Sunday, May 7, 2017

Literacy – Spanning North America :: Durham NC :: Santa Clara CA :: Red Deer AB

Durham Literacy Center honors its volunteers
Durham Herald Sun: 4.27.2017 by Cliff Bellamy

After an accident and the need for medical care, Essoetche “George” Ebia came to Durham from his native Togo in West Africa. Ebia is now in his second semester of the Durham Literacy Center’s advanced classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages.

His ambition is to improve his English so he can study agriculture at N.C. State University and someday create a non-profit organization that will allow American farmers to share knowledge with farmers in Togo. “College demands high level skills. ... I know I need better English,” Ebia said during a speech at the Durham Literacy Center’s 10th annual Leaders in Literacy breakfast. “My neighbors and friends tell me I speak better, and I think I do. Yes?” The audience applauded to his question.

“I hope you understood me well enough to know how much [the Durham Literacy Center] means to students like me,” Ebia said.

The annual breakfast honors students, volunteers, businesses and community groups that support the center’s programs. They include classes in Adult Literacy, a Youth Education Program, computer literacy and GED preparation.

This year’s Leader in Literacy Award was given to the volunteers “who make our organization thrive,” said Lizzie Ellis-Furlong, executive director of the Literacy Center. “We were started by volunteers, and we are still dependent on volunteers,” she said. The center now has more than 200 volunteers who teach in the center’s programs, Ellis-Furlong said. John Hope Franklin, Mary Semans, RTI and SunTrust Bank are among past recipients of the awardREAD MORE @

Literacy Program Speaks Volumes
The Santa Clara: 4.27.2017 by Grant Pustelnik

After years of struggling to read and write confidently, local residents were given a platform to share their own written works.

On April 23, Read Santa Clara, an adult and family literacy program through the City of Santa Clara, hosted an emotional annual event at the Mission City Center for Performing Arts.

The event included public readings of personal works by adult learners, as well as award presentations to inspirational students and their tutors.

Each year, the adult learners have their writings published and mass-printed in a bound book.

Among the learners is longtime Benson Memorial Center worker Daciano Silva.

At the event, Silva read his personal work, “We All Have the Power to Make Change,” in which he detailed the importance of helping others and the need for self-improvement.

“We the people have the power to make a difference,” Silva said. “We should provide more opportunities for students with learning disabilities, like having job fairs to give them better chances in life through more choices of good-paying jobs.”

Silva’s piece primarily referred to his own personal experiences with self-improvement.

He discussed how his learning disability hindered his ability to attend college or earn a high-paying job, and he thanked Read Santa Clara for giving him the confidence to tell his story.  READ MORE @

Red Deer City councillor talks the importance of literacy

Red Deer City Councillor Dianne Wyntjes was the guest speaker at this year’s Adult Literacy Volunteer Appreciation social hosted by the Red Deer Public Library’s (RDPL) Annual Appreciation Night for Volunteers earlier this week.

According to her page on the City’s web site, Wyntjes is a reading enthusiast, reading a lot in her spare time.

She began her speech by thanking the leadership of the RDPL for their leadership, the staff and the volunteers for their support for literacy and adult learning.

She said through literacy initiatives one can empower personal growth to make healthy life choices, build life skills for relationships, parenting and health care decisions, among others.

She said through the RDPL Adult Literacy Program and other library initiatives, it opens the doors of reading, literacy and opportunity in the community.

“I hope along with your encouragement that you will recruit future literacy volunteers and learners in our community because that’s how we spread the wisdom and knowledge,” she said.

Wyntjes was elected to City council in 2010 and was re-elected in 2013. In that time she has gotten to know members of the community on a regular basis, she said.

“As a councillor one becomes privileged to become aware of secrets and struggles in our community, and it’s not uncommon as you know that there are those who struggle with basic reading, writing and math skills.”  READ MORE @

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