Thursday, June 22, 2017

Millennials are the most likely generation of Americans to use public libraries

Millennials are the most likely generation of Americans to use public libraries
Pew Research Center: 6.21.2017 by Abigail Geiger

Millennials in America are more likely to have visited a public library in the past year than any other adult generation.

A new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data from fall 2016 finds that 53% of Millennials (those ages 18 to 35 at the time) say they used a library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months. That compares with 45% of Gen Xers, 43% of Baby Boomers and 36% of those in the Silent Generation. (It is worth noting that the question wording specifically focused on use of public libraries, not on-campus academic libraries.)

All told, 46% of adults ages 18 and older say they used a public library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months – a share that is broadly consistent with Pew Research Center findings in recent years.

Members of the youngest adult generation are also more likely than their elders to have used library websites. About four-in-ten Millennials (41%) used a library website in the past 12 months, compared with 24% of Boomers. In all, 31% of adults used a library website in the past 12 months, which is similar to the percentage that reported using library websites in late 2015.  READ MORE @

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Plumas Co CA :: Berkshire Co MA :: Baltimore MD

Abandoned courts blossom with new purpose
Plumas News: 6.03.2017 by Victoria Metcalf

It’s easy to see why a good game of tennis hasn’t taken place on the Gansner Park courts for some time. Cracks are a good place for weeds to take hold, and the surface dips and buckles in various places. Dried leaves, not abandoned tennis balls line the parameter of the chain link fencing. Hopefully by late summer, rich crops of vegetables will have taken over.

Long disused tennis courts at Gansner Park are being repurposed — as family gardens.

Instead of black asphalt with grass and weeds growing between the cracks, this summer it will be a place where vegetables and fruit grow.

It’s definitely a case of out with the old and in with the new in more than one sense. When Plumas County Literacy abandoned its Garden Behind Bars program, it was time to move to a new location.

With permission from Plumas County Facilities Services Director Dony Sawchuk and a nod from Supervisor Lori Simpson, and of course the key to unlock the long unused gate, the new program began.

Last summer and fall, inmates began removing soil and disassembling raised boxes and a redwood greenhouse that took up the back portion of the Plumas County Sheriff’s Corrections Center. Originally, the task began when Plumas County Literacy was told that a large greenhouse was going to be installed. The greenhouse didn’t materialize, but the dirt and materials were piled for future use.

That first summer of Garden Behind Bars in 2013 was filled with plans and promises.

Thanks to a dedicated crew of inmates, including a former contractor who seemingly could build anything provided he had the wood and the tools — the program grew and grew. Inmates had the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of fresh tomatoes, salad greens and much more.

But then new programs, work opportunities, electronic monitoring and house arrest reduced the number of inmates available to work in the garden.  READ MORE @


David is also reveling in the independence his newfound literacy grants him. He’s no longer afraid of taking public transportation, and loves that he can find his way around on the bus or on the train. Learning to read and write has opened so many doors for him — both literally and spiritually.  WATCH VIDEO

Monday, June 19, 2017

Librarian of Congress Names Tracy K. Smith Poet Laureate

Librarian of Congress Names Tracy K. Smith Poet Laureate

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced the appointment of Tracy K. Smith as the Library’s 22nd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2017-2018. Smith will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season in September with a reading of her work in the Coolidge Auditorium.

Smith, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and a professor at Princeton University, succeeds Juan Felipe Herrera as Poet Laureate.

“It gives me great pleasure to appoint Tracy K. Smith, a poet of searching,” Hayden said. “Her work travels the world and takes on its voices; brings history and memory to life; calls on the power of literature as well as science, religion and pop culture. With directness and deftness, she contends with the heavens or plumbs our inner depths—all to better understand what makes us most human.”

“I am profoundly honored,” Smith said. “As someone who has been sustained by poems and poets, I understand the powerful and necessary role poetry can play in sustaining a rich inner life and fostering a mindful, empathic and resourceful culture. I am eager to share the good news of poetry with readers and future readers across this marvelously diverse country.”

Smith joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position, including Juan Felipe Herrera, Charles Wright, Natasha Trethewey, Philip Levine, W.S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass and Rita Dove.

The new Poet Laureate is the author of three books of poetry, including “Life on Mars” (2011), winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; “Duende” (2007), winner of the 2006 James Laughlin Award and the 2008 Essence Literary Award; and “The Body’s Question” (2003), winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith is also the author of a memoir, “Ordinary Light” (2015), a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in nonfiction and selected as a notable book by the New York Times and the Washington Post.  READ MORE @

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Brunswick Co NC :: Watertown NY :: Wilmington NC

Health literacy, Job training and Financial literacy.  READ MORE @
Cape Fear Literacy Council (CFLC) has been serving adults in this community for more than 30 years. We offer free assessment and instruction in both Adult Literacy and English as a Second Language.  We leverage the talents of dedicated volunteers to serve as one-on-one tutors and small-class instructors.  READ MORE @

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dr. Shlomy Kattan Speaks About Adult Literacy :: Do Good Podcast

Dr. Shlomy Kattan Speaks About Adult Literacy

Shlomy reveals how big of an issue adult low literacy.  He discusses both the profound societal effects of adult literacy and the devastating toll it takes on those who have to cope with it.  He discusses what is happening in the public and private sectors to alleviate it and the associated challenges.

This is a fascinating conversation about an issue that does not get a lot of press yet affects millions of adults in this country and across the world.

Adult Literacy Overview
Globally, there are more than 780 million adults who lack basic literacy skills - that is 1 in 6 adults around the world.

In the United States, it is 36 million adults, which comes out to be 15% of the adult population.  The United States ranks in the bottom third out the countries in the OECD in adult literacy levels. Half of the county reads at or below and 8th grade level.

What are the causes of adult low literacy?
Number 1 internationally is access to education.  There are 60 million children that have no access to education and 260 million children that have very limited access to education.

Dr. Shlomy Kattan, Senior Director of the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE and co-host of The Do Good Podcast speaks about adult literacy.  LISTEN

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Literacy – Spanning the US ::Crawford Co PA :: Wichita Falls TX :: Santa Maria CA

Nine so far participating in county jail's GED program
Meadeville Tribune: 5.26.2017 by Keith Gushard

The general education diploma program at the Crawford County jail has nine active students since it restarted in late March, according to Kenneth Saulsbery, the jail's warden.

The GED program helps a person obtain a general education diploma, which is equivalent to a high school diploma.

There are five inmates currently enrolled within the GED program while another four are in the pre-GED program, Saulsbery told the Crawford County Prison Board at its meeting Thursday at the jail.

County inmates in the GED program who are released from jail prior to completing their studies may continue the program through free classes in Meadville or Titusville offered by the Crawford County READ Program. The READ Program runs the local adult
runs the local adult literacy program in the county.

Nine inmates initially were in the GED program and seven initially were in the pre-GED program when it restarted, Saulsbery said.  READ MORE @

Literacy Council
Lompoc Record: 5.29.2017 by

The Bi-Lingo program focuses on a curriculum of basic, conversational language acquisition for each language, and will feature two to three topics per event. Each meeting will begin with a permanent topic called “Greetings” to get participants comfortable with traditional greetings once they’re out communicating in the public.  READ MORE @

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Business Case for Upskilling: How Companies Benefit When Service Workers Improve Their Skills

The Business Case for Upskilling: How Companies Benefit When Service Workers Improve Their Skills

Limited math, reading, and technology skills are a widespread challenge among US workers, as documented in NSC’s Foundational Skills in the Service Sector report. But companies that invest in their workers’ skill building can see payoffs not only for the workers themselves, but for the business bottom line.

Data from a rigorous international assessment show that low foundational skills are prevalent across the service sector: 62% of American workers in the target occupations have low English literacy skills, 74% have low numeracy, and 73% have limited digital problem-solving skills.1 At the same time, many workers with skill gaps are loyal and dedicated employees. A majority (58%) have been with their current employer for at least three years, including 36% who have been with their employer for at least six years.

Companies can capitalize on their employees’ interest in upskilling by facilitating their participation in learning opportunities, including through reducing logistical and other barriers to participation. Businesses that are successfully addressing skill gaps in their workforce are doing so through a variety of tactics. Many involve partnerships with community colleges, nonprofit organizations, or other training partners. Some businesses offer on-site training to workers during the work day or after their shifts, while others support the ability of their employees to attend classes off site. Examples of employer skill-building investments include:
• Sponsoring an apprenticeship program for nursing home workers
• Informing the design of a community college program for customer service specialists
• Offering a blended learning program that allows restaurant workers to participate in both in-person and online classes to obtain their high school equivalency and earn industry-recognized credentials.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Literacy – Spanning the US :: S Sarasota Co FL :: Florida :: NY NY

Amazing Suncoast Woman - Jan Gallas, President of Literacy Volunteers of South Sarasota Co.
My Suncoast: 5.23.2017 by Linda Carson

People walk thru these doors at the North Port Library not speaking a word of English, or reading English . They meet Jan Gallas, she introduces them to her Literacy Volunteer Program and that opens a whole new world for them. the literacy volunteers teach english as a second language.

Jan says, "Our motto is "Literacy Changes Lives". We work with students from Osprey to North Port , and we teach adults to read write and speak English. "

Last year their 171 Tudors served 315 very motivated students from 51 countries.

Jan says, "They came to the United States and they want to be part of the community . They want to learn to speak English, pronounce better, they want to learn grammar, they want to learn all the idioms. We have plenty of those. They just want to better themselves. They want to fit in, they want to be part of the United States."

You don't have to speak a foreign language to be a Tudor, and you don't have to be a teacher. Jan wasn't.

She says, "I worked in a school district 40 years, I worked in public service office helping students, parents and teachers better themselves."  READ MORE @

Florida Blue Foundation Sponsors Statewide Health Literacy Grants Program 5.25.2017

Fourteen programs across the state of Florida have been awarded a one-year grant, up to $5,000, for the implementation of a health literacy program to benefit their Adult Education, ESOL, and family literacy students.

These mini-grants, awarded by Florida Blue Foundation and the Florida Literacy Coalition, will integrate health and nutrition information into the programs’ curriculum. The focus is to help students acquire the knowledge, literacy skills and resources that will help them navigate the medical system and make informed health decisions. More than 15,000 students from programs throughout Florida have benefited from this Initiative since 2009.

There is a growing recognition among health care providers and adult educators around the country that limited English language and literacy skills can have a significant impact on one’s health. According to the National Adult Assessment of Literacy, 14 percent of Americans cannot comprehend basic health information. The study indicates that health illiteracy is especially prevalent among: 1) adults who did not complete high school, with 49 percent having below basic health literacy, and 2) foreign-born adults who have English as their second language.

People who lack literacy and health literacy skills are much more likely to take medications incorrectly, be hospitalized and spend more time in the hospital than people with higher health literacy, and are four times more likely to have poor health. The potential for savings and better health are significant. Adult education, literacy and family literacy programs can play an important role in helping people to acquire these skills.  READ MORE @

Joanne Lipman honored at Literacy Partners’ Gala
USA Today: 5.25.2017 by Staff

Literacy Partners recently honored Joanne Lipman, Gannett’s Chief Content Officer and editor-in-chief of USA TODAY and the USA TODAY NETWORK, at its Evening of Readings Gala. The event, held Wednesday the 24th at New York’s Cipriani 42nd Street, honored Lipman for her “devoted work in literacy and philanthropy.”

The fundraiser was held to further Literacy Partners’ mission to “end illiteracy, one adult at a time,” and the funds will assist in the expansion of the organization’s community-based literacy programs. Since its establishment 44 years ago, Literacy Partners has provided the greater New York City area with literacy services including free classes, serving upwards of 25,000 adults.

"As a program that helps working immigrant mothers learn English and improve their literacy skills, we were thrilled to salute Joanne at our gala dinner this year” says Anthony Tassi, Executive Director of Literacy Partners. “Not only is she one of the most important editors of our time, she is a woman of extraordinary vision and integrity.  Her commitment to an inclusive and well-informed society is so inspiring to us and resonates deeply with our educational mission. READ MORE @