Tuesday, February 13, 2018

What To Do With A Life's Work in Literacy? Give It All Away :: Jane Hodges Carter :: English Literacy For All

What to do with a life's work in literacy? Give it all away
C Dispatch:  2.03.2018 by Jan Swoope

Jane Hodges Crater is vivacious, determined, energetic, and sometimes, appalled.

Appalled that more than 30 million adults in the United States can't read, according to the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy. It's a fact the retired educator has spent decades of her life trying to change.

"Did you know that illiteracy in America is a leading cause of crime, violence and poverty?" Crater said. "If we could eliminate illiteracy it would reduce human suffering as well as $18 billion per year it costs to the U.S. economy."

The Mississippi University for Women professor emerita of education isn't in the habit of sitting idly by, and today, on her 80th birthday, she remains as committed as ever to doing something about it.

Upon retirement in 1996 from her 25-year university career training teachers for the classroom, Crater poured her vast expertise into creating "Astronauts to Zippers," a complete literacy program that teaches reading, writing, spelling, phonemic awareness, handwriting and phonics. It can be used by beginning readers of any age -- young readers, older students having difficulty, former students who did not finish their education, or adults learning English as a second language.

She went "on the road" to conferences to market the program, which has been used extensively in private- and home-schooling curriculums. It consists of six levels, 144 lessons, teacher manuals, six student workbooks and 72 readers.

And then what does Crater do? She decided recently to give it all away -- to make "Astronauts to Zippers" accessible online to anybody who needs it.

"I wanted to make it available to anyone who wanted to learn to read, any place in the world, and I wanted it to be free," she said. "I wanted there to be English literacy for all."  READ MORE >>

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