Sunday, April 30, 2017

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Greene Co PA :: Mendocino Co CA :: San Antonio TX

Greene County literacy tutor honored for her service
Observer-Reporter: 4.16.2017 by Karen Mansfield

It was during a battle with stage three breast cancer that Kris Drach discovered how she wanted to spend her retirement, if she survived.

Drach, who was a colonel in the U.S. Army stationed in Washington, D.C., in 1999 when she received her cancer diagnosis, was too sick to work during 18 months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, but wanted to spend her time doing “something worthwhile,” she said.

So Drach visited the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia and became an English as a Second Language tutor, where she taught a Muslim woman whose family moved to the United States from Egypt to seek treatment at a Shriners hospital for the woman’s daughter, who had been born without a leg.

“A warm, loving, funny woman. I fell in love with her,” Drach said last month, as she accepted the 2017 Outstanding Tutor of the Year award from the Tutors of Literacy in the Commonwealth at the annual Pennsylvania Association for Adult Continuing Education conference at Penn State University.

“Over the next three years, we conquered English, grocery stores, restaurants, libraries, school letters from teachers and doctor office conversations, and we found a used computer and we mastered English on the internet. I was smitten with this work.”

Drach did, indeed, survive her bout with cancer, and five years ago, the now-Greene County resident volunteered with the Literacy Council of Southwestern Pennsylvania, a partner of Intermediate Unit 1.

She serves as the literacy council’s director of programs, president of the board of directors, tutor trainer, and volunteer instructor, teaching small group ESL classes and working one-on-one with a 35-year-old student from Vietnam. During her five years serving with the literacy council, Drach, 64, has volunteered more than 6,000 hours.  READ MORE @

Volunteers take first step toward becoming literacy tutors
Willits News: 4.20.2017 by Ariel Carmona Jr

Individual adults have varying reasons for wishing to learn to read. There are some who want to pass the written portion of their DMV test, while others are English language learners trying to pass their GED. On Wednesday, a new batch of prospective volunteer literacy tutors met in the Willits Library Conference Room to learn how they can help meet the literacy needs of the community.

Literacy Volunteers of America, Willits, was started in 1985 as an adult literary program at the Mendocino County Library Willits branch by history teacher Alex Carlon and was funded by the County library system until the funding was no longer available.

According to tutor trainer Pam Shilling, today the program continues as a 501(c3) non-profit operating on roughly $2,500 a year. Most of its funding is community raised to cover materials for tutors and learners and help offset the cost of office expenses.
The program is nestled in a small back office space in the library. Shilling wears many hats for the organization including that of trainer and secretary.  READ MORE @

San Antonio Group Tackles Adult Literacy, One Student at a Time
Reporting Texas: 4.21.2017 by Kaulie Lewis

When Arthur Montalbo was working in Galveston, he never found the time to take his high-school equivalency test. He had a family to support, and that came first. The one time he  applied for a continuing education program, it turned out to be a scam, leaving him thousands of dollars in debt and no closer to his dream of working in computer maintenance.

Years later, his daughter brought him to San Antonio and encouraged him to pursue his GED. Now he spends his Wednesday afternoons at the Each One Teach One headquarters, going over algebraic equations with a tutor in preparation for the test.

“I’ve had some rough times before, but they really help you out here,” he says.

Each One Teach One, the organization behind Montalbo’s GED prep, is the only adult literacy education nonprofit serving the greater San Antonio area. Though San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the United States, it ranks 73rd in national measures of literacy according to U.S. Census data and a report from Central Connecticut State University. Roughly one in four San Antonio adults is functionally illiterate, defined as reading at or below the fifth-grade level.

“The need is just horrendous,” said Carolyn Heath, the founder and director of Each One Teach One. “And it’s not just San Antonio; it’s Texas.” Now her organization is doing all it can to help.

Heath began Each One Teach One in 2004 after she noticed adults at a tax preparation site struggling to fill out their intake forms. Soon, students were coming from across the city and its suburbs. “We learned that we had just stumbled on one of the most serious issues facing our city.”  READ MORE @

Friday, April 28, 2017

National Literacy & Library Events :: May 2017

National Literacy & Library Events :: May 2017

Literacy & Library Events & Conferences
- Local, California and National -
the Southern California Library Literacy Network
for more information

May 01+ Children's Book Week "A great nation is a reading nation."
May 02+ Young Child Expo NY NY
May 04    National Celebration of Reading Washington DC
May 09    Teacher Day
May 18    GED Grad Day (Hats off to GED Grads Everywhere!)
May 31+ BookExpo NY NY

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Literacy – Spanning North America :: Guelph ONT :: Bartlesville OK :: Reading-Berks PA

Celina Sandoval will be among those honored this year. Celina is a single mother of three who works full-time and has been attending high school equivalency classes since September 2016.  READ MORE @

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

National Library Legislative Day :: May 1 - 2 :: How to Participate in #NLLD17 from Home

National Library Legislative Day: May 1 - 2

How to participate in #NLLD17 from home

District Dispatch: 4.18.2017 by Lisa Lindle, Library Advocacy, Washington Office News

As library supporters from across the United States prepare to go to Washington, D.C. to participate in National Library Legislative Day, don’t forget that you can participate from home!

All week long (May 1-5th), we’re asking library supporters to email, call, and tweet their Members of Congress about federal library funding and other key library issues. Register now, and you will receive an email on May 1st reminding you to take action, along with a link to the livestream from National Library Legislative Day, so you can hear our keynote speaker and the issue briefings live.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Hina Shamsi, Director of the ACLU National Security Project, and the issue briefings will be provided by the staff of the ALA Washington Office. Check out our earlier post to see the full list of panels at National Library - Legislative Day this year.

This year, we’re asking Congress to:

House:   Save IMLS; Fully Fund LSTA & IAL
Senate:  Sign LSTA & IAL “Dear Appropriator” Letters
House/Senate Reauthorize MLSA (incl. LSTA)

We’ll have talking points and background information available on the Action Center starting May 1st, to help you craft your message. You can use the event tag #NLLD17 to join in the conversation.

Looking for other ways to participate? Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr users can sign up to participate in our Thunderclap.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Solano Co CA :: Little Rock AR :: Santa Barbara CA

Library Adult Literacy Program

Literacy is the key to diverse learning experiences which permit people to reach their goals, develop their potential and advance their knowledge to participate dynamically in their community. With that in mind, the Solano County Library system has implemented a program to battle adult illiteracy.

Targeting adult illiteracy is critical as it empowers a person’s ability to provide life skill tools in overcoming poverty and sustaining a self-worth attitude. Thirty percent of adults with household incomes at or below the federal poverty line do not have a high school credential. An educational background helps to improve quality of life. Seventy-five percent of the inmates in the California justice system did not finish high school or are classified as having low literacy. In view of these statistics, the 2016-2017 Solano County Grand Jury determined that it is important to review the effectiveness of the Solano County Library Literacy Program which serves our community


Volunteers provided more than 7,000 hours of instruction in the past year, helping other community members read more confidently, prepare to return to school, be able to read to their kids and help with homework, and prepare for better careers.  READ MORE @

Friday, April 21, 2017

Adult Learning: The Five Key Assumptions of Andragogy

Adult learning: The five key assumptions of andragogy
EWorks:  5.10.2016 by Darcy Nicolson

Knowles and andragogy

Knowles built his andragogical model on a number of assumptions about the way adults learn, and kept refining it. I have seen versions with one more and one less assumption, but his 1984 paper, Androgogy in action (Knowles, S.M., 1984) [sic] he settled on these five, which we will look at now [1].

1. Need to know
Adult learners need to know why they would learn something before they will invest time and attention in a subject.

2. Learner’s self-concept
The adult learner’s self-concept is more independent. Knowles said “In a traditional classroom setting an adult learner will fold their arms and say ‘teach me’”.

3. Role of experience
Adult learners bring bountiful prior experience into a learning environment.

4. Readiness to learn
Readiness to learn is an important factor in adult learning.

5. Motivation to learn
For me the key underpinning success to any learning exercise for anyone, young or old, is the motivation to learn.  READ MORE @

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Salem/Cumberland NJ :: Lancasters/Lebanon PA :: Sonoma Co CA

estimates that just a 1 percent rise in average literacy rates yields a 1.5 percent permanent increase in gross domestic product, or an additional $2.31 billion.

By May 2015, Jeffrey had met and exceeded all of his original goals. He was able to read to his three children and help them with their school needs. He had passed his driver’s tests and obtained his Driver’s License. He was also applying for full-time work for the city in which he resided and was ready to leave our program.  READ MORE @

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Cost of Low Health Literacy :: Pharmacy Times

The Cost of Low Health Literacy
Pharmacy Times: 4.09.2017 by Steve Leuck, PharmD

We all know that lack of literacy skills can pose a challenge for anyone navigating their way through every day obstacles. Place this person in a health care environment, and the problem increases significantly. Furthermore, discharge this patient from the hospital with current standards and they are sent home with stacks of paper that promptly get set aside with many questions left unanswered.
On average, individuals with low health literacy can read at a fifth-grade level, while consumer medication information is written at a tenth-grade level. Health professionals regularly overestimate patients’ level of understanding and commonly do not allow ample time for questions and answers. As well, it is not uncommon for hospitals to focus on meeting the regulatory requirements of the facility by sending patients home with all the required documents, rather than assuring a complete understanding of their discharge protocol.

As defined by the Institute of Medicine, health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.

In 2003, the US Department of Education National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) measured, among other items, health literacy. Based on the results of this study, it was found that over 36% of the adult US population was either basic or below basic health literacy. In 2007, an analysis of this report, Low Health Literacy: Implications for National Health Policy, attempted to define the impact of this astounding statistic. The US population in 2003 was approximately 242 million adults. This corresponded to an astounding 87 million US adults with at or below basic health literacy.

Empirical research on a conceptual model placed the cost of low health literacy between 7-17% of all healthcare expenditures. In 2003 this dollar amount was estimated to be between $106- $238 billion annually. In the year 2015, the annual health care expenditures are estimated to be $3.6 trillion, which would provide a cost of low health literacy at approximately $612 billion dollars.  READ MORE @