National Coalition for Literacy reminder about role of adult and family literacy to public education

In response to the October 13 Answer Sheet article outlining Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s positions on public education, Deborah Kennedy, President of the National Coalition for Literacy, has sent the following letter.


Adult Education and Family Literacy Week: Care to Join Us?

Jennifer Leach, Assistant Director at the FTC’s Division of Consumer and Business Education, which received a 2016 Literacy Leadership Award from the National Coalition for Literacy last night, published this blog post on the FTC’s site on Monday:

The FTC has a consumer protection website with plain and simple advice on dealing with everything from making a budget to rebuilding your credit to avoiding job scams.  and were designed for anyone who’s short on time and needs just the facts; people with limited reading ability; and educators who want their students to have financial literacy and life skills, like how to buy a used car.

Educators tell us their students need these skills – but the teachers could use more help getting the information across. So we created a series of lesson plans to help adult education and English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers use’s resources in the classroom.

Every day, we work to make sure the site is useful to anyone who uses it. There are videos, an audio read-along of all the text on the site, worksheets and presentations, and everything is available toorder – free – in print.

This year, the National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) has given the FTC one of its 2016 Literacy Leadership Awards for its commitment to serving and guiding adults with limited reading ability, and for its outreach to those working with them, particularly teachers in adult basic education and ESL programs. It’s an exciting honor, and one we’ll celebrate by doubling down on our efforts to tell people about fraud, and how to report it. Care to join us?

Congratulations to Jennifer and her colleagues and all her fellow honorees. And thank you, Jennifer, for this call to action.

What’s Happening During AEFL Week 2016: Part Four

AEFL Week 2016



Social Media Stats

ProLiteracy has been compiling some interesting social media statisitics on AEFl Week:

  • The hashtag #AEFLweek has a total of 1,712,046 potential Twitter views.
  • A total of 967 related tweets have been sent.
  • There are 367 Twitter contributors on the topic so far.

American Library Association Press Release


For Immediate Release
Tue, 09/27/2016


Kristin Lahurd
Literacy Officer
Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services
(312) 280-3275

CHICAGO — As we mark 2016’s National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, from Sept. 26 through Oct. 1, libraries across the country are transforming lives through literacy services for adults and families. The increasing demand for services underscores the intersection of literacy with access and equity. In its ties to income inequality, health outcomes, housing access, and rates of incarceration, literacy is an issue of social and economic justice.

In the U.S., more than 30 million adults struggle with basic literacy. Adults who lack a high school diploma are more than twice as likely as those with higher levels of education to be unemployed, working a low-wage job, and living in poverty. At the same time, individuals with high school credentials earn roughly $10,000 more per year than those without. Over four decades, education levels have a greater impact on earnings than any other demographic factor. The impact of low literacy is evident across generations as well: A mother’s education level is the number one determinant of her children’s future academic success.

Libraries are helping to bridge these gaps through their adult and family literacy services.  At Sioux Center Public Library, adult literacy staff has leveraged community partnerships to expand access and services for adult learners. Members of the rural community were eager to take the Spanish GED, but the library lacked the staffing to offer classes. Over the course of a year, Bilingual Services Director Ruth Mahaffy advocated for a partnership with Northwest Iowa Community College, which is 30 miles from Sioux Center—a prohibitive distance for prospective participants. The College agreed to bring the classes to the community if the library could guarantee five students. Twenty-four people signed up. The College now offers classes 30 hours per week at the library, double the number initially offered, and the library recruits the most students for the College.

At Azusa City Library in California, adult literacy staff established Health Literacy Learning, a partnership among the library, the Azusa Neighborhood Wellness Center, and the Azusa Pacific University.  The program is grounded in the belief that literacy is “a catalyst to transform lives.” And indeed, through these twice-a-week sessions over eight weeks, participants develop skills in English language learning while also gaining literacy in health-related topics such as nutrition, exercise, and disease prevention. Nursing students answer participants’ questions, monitor participants’ blood pressure, and track exercise through pedometers given to each participant.

In celebrating Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, we recognize the efforts of these and countless other libraries working year round in the service of literacy for adults and their families.


Right to Read

Right to Read will celebrate National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week at 5 pm with an event for community members to meet Right to Read students and sample various cuisines. Right to Read is a nonprofit addressing illiteracy and poverty in Greeley and the Weld County area of Colorado. Its goal is to “provide adults with education and cultural integration skills so they may live a better life.”


Governor’s Proclamation

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner proclaimed Sept. 26 – Oct. 1 Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, “underscoring the continued demand for programs and services for adult students who need to improve basic skills in reading, writing and math to obtain a high school equivalency certificate.”

Kishwaukee College

During National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, the Division of Workforce and Community Education (WCE) at Kishwaukee College is inviting “anyone wanting to take the first step to earning a high school credential” to attend free High School Equivalency and English as a Second Language classes offered at the College and partner sites. Registration will be open at class sites the week of October 17.

Some interesting census data about Illinois: more than 1.4 million adults in Illinois (15% of the adult population) do not have a high school diploma or High School Equivalency credential. About one out of every seven Illinoisans is an immigrant; and approximately 44% of Illinois’ eight million adults have not completed any college coursework.


For more information on programs and services available through the Division of Workforce and Community Education at Kishwaukee College,  or call 815-825- 9408.


According to SurfKY News, Henderson Adult Learning Center is celebrating AEFL Week by planting a tree at Henderson Community College.

Administrative Assistant and Instructor of Adult Education Pam Buchanan said the tree represents “planting the seed” for adult education students.

“When I thought about Adult Education week, the first thing that popped into my head is that we’re planting a seed,” Buchanan said. “We’re planting something for the future for these students.”

Adult Education of Henderson is the oldest full-time adult education program at a community college in Kentucky. The program offered resources for improving basic employment skills in reading, writing, and mathematics, skill assessments, TABE testing and remediation, English as a Second Language and academic skills free of charge to Henderson County citizens.

Student Jaime Ruiz began the Adult Education program in June and is currently working to obtain her GED.

“The Adult Education program is a wonderful thing to do,” Ruiz said. “The people here are really nice and they really care about your education and they also really push you to further your education for the future.”

Ruiz helped plant the tree and said it symbolizes the process of the Adult Learning Center.

“The tree is to show, we’re going to plant a seed, so they’re planting seeds in us, like knowledge for us to use our education to go further in our future,” she said.

Ruiz said she plans to retake her GED in November and will attend HCC to major in medical laboratory technology.

Adult Education Director Pamala Wilson said she encourages people to come out and see the Adult Learning Center.

“I just want to invite anyone out who would like to come and see our center or volunteer. We love volunteers to help us,” Wilson said.

The Adult Learning Center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday.

To learn more about the Adult Education in Henderson County, visit

Great photos here.

Richland Community College

Richland Community College is celebrating by “highlighting its ability to provide programs and services that adult students need to improve vital basic skills.”

RCC is one of more than 84 adult education providers offering programs funded through the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) that improves and expands the nation’s available pipeline of workers by assisting those who lack the educational requirements to achieve gainful employment in today’s increasing high-tech, global job market.

South Dakota

Yankton Area Literacy Council 

Yankton Area Literacy Council (YALC) and Cornerstones Career Center celebrated Adult Education and Family Literacy Week today at 5:00 pm in the meeting room at the Yankton Community Library. Certificates will be awarded to those who did not receive them at the National Literacy Day celebration held earlier this month.


Rep. Polis Introduces Resolution Recognizing AEFL Week

For the eighth consecutive year, Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) has introduced a resolution in United States House of Representatives recognizing this week as National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week.

In addition to designating this week National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, the resolution “encourages people across the United States to support programs to assist those in need of adult education and family literacy programs.” It also requests that the President issue “a proclamation recognizing the importance of adult education and family literacy programs, calling upon the Federal Government, States, localities, schools, libraries, nonprofit organizations, community-based organizations, consumer advocates, institutions of higher education, labor unions, and businesses to support increased access to adult education and family literacy programs to ensure a literate society.”

The full text of Representative Polis’s resolution, which was cosponsored by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Rep. Raúl Grijalva, (D-AZ), can be found below.