Sunday, July 2, 2017

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Huron MI :: Des Moines IA :: Clermont and Brown Cos OH

Literacy and Beyond moving to just serve moms, children

Times Herald: 6.06.2017 by Nicole Hayden

Kristy Loxton has passed three of her GED subject tests so far, with only the math test left to tackle. After years without a diploma, she’s feeling pretty happy that she is so close to building a more stable life for her and her daughter.

Loxton, 24, of Lexington, is a student at Literacy and Beyond, a GED prep center in Port Huron. She said her success is directly tied to the fact that the program not only allows her to bring her daughter with her every day, but provides child care and education for her 3-year-old as well.

“She loves it here,” Loxton said, referring to her daughter Alexis. “She asks me every day if she can come to school.”

In the coming year, Literacy and Beyond will be able to help even more students just like Loxton thanks to several grants and the purchase of a new building. In addition, while the organization has served all students in the past, its plans to open the program only to young moms and their children in the upcoming year.


Jessie Wiegand, Literacy and Beyond program manager, said while the GED program has focused on helping all students over the past few years, it will now focus solely on serving mothers with young children.

The organization offers GED prep for mothers, early education for their children, and dual learning that brings both the mothers and children together to learn at the same time. The program starts after Labor Day and runs for 44 weeks. Students attend class Monday through Friday, either in the morning or afternoon.

“Research shows that children’s education is directly tied to mom’s education,” Hinkley said. “That why the 2 GEN approach is so important. We are targeting both vulnerable moms and kids at the same time, in the same place.”

By offering early childhood education, it also overcomes one big barrier that young moms have when trying to earn their GED – childcare READ MORE @

Drake's Adult Literacy Center focuses on the small things

Des Moines Register: 6.08.2017 by Molly Longman

About 17 years ago, Kay Runner sat in her truck in front of the Drake University's School of Education building. She'd stopped by the school a couple of times before to check out Drake's adult literacy center, but she could never force herself to go inside.

But that day something was different.

"I moved my truck to different spots in the parking lot a few times, and then I said, 'Nope, you know what, Kay? You're going in."

Runner, now 70, has been returning to the building once a week, for a good portion of the past 17 years for a program that helps adults who never learned to read and write well.

"It takes a lot of nerve for an adult to come in and ask for help," Runner remembers. "When you're talking about adults that have a hard time reading or have shortcomings, it's hard to admit. It's hard to bring yourself in. It takes a lot of gumption."

The Des Moines native originally came to the center for help taking the General Educational Development exam, or GED. Once she passed in 1994, she stopped attending sessions for a while, but came back a year or so later to continue her education.

"Just because someone gets their GED doesn't mean they know how to read very well," Runner says. "I never used to read, and now I have a whole bookcase that's full of books that I've read,"

Her favorite book is "A Walk in the Woods," but she says she never would have read it without the help of her tutors at the adult literacy center.

"I'm 70 and severely dyslexic, so learning has gotten harder for me with age and so it's better for me to come to class," Runner said.  READ MORE @

Courts, literacy council team up to help non-readers, low-level readers 6.09.2017 by Sheila Vilvens

Rick has a secret. It’s one he’s hid all of his adult life.

“It’s embarrassing,” he said. Rick, a Mount Washington man who wishes to keep his last name anonymous, can’t read. Or couldn’t until a year ago when he finally sought help from the Literacy Council of Clermont and Brown Counties.

They paired him with a reading partner, Tom McAndrews of Union Township. Every Wednesday for the past year the two have met for hour long reading sessions. Recently Rick finished the book “Hatchet”.

“I read the last two chapters by myself,” he proudly announced.

This is the type of success story the Clermont County Domestic Courts hopes to facilitate through a new partnership with the Literacy Council of Clermont and Brown Counties. At the very least the courts hope to help non-readers and low-level readers who are unrepresented by attorneys get through upwards of 40 online papers involved in proceedings like divorce, Judge Kathleen Rodenberg said.

The idea began with compliance officer/mediator Kay Heile. She deals with a lot of people without lawyers, Rodenberg said.

“I had never given it much thought, that we might have people who have trouble reading,” she said.

But it was something Heile was seeing along with her colleagues and was tasked with addressing. That’s when Heile reached out to Susan Vilardo, the executive director of the literacy council.

Through the partnership, Vilardo said they hope to help people navigate their way through their court proceedings and at the same time make them aware of the services provided by the literacy council.  READ MORE @

No comments: