In preparation for a policy panel discussion at the upcoming COABE conference on Monday, April 3, NCL members have prepared an update on the federal outlook for adult education as of March 30, 2017.
The Adult Literacy Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives has been re-certified for the 115th Congress. Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) will continue as caucus sponsor and Republican co-chair. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) has agreed to serve as Democratic co-chair, taking the place of Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, who retired last year. Two weeks ago, the offices of Rep. Roe and Rep. Yarmuth distributed a “Dear Colleague” letter, inviting all members of the House to join the Caucus.
The current members of the Caucus are listed here. If your representative is not on the list, we hope you’ll consider asking them to join. (Feel free to reference the Dear Colleague letter when contacting them.) Be prepared with a concise message that includes your name, your address (to show you’re a constituent), contact information, and what you are calling/writing about (joining the Adult Literacy Caucus).
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
Contact:Kristin LahurdLiteracy OfficerOffice 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.”
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.”
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, visitwww.kishwaukeecollege.edu/wce 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 henderson.kctcs.edu.
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.
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.
Celebrating AEFL Week with a New Fact Sheet on Adult Education & Middle-Skill Jobs
National Skills Coalition is joining in the celebration with a brand-new fact sheet highlighting the critical role of adult education in helping workers prepare for middle-skill jobs:
More than 24 million US workers lack key foundational skills in reading, math, or spoken English, and would benefit from adult education to help them build the skills needed to pursue occupational training and compete for these jobs.
Adult education models such as Integrated Education and Training (IET) have a proven track record in helping adult learners acquire key skills, earn secondary and postsecondary credentials, and obtain middle-skill employment.
The fact sheet highlights four federal policies that can support the implementation of adult education program models such as IET, and provides examples of states that are capitalizing on these policies to do just that.
Among the examples highlighted is the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which provides support for low-income families, including through the provision of education and training to help adults find employment and move off of public benefits.
Advocates interested in how TANF can help support skill-building opportunities can review the nationally recognized Arkansas Career Pathways Initiative, which provides a broad range of support to assist low-income individuals in obtaining in-demand credentials and employment.
Designers for Learning
Designers for Learning is an Illinois nonprofit that promotes service-learning opportunities through collaboration with schools, students, and volunteers. Matched with nonprofits in service-learning projects, instructional design students develop solutions that are customized to the the organization’s learning and performance improvement needs.
An objective from one of their courses is to help raise awareness about the adult basic skills gap:
“National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week raises public awareness about the need and value of adult education and family literacy in order to leverage resources to support access to basic education programs for the 36 million U.S. adults with low literacy skills. Advocates across the country use this opportunity to elevate adult education and family literacy nationwide with policymakers, the media, and the community.”
Talk With Me Baby
According to Liza McFadden, President and CEO of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, “there’s never been a better time to shine a light on literacy!”
The Foundation is celebrating AEFL Week to announce a new partnership – Talk With Me Baby:
We know healthy food helps babies grow healthy bodies. But to grow a healthy brain, babies need more! They need to hear lots of healthy, loving words.
Our brand-new Talk With Me Baby partnership helps to bridge that gap. This public action campaign will coach parents, caregivers, and educators on “Language Nutrition.”
Learn more about Talk With Me Baby and the other life-changing programs happening here at the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. And if you’re a new parent or grandparent, the VROOM app is filled with great tips to help you nurture your child’s growing mind. Download it today!
During this special week, I hope you will share these exciting partnerships with your family and friends. Let’s show our nation just how important literacy programs can be, and how learning to read can transform a life forever.
Northshore Technical Community College hosted a Adult Education & Family Literacy Night last Friday at their new Slidell Campus location. Kids and Adults were treated to a fun learning environment with a Louisiana Theme. Great pictures on their FaceBook Page.
Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning
Thirteen classes of ABE, ASE and ESL learners in Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning‘s six community education sites have been writing their stories and letters to the editor and to elected officials. Some of these learners will read their stories and letters at the Reading Relay in the cafe at their main location on Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 9 am to 12:30 pm. The state Director of Adult Education, Tricia Johnson, will be in attendance along with the former state Director of Adult Education, Margaret Kirkpatrick, who now serves on the Spring Institute Board of Directors. Representatives from some of their partner organizations such as the Denver Public Library and Mi Casa Resource Center will be present, as well as (hopefully) several elected officials.