Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Wichita Falls TX :: Kansas City MO :: York Co PA

Teaching can be uncomfortable
Times New Record: 11.15.2016 by Alys Glaze, program manager Wichita Adult Literacy Council, Inc.

When we recruit and train our new tutors, one of the topics we want them to cover is health literacy.   What we want to do is teach students how to ask questions:  What is my problem? What do I need to do about it? Why is this important?

As in all occupations, we have a vocabulary that is unique to us.  When we talk to people outside our field, we sometimes forget that not everyone understands what we are saying.  Oftentimes they are too polite or too embarrassed to ask us to explain in normal language what we are saying.  However, not understanding medical instruction can mean the problem does not heal as expected or become more complicated.  Mis-administered medicine could result in severe injury or death.  Like with my guinea pig, these instructions are written in the patient’s notes.  Not being able to read effectively could be the difference between life and death.

Last month, we had a distraught tutor call and say that her student has been diagnosed with diabetes.  As he begins his diabetes education classes, he asked his tutor to go with him to help him understand what he needs to do.  Our tutor was worried that our program did not authorize her being involved with his care, or that there might be some HIPPA conflict.  Our attitude is that if the student asks and you are comfortable with the request, then please go.  He obviously trusted her – his life depends on him understanding how to take his medication.

At the Wichita Adult Literacy Council, we have already listed our New Year resolutions.  We will have a dedicated health literacy program where we address problems like these.  We don’t just want our students to feel comfortable asking questions, we want medical staff to “read” a patient who feels embarrassed about not understandingREAD MORE @

Writers for Readers Event Inspires and Advocates
UMKC: 11.15.2016 by Kara Lewis

The chatter and excitement on the top floor of the Student Union surged on Thursday, Nov. 10, as dressed-up guests sipped wine, flipped through glossy books available for sale and eagerly tossed their names into a piling raffle. As students, professors and community members circulated through the transformed room, they were likely to bump into successful local writers like Whitney Terrell and Michelle Boisseau, along with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith.

The Writers for Readers dinner and fundraiser quickly established itself as a celebration amidst a week of election anger and chaos. Ticket prices and on-site donations supported the partnership between the UMKC’s Creative Writing Program and the organization Literacy KC, which aims to foster adult literacy and expression through imaginative story-telling.

Tracy K. Smith reads a poem from her Pulitzer Prize winning collection, Life on Mars.

“People who are learning to read will find a lot of pleasure and inspiration if they are able to tell their own stories,” said introductory speaker Provost Bichelmeyer.  READ MORE @

Literacy Council: 40 years of helping students
York Daily: 11.16.2016 by Angie Mason

Elizabeth Kessler put her dreams on hold after she dropped out of high school and got pregnant at age 18.

But she always wanted her daughter, Jazmin, to graduate and know that school is important.

"I wanted to be a better example for my daughter," Kessler said.

On Tuesday night, 8-year-old Jazmin got to see her mom don a red cap and gown and accept a certificate honoring Kessler for passing the GED and earning her high school equivalency diploma.

"It's more a celebration for my daughter," Kessler said before the ceremony began.

The York County Literacy Council celebrated 40 years of helping students like Kessler on Tuesday night. The organization provides classes and tutoring in reading for adults who are working to get their GED, and for others who are learning English as a second language, as well as family literacy programs and more.

Pennsylvania's First Lady, Frances Wolf, spoke at the ceremony and said the work of the literacy council is personal to her. Her grandfather came from Italy, where he didn't have the chance to get an education, she said. As a child, he would sneak off from the family farm to sit outside the school and learn to spell.  READ MORE @

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