Literacy: Spanning the U.S.
Literacy Volunteers of Salem/Cumberland to be honored
Literacy NJ -- which provides free adult literacy programs and U.S. citizenship classes in eight New Jersey counties -- will present the award at its annual Literacy for Life Conference at Mercer County College in West Windsor. The event brings together 200 students, tutors, adult educators and board members from across the state for a day of professional development.
LV-Salem/Cumberland will receive the 2017 Alice M. Leppert Award for Outstanding Affiliate Achievement in recognition of its new financial literacy program. LV-Salem/Cumberland added the class to its array of literacy offerings after seeing a growing need to educate clients about budgeting, banking and credit. The course is tailored to those at or below 125 percent of the poverty level. Studies show 8 out of 10 =Americans are in debt, and 75 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. The people who are the least educated about financial literacy are often the poorest, which can perpetuate poverty.
More than 100 students have taken the four-week program, which covers budgeting, understanding interest, paying down debt, check-writing, and improving credit scores.
At the beginning of the first session, students are asked if they have enough money. Most laugh at the suggestion, but the follow-up question, "How much is enough money?" reveals that most have no idea what amount of money would provide them with financial security. Through activities like budgeting games, spending trackers, and debt-reduction techniques, students learn about their own spending habits and debt, and learn strategies for making better decisions
=LV-Salem/Cumberland has expanded the program to include financial literacy lessons in their ESL classes and one-to-one tutoring program. Just like with poor literacy skills, poor financial literacy education can affect a family for generations. READ MORE @
A storybook ending
Lancaster Online: 4.08.2017 by LNP Editorial Board
After five years of weekly tutoring sessions by retired educator Caroline Wolverton, Adamstown Area Library volunteer Ray Boynton, 68, achieved his longtime dream of learning to read. Now the woodworker who builds and fixes shelves for the library can enjoy the books housed on those shelves.
The numbers are daunting.
According to the national organization ProLiteracy, which promotes adult literacy through content development, programs and advocacy, more than 30 million adults in the United States cannot read, write or do basic math above a third-grade level.
And the impact of that is felt in so many ways, including economically. ProLiteracy 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.
Closer to home, the Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon reports that, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 15 percent of people 16 years and older in Lancaster and Lebanon counties lack the basic literacy skills to be safe and productive in their lives.
But while the challenge may seem overwhelming, the success story of Ray Boynton, with the indispensable aid of his tutor, Caroline Wolverton, shows that real, tangible progress is being made — one individual at a time. READ MORE @
Adult Learner: Jeffrey George
Jeffrey George came into the Sonoma County Library’s Adult Literacy Program in August 2014 to sign up for weekly tutoring and to work on literacy and life goals. He was assessed at a beginning to beginning intermediate literacy level at that time, and his primary motivation was to be able to help his three young children with their reading, writing, and school work. At that time, Jeffrey was a full-time stay at home dad who knew he wanted to be of more help to his wife and children. His recorded goals were: learn the alphabet, reading, writing, and spelling in order to help his children and interact with their teachers at school. However, Jeffrey also set a goal to obtain a driver’s license and a business license on that same assessment date.
Jeffrey was matched with volunteer tutor Laura Owens who shares the following about their work together, “Jeffrey was a pleasure to coach; he was motivated, always receptive, grateful, and in very good spirits, even though he was working several jobs as well as being tutored, and being a dad and husband.” Together, Laura and Jeffrey met for a minimum of two hours a week at their local library branch around their working schedules to pursue Jeffrey’s education goals.
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 @