Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Manitowoc WI :: Atlanta GA :: Chicago IL

Manitowoc library offers citizenship resources
Herald Times Reporter: 2.11.2017 by Meredith Meier, adult services associate at Manitowoc Public Library

In the past three years, 35 percent of learners in the One to One Literacy program have become U.S. citizens.

Manitowoc Public Library was awarded a grant to provide a safe place for Manitowoc County immigrants to have equal access to citizenship resources. The grant benefits adult immigrants in Manitowoc County who experience barriers as a result of poor English literacy skills, insufficient resources and lack of support to become U.S. citizens.

The grant also provides training and materials to those helping immigrants, like English language tutors and other community members who seek to assist area immigrants directly and ensure Manitowoc is a welcoming community for all new Americans.

Manitowoc Public Library is so thankful for those already engaged in helping immigrants in Manitowoc County become U.S. citizens and adjust to living in America.

Through the grant, I had an opportunity to go to Chicago to attend a training on the naturalization process — and my eyes were opened to the whole process from start to finish. I learned so much, and I am excited to share my knowledge.

The benefits of being a United States citizen are worth it, and now that the library has citizenship resources in the Citizenship Information Center, the process should feel less daunting.  READ MORE @

Literacy Action teaching life, career skills to undereducated
MDJ Online: 2.11.2017 by Bill Baldowski

There are about 800,000 illiterate or low-literacy adults in metro Atlanta, which accounts for about 20 percent of the area’s total population.

In addition, that percentage is nearly equal to the portion of the population living beneath the poverty level in the area as well as being a major cause of it.

This is how Literacy Action Executive Director Austin Dickson views the literacy problem in the metro area and why his organization continues to expand its mission to teach low-literacy residents not only how to improve their reading skills, but also teaches life and work skills to the individuals seeking its help.

However, Dickson said, the alarming factor is the illiteracy and low-literacy rates have stayed about the same, as he termed it, “for decades.”

“Literacy Action serves about 2,000 adult students each year in the 20 locations we have in the metro area,” he said, referring to the organization’s main office on Edgewood Avenue in Atlanta as well as its satellite locations in libraries, at Boys and Girls Clubs and in public schools. “We have a large number of people who seek us out through word of mouth as well as through the relationship we have developed with the justice system and human service organizations.”  READ MORE @

Literacy Is Essential for Success
Public Slate: 2.11.2017 by Cathy Milne

Few tools in life are as important as the ability to read, write, and cipher simple mathematical problems. Without these skills, it is practically impossible to navigate through one’s day. Fortunately, there are literacy programs, which will assist people in obtaining the tasks that are essential for having success in life.

Everyone measures success in different ways. However, the scale favors those who have the ability to read, write and do arithmetic; the 3Rs.

In Chicago, there are several programs to help adults learn these necessary skills. Many individuals do so well that they can finish high school, graduate college, or successfully pass the General Education Degree (GED). For some, being able to write their name, understand their household expenses, and follow written instructions is enough.

The Illinois State Board of Education, Children’s Literacy Foundation, and Chicago’s Citywide Literacy Coalition have compiled statistics that are distressing.
> Approximately 30 percent of Chicago’s adults have little to basic proficiency in the 3R’s, according to the literacy alliance.
> Only 46 percent of school-aged children in the city read at the required level for their grade level.
> The study also found that as many as, 61 percent of low-income households do not own any children’s books.

The first hurdle is to know that they are not alone. Embarrassment tends to keep people from admitting they have problems with literacy. There are stories of people who were able to hide their 3Rs deficit from their families, at least for a while.

Finding Literacy Help in Chicago

In Chicago, anyone interested in locating a program to aid in their 3Rs proficiency can do so by contacting various centers around the city.

Literacy Chicago offers classes in Basic Adult Education, GED, both beginning and intermediate English as a Second Language (ESL), Citizenship, Conversational ESL, and Adult Literacy. These are held in various public libraries.  READ MORE @

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