Sunday, December 4, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Delaware Co PA ::Dane Co WI :: Cleveland OH

Literacy council celebrates its ‘champions’ at fundraiser
DelCo Times: 11.013.2016

“When you don’t have literacy, you can sit in darkness, without access to the light of knowledge… without access to opportunity.”

Pennsylvania State Representative Margo Davidson shared this moving perspective via video message at Delaware County Literacy Council’s (DCLC’s) Oct. 26 Champions of Adult Literacy fundraising event. She emphasized the importance of education and literacy for her constituents, saying she is dedicated to helping them have “access to their best life.”

Davidson was honored as one of this year’s Champions of Adult Literacy for her work in support of her constituents in Pennsylvania’s 164th Legislative District, a district where over 70 different languages are spoken. Because the State House was in session in Harrisburg that evening, Davidson sent her remarks via a broadcasted video message, and her Chief of Staff, April Rice, accepted the award on her behalf.

The other Champions celebrated at the event also had an impact on the lives of local immigrants.  READ MORE @

Dane County program opens new center to address low adult literacy
One in seven Dane County adults struggle with low literacy
Badger Herald: 11.15.2016 by Maija Inveiss

A local nonprofit organization addressing adult literacy has moved into a new center which will give expanded options for providing services to adults in need.

The Literacy Network is a Madison nonprofit dedicated to addressing community and workplace literacy. According to its website, one in seven Dane County adults struggle with low literacy — around 55,000 people.

Jeff Burkhart, the executive director of the Literacy Network, said they serve more than 1,000 adult learners every year, mainly through working on improving their English language skills. He said 90 percent of those they work with are low-income people of color.

The Literacy Network provides a chance to reduce poverty and gives people a way to help fulfill their own personal goals, said Burkhart.

“We help the population we work with to get better jobs, to communicate with their kid’s schools, to help their kids with reading, to connect with the healthcare system to get better care — so really essential things people need for their lives,” Burkhart said.

Students include immigrants from 68 different countries, Burkhart said. Others were refugees who weren’t able to attend school.

Most people are working to improve English language skills to get better jobs and cultivate other skills that can help benefit their day-to-day lives, Burkhart said.  READ MORE @

2016 is a year of honor for GED graduate
WKYC: 11.17.2016

Seven years and six attempts;  that’s what it took for 57 year-old Margo Hudson of Cleveland to pass the exam to earn her GED.

Hudson, a Chicago native, dropped out of high school before the age of 16.  She joined Job Corps to escape a troubled home.

“I didn't have a good childhood,” says Hudson.  “There was a lot going on in the home … sexual abuse, mental, physical abuse and I was a victim of that.  I just didn’t feel good about my life.”

Job Corps took Hudson to different cities through the years landing her in Cleveland in 1978.

“I was so happy they found me a job,” says Hudson.  “I didn't think I needed a GED or high school diploma so I just went on about my life in various jobs.”

Her mindset changed in 2005 when she was working at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

“I was cleaning planes,” says Hudson.  “You’re out there in the elements when it’s raining, snowing, really hot.  They was only paying $7.25."

Unfortunately for Hudson, minimal wage jobs was all she could get. Research shows an adult without a high school diploma earns 42% less than adults with a diploma.

"As I was getting older I said I didn’t want to do this for the rest of my life,” says Hudson.  "I need to get my life together."

At 45 years-old Hudson decided to commit herself to earning a GED.  She turned to local non-profit Seeds of Literacy for help.   WATCH VIDEO 📹

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