Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Cleveland OH :: Lee Co AL :: Queens Co NY

Literacy: Spanning the U.S.     

Gift of Knowledge: Struggling mother earns her high school equivalency
United Way Cleveland: 4.10.2018 by unitedwaycleveland

All she wanted was to be in school, learning new things with other kids her age. Instead, troubling family circumstances forced Teresa to assume the responsibilities of a parent when she was still just a child herself.

“At 9 years old I had to be mom to four kids,” she explained through tears, recounting why the burden fell on her shoulders.

With an alcoholic mother incapable of adequately caring for a family and an abusive stepfather, there seemed to be no choice.

“I couldn’t leave my brothers and sisters alone to go to school. And if I didn’t get them to school and make sure they got their homework done and they had baths and they had food, no one else did. I had to protect them.”

“I was never given an opportunity to go to high school. And I love school. I do well in school. I love to learn,” said Teresa, who recently earned her GED from Seeds of Literacy.

The responsibilities thrust upon her at home only grew with time. The sacrifice became permanent.

“I was never given an opportunity to go to high school,” she said. “And I love school. I do well in school. I love to learn.”

Seeds of Literacy is amazing,” are words she chose to describe the United Way-funded organization that has helped thousands of Cleveland-area residents living in poverty achieve their high school equivalency.  Watch and listen to Teresa’s experience and transformation at Seeds of Literacy below.  READ MORE >>

Lee County Literacy Coalition to host driver’s manual workshop
The Plainsmen: 4.10.2018 by Olivia Wilkes

Anyone who has studied for and taken the driver’s license test knows that the experience can be stressful, but for people who have difficulty reading, the exam can be downright daunting.

As part of a program launching aiming to target this need, the Lee County Literacy Coalition is hosting a workshop at the Dean Road Recreation Center on Wednesday, April 11, from 5–7 p.m. to present information from the Alabama Driver Manual that is pertinent to passing the exam.

Tina Tatum, the program director for the literacy coalition, said the workshop will consist of a PowerPoint presentation, videos, graphics and some fun activities such as a find-a-word.

“Hopefully, that being very visual, it will help them understand it and retain it to take the test,” Tatum said. “We actually have put together a little sample test that they can take at the end just to get an idea if they might possibly be ready to go ahead and try the real thing.”

The workshop is free and, although designed for people with lower literacy skills, open to anyone in the community.

A driver’s license is something that many people may take for granted but is extremely necessary for many day-to-day activities.

“If you don’t read well, you might still have a job, you might still have kids you have to take to activities, so not being able to pass that test doesn’t stop a lot of people from driving,” Tatum said. “But the problem is, if they get in a little fender-bender or let’s just say that over a holiday there’s some kind of checkpoint looking for driver’s license and insurance, if they don’t have that, of course, that’s going to lead to many other difficulties and probably fines and things that they can’t afford.”  READ MORE >>

English learners rally to save their classes
Adult students and teachers protest proposed budget cuts at Boro Hall
QChron: 4.12.2018 by Christopher Barca

Iris Sempertegui moved to Forest Hills from her native Ecuador just five months ago, but her still somewhat broken English is decently understandable.

She attributes that to one of the first decisions she made upon relocating to the United States — enrolling in an English class for adults at the Queens Community House.

“It’s so beautiful. I enjoy it so much,” Sempertegui said of her class. “I have the opportunity to meet people, to learn the culture and know the history of this country.”

That was the sentiment of the approximately 100 students who rallied at Borough Hall on Tuesday to oppose $12 million in funding cuts for adult literacy classes as put forth in Mayor de Blasio’s fiscal year 2019 preliminary budget.

According to a city source, the cost of such programming was $90 million in the last fiscal year — paid for with federal, state and city dollars.

Organized by the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy, Tuesday’s rally featured speakers from a number of borough groups that offer English classes — including the Queens Community House, the Flushing YMCA, the Chinese-American Planning Council, Make the Road New York, the English Language Center at LaGuardia Community College and others.  READ MORE >>

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