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.

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What’s happening during AEFL Week 2016: Part One

AEFL Week 2016

Adult Education and Family Literacy Week 2016 is full of exciting events celebrating adult literacy learners and programs throughout the U.S. These events are as diverse as the learners they serve, from a Book Fair in Delaware to a Financial Literacy Fair in Texas. One common thread running through all the events is their showcasing of the dedication and passion of learners, teachers, volunteers, and community stakeholders. Want to know more about what’s happening in your region? Check out just a few of the events below. We’ll be posting additional AEFL week news and events throughout the next week. Let us know what you are planning.

Alabama:

Lee County Literacy Coalition Works to Address Adult Literacy Crisis

For Lee County Literacy Coalition, AEFL Week is an opportunity to remind us all that reading, writing, and basic math remain an elusive target for 36 million adults nationwide, including 12.8% in their community.

According to ProLiteracy, the largest membership organization advancing the cause of adult literacy and basic education in the nation, more than 36 million adults in the U.S. lack the most basic literacy skills, and 15 percent of Americans without a diploma don’t have jobs. ProLiteracy provides more than 1,100 community-based literacy organizations, including Lee County Literacy Coalition, with tools to help educate adult learners and help them meet the demands of today’s workforce. Literacy helps families be healthier and safer and provides people sustainable opportunities to support themselves through work, contributing ultimately to the economic growth of our region and our country.

“About one in six adults is still not literate and approximately 67.4 million school-aged children are not enrolled in school,” said Sue Edge, Executive Director, Lee County Literacy Coalition. “Here in our community we have 20,053 adults in Lee County who did not receive a high school diploma. With a graduation rate of 87%, we still have 19,745 functionally illiterate adults in Lee County that cannot read to their children, obtain a GED, or complete a simple job application. Literacy helps families be healthier and safer and provides sustainable opportunities to support themselves through work, contributing ultimately to the economic growth of our region and our country.”

“Low literacy costs the nation more than two hundred billion dollars each year in lost productivity, as well as an additional one to two billion in health and safety issues,” said Kevin Morgan, president and CEO of ProLiteracy. “Every dollar spent on adult literacy and education provides returns to the country through higher employment, added tax revenues, reduced welfare payments, and less crime.”

In recognition of Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, Lee County Literacy Coalition will have their annual dinner to celebrate their successes in literacy, with guest speaker will be Elizabeth Huntley, author of More than a Bird.

For more information on Lee County Literacy Coalition’s services, visit www.leecountyliteracy.org

California:

CLC hosts Adult Education & Family Literacy Week Activities [Updated]

The Community Learning Center (CLC) at MiraCosta College

The Community Learning Center (CLC) at MiraCosta College provides a wide range of learning opportunities for the adult education community in North County Coastal San Diego, and is a proud participant of the Adult Education & Family Literacy Week.

Last Tuesday, September 6, the CLC hosted their Adult Education & Family Literacy (AEFL) awareness kick-off event.  More than 200 noncredit students participated. The event raise awareness about the need and value of adult education and family literacy to support access to basic education programs across the country. Free children’s books in English and Spanish, ESL books and CLC Library resources were provided. Food and light refreshments were provided thanks to the support from the Associated Student Government’s Inter-Club Council college hour recruitment day.

The CLC continued its effort to raise adult education and family literacy awareness this week.  On Monday, more than 200 noncredit students participated in morning and evening events. Free children’s books in English and Spanish, ESL books and CLC Library & Writing Center resources were provided during morning and afternoon events.  Two city libraries participated.  And Love on a Leash therapy dogs added fun to this event!

For more information:
http://www.miracosta.edu/instruction/continuingeducation/index.html
http://www.miracosta.edu/officeofthepresident/pio/news.aspx

Delaware:

The New Castle County Learning Center

The New Castle County Learning Center in Newark, Delaware will celebrate AEFL Week by putting on their second free book fair for their students. Building on last year’s success, they have received donations of books from their local public libraries, as well as library card applications, and all varieties of printed resources that the libraries have on hand for patrons. In the words of Lisa Plummer, “Our libraries couldn’t be more generous and our tables are overflowing with books as we prepare for next week.” They will also have balloons, posters, tablecloths, free printed (in English and Spanish) materials about jobs, healthcare, and local resources available to students. Friends of the teachers have also generously contributed books and magazines to promote family reading and literacy.

The staff has also decided to do a lottery for a FREE GED test. Each day a student attends class, they will receive a ticket. Increased attendance equals more tickets. At the end of the week, all the tickets will be put in a hat and four names will be drawn. The winner will receive a voucher for one free GED test.

What an exciting event and good luck to the winner of the raffle!

Maryland:

The Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL)

The Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL) is hosting an Adult ESOL Fair as part of Adult Education and Family Literacy Week on September 30th from 4pm – 7pm at Ana G. Mendez University, 11006 Veirs Mill Road, Wheaton, MD. The Adult ESOL Fair will feature resource tables from local organizations in order to provide information about and connections to the local community. All those interested are welcome to join MCAEL and their local sponsors at this important event!

New York:

Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES

A celebration of literacy and achievement is being planned by the Adult and Community Education division of the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES. E2CCB’s observance will culminate with the annual Adult Student Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, September 29 at 6pm at the St. Susan Center at the Gateway Center, 31 Water Street. Jamestown Mayor Samuel Teresi will be the keynote speaker. The ceremony recognizes adult learners who have successfully earned their high school equivalency diploma or Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), commercial driver’s license (CDL) or completed the division’s phlebotomy program.

The Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus (E2CC) BOCES is one of 37 BOCES in New York State. The E2CC BOCES represents all the school districts in Chautauqua County, southern Erie County, and part of Cattaraugus County, a geographical area of 1,791 square miles.

South Carolina:

Trident Literacy Association

Rachel Knight, Development Director of Trident Literacy Association, shared their gratitude for community support in the September 20, 2016 edition of the Post and Carrier:

Trident Literacy would like to express our gratitude to the 12 participating Park Circle restaurants and to everyone who participated in A Taste of Park Circle in the pouring rain September 14. We also thank the many who donated items for our first on-line auction in conjunction with the event. Carolyn Murray of News 2 was our emcee and Cumulus Radio provided a live remote.

The funds raised help Trident Literacy carry out our mission to help adults in the tri-county gain vital life skills and reverse the cycle and impact of generational poverty and illiteracy.

This includes students like Elaine (name changed), who left school when she was 17. As a single mom she had to get a job to support herself and her child. She came to Trident Literacy when she was 36 and newly divorced to better herself and provide for her children. She made a pact with her son, who was a senior at the time, that if he graduated from high school, she would get her GED. He graduated. She kept her promise and earned her GED. She plans to go to college and become a dental assistant.

Trident Literacy has helped thousands of students like Elaine by providing the training and encouragement that enable them to improve their lives and the lives of their families.

Thousands more need our help. In honor of National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, September 26-Oct. 1, we celebrate women like Elaine, and we urge everyone who does not have a high school credential to enroll in Trident Literacy and take the first step to a brighter future.

Virginia:

The Reading and Education for Adult Development (READ) Center

The Reading and Education for Adult Development (READ) Center in Richmond, Virginia has been fostering awareness of the importance of adult literacy by sharing the ProLiteracy Fact Sheet http://readcenter.org/index.php/national-adult-education-and-family-literacy-week-september-26-october-1/ and NCL’s AEFL Fact Sheet with visitors to their website. They’ll be posting even more throughout the week, so like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter to get the latest.

In addition, they will be kicking off an AEFL Week with a fundraiser called Run for READ in the Broad Street Mile. This event has something for everyone, from a 5k run through VCU’s campus, a fun walk through the Kids Zone, to the Doggy Dash down Broad Street. They have also planned an online fundraising event for their literacy programs from September 28-29 called Raise for READ. For more information, you can call them at (804) 288-9930 or email at frontdesk@readcenter.org

Texas:

Texarkana Independent School District Adult Education

Red River Credit Union and Wells Fargo are partnering with Texarkana Independent School District’s Adult Education and Literacy Department in celebration of AEFL Week.

To kick-off the event, the TISD Adult Education & Literacy Program will hold an Open House on Tuesday, September 27 from 10:00am – Noon at the TISD Adult Education Center on the Texarkana College campus (corner of Tucker Street & Johnson Avenue). Refreshments will be served and the public is welcome to attend. Click here for more information.

The focus this year will be on Financial Literacy. Red River Federal Credit Union and Texarkana Independent School District Adult Ed will host a “Reality Fair” for the students who are part of the program. Kimberly Bursey-Reece, TISD Adult Education Career Navigator, and Patricia Cunningham, Director of Marketing, Red River Federal Credit Union, will be facilitating this event. As the students go through the Reality Fair, they will have the opportunity to gain helpful knowledge and skills that will empower them to take greater control of their personal finances.

Financial reality fairs are hands-on events that guide participants through the personal financial management process, including budgeting, saving and investing in a simulated real-world environment. Each participant is given a budget sheet that lists an occupation and a salary. Federal income tax, social security, Medicare, and state taxes are subtracted, and the rest is what the participant has to budget for the month. Booths are set up to represent different expenses, and participants move through the space and spend their allotted monthly income. The financial reality fairs can be used in schools, in battered women’s shelters and other non-profits. It may also be used in churches and small businesses. “It is for anyone who needs to understand at a real, hands-on level, how to manage money,” says Cunningham.

“This Reality Fair and Financial Literacy Seminar is designed to help our students understand how important it is to meet their goals. Earning a GED can lead to an increase in wages and employability.” says Bursey-Reece. “The Reality Fair is a true reality check for these students. It is important that they understand the importance of personal goal setting and how important it is to evaluate needs vs. wants.”