kansas City MO

Prison literacy program aims to empower
Post & Courier: 11.24.2016 by Adam Parker

When she moved back home to Charleston a couple years ago, Emilie Hancock searched for a literacy program serving incarcerated teens.

In Charlotte, where she previously lived, there were several such programs that received strong support from the city, its residents and federal agencies. She volunteered for two years as a book club facilitator for jailed youth.

But there was nothing like that in the Holy City.

In June, Hancock attended a screening of the documentary “First Degree” at the Charleston County Public Library. The film tells the story of a successful college program at the maximum-security Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York. It motivated Hancock to take action.

She started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $900, a modest sum that would be sufficient for buying the books she needed. She figured she’d have, on average, five book club members a month.

With support from librarian Megan Summers, Nancy Kreml in Columbia and Lynette Johnson at the Charleston County juvenile detention center, she started Books Unbound and got to work.  READ MORE @

MN2R named recipient of Texas Center for the Book Literacy Award
Odessa American: 11.26.2016

The Literacy Award honors qualified non-profit organizations that have made outstanding contributions to increasing literacy in Texas.

It provides public recognition to such organizations committed to addressing the continuing need for literacy services and increasing public awareness of the importance of literacy. “We were delighted to receive close to 20 worthy applications from across the state in the inaugural year of the Texas award. The purpose of this award is to highlight a winning organization, while promoting a greater appreciation and awareness of literacy efforts statewide,” said Texas Center for the Book Coordinator, Rebekah Manley.

Midland County Public Libraries provided a letter of support for MN2R’s nomination. “Midland Need to Read’s Adult Literacy Program often goes under-recognized and underappreciated. It is one of the few programs dedicated to identifying, advocating for, and addressing adult illiteracy in West Texas.  READ MORE @

Low literacy among adults in Kansas City is more common than you think
Kansas City Star: 11.27.2016 by Kevin Derohanian

A topic that seems to go largely unnoticed and therefore unaddressed is low literacy rates among adults. With an estimated 225,000 adults in the Kansas City metro area labeled as functionally illiterate, or reading below a fifth-grade level, it is important that the community work together to reach out and help these individuals.

Adult literacy is one of those issues that many people will learn about and say, “Oh my, I had no idea this was an issue in my community.” However, it is highly likely that you know someone who is struggling with some form of low literacy; you just may not realize it.

It is such a complex issue because it is a hidden issue for many people. It can be challenging to identify low literacy because of the associated stigma that causes many of these individuals to be ashamed and therefore not make it known that they need help. Many literate adults don’t naturally look out for illiteracy within the adult community, as they likely learned to read and write at a young age and take these skills for granted. An important part of improving adult literacy rates is increasing awareness that illiteracy exists in the first place.

Local organizations like Literacy KC are working to improve the reading, writing, math and digital skills of adults in the Kansas City metro area who may be struggling. The definition of adult literacy today is different from what it was 30 years ago when Literacy KC began. What originally primarily meant the ability to read and write has expanded to include increased focus on math skills, health and financial literacy, and digital skills. The primary reason for these changes involves the advancements in the skills needed to be a fully integrated member of society.  READ MORE @

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