Sunday, January 1, 2017

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Jacksonville NC :: Des Moines IA :: Moline IL

LIGHTKEEPERS: Onslow Literacy Council
JD News: 12.06.2016

The volunteer tutors at the Onslow Literacy Council all love to read and speak of how it has enriched their lives. Another commonality: They all desire to share that skill with others.

Their reward for giving of their time so freely is the joy in the adult learners’ faces the first time they read. It is liberating and exhilarating for the students and changes their lives. While the tutors share those emotions, they also say they are humbled to have had some part in giving adult nonreaders the gift of reading.

"While others may take reading for granted, our students yearn for this ability so that they may be able to read to their grandchild or read food labels so that they may make better nutritional choices,” said tutor Kendra King. “The opportunity to serve as my student’s teacher is one I cherish and look forward to each week. He humbles me with his desire to learn.”

Nivedita Mittal is an English as a Second Language (ESOL) tutor who has taught students from Columbia, Peru, Japan and China to name a few. Most come with little or no English at all.

“Just to be able to give them the confidence to move in this society and be able to order food at a restaurant, or return an item at the mall or talk to their child’s teacher is a great achievement and I feel so happy when they get there,” Mittal said.  READ MORE @

Drake's Adult Literacy Center: 40 years of changing lives
Des Moines Register: 12.07.2016 by Mike Wellman

Did you ever walk into class a few minutes late and feel like everyone was looking at you?

Imagine what it takes to walk into class decades tardy. Especially here in a state that prides itself on being the most literate, illiteracy can be a dirty little secret that’s hard to keep for the one in six adults who know it all too well.

Caught in the grocery store or an unfamiliar restaurant without my goggles, I can’t read ads or menus. If my wife is there, she rescues me with backups she keeps in her purse. -But what if I was beyond rescue by a spare pair of cheaters?

In the Information Age, literacy is the sixth sense. The inability to read and write can be crippling, now as never before.

The ambitions of folks in that predicament are simple but poignant: To help children with homework. To take a turn in Bible study at church. To make sense of the mail and street signs. And besides the practical value of literacy, there’s the incalculable aspect of not feeling like an outsider anymore.

For 40 years, the Adult Literacy Center at Drake University has been bringing outsiders into the fold. Shoehorned into a tiny corner of the campus is an adjunct, volunteer-driven wing of Drake’s School of Education. The ALC is a member of the ProLiteracy Network, an international nonprofit dedicated to eradication of adult illiteracy, though it predates the PLN by a quarter century.  READ MORE @

Q-C artist confronts lifelong battle with literacy
Quad Cities Times: 12.06.2016 by Jack Cullen

Give the man a box of fabric, and he will stitch together a stylish winter coat.

Hand him a book, however, and Donté Williams will struggle to sound out the first sentence.

At 36, the Chicago native, who now calls East Moline home, is illiterate. But thanks to assistance and encouragement from his employer and friends, he’s tackling the issue head on that has hindered him for decades.

Tuesday marked Williams’ first session with a volunteer tutor at Black Hawk College.

“I couldn’t sleep I was so excited,” Williams said by phone Tuesday morning. “No sewing today. I’ve got to do some reading.”

And that’s saying something, considering the Quad-City transplant, who moved here in 2013 from Burlington, said he used to sleep next to his sewing machine.

“I love being creative,” said Williams, who picked up his passion for art and design from his mother, a painter, and his grandfather, a tailor.  READ MORE @

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