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An AEFL Week Opportunity

An AEFL Week Opportunity

National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week has begun!

How will you take advantage of this opportunity?

AEFL Week raises public awareness about the need for and value of adult education and family literacy. Its goal is to increase financial and societal support for access to basic education programs for U.S. adults with low literacy, numeracy, and digital skills. Advocates across the country use this opportunity to elevate adult education and family literacy nationwide with policymakers, the media, and the community.

What are some ways to participate this week?

  • Start with toolkits and other resources for planning advocacy around AEFL week
  • Customize and share NCL’s AEFL Week social media messaging for direct service providers, policy makers, and donors
  • Host an online event to raise awareness of adult education and family literacy

What about next week, next month, next spring?

AEFL Week is also a great opportunity to plan out your advocacy strategy for the next 6 months or more.

  • Who are your federal and state legislators? What are their positions on adult education, family literacy, digital equity? Plan out a schedule for when you will contact them over the next few months and what you will say.
  • What information about literacy and numeracy levels in your specific community or locale can you obtain from the PIAAC Skills Map? How can you use that information to explain the importance of adult education?
  • What information about digital access in your community can you obtain from the National Broadband Map? How can you use that information to support your points about digital literacy and digital inclusion?
  • What are some of the strengths and successes of your program and your adult learners? How can you use those to illustrate the value (and return on investment) of adult education?

This AEFL Week, take the opportunity to become a more informed, more creative, and more persistent advocate. And let us know how we can help!

National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week was established when the National Coalition for Literacy worked with Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Lamar Alexander (R-PA) and then-Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) to create a Congressionally-recognized designation that would draw attention to the importance of adult education and family literacy. Since then, NCL has sponsored AEFL Week in September each year on behalf of its members and the field as a whole, and has worked with Members of Congress to have the week recognized through resolutions in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The National Coalition for Literacy honors the memory and legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on September 18, 2020, at her home in Washington, DC.

Growing up in a low-income working class neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, and inspired by her mother, Justice Ginsburg regarded a strong education as the foundation for independent living and full participation in civic and community life. Throughout her career she remained a fierce and outspoken advocate for equality of opportunity for all, particularly women and persons of low socioeconomic status.

When asked how she would like to be remembered, Justice Ginsburg said this:

“Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has.” — to MSNBC in 2015.

The NCL and its members will long remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as someone who made things far more than “a little better.”

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Former First Lady Barbara Bush

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Former First Lady Barbara Bush

The board and members of the National Coalition for Literacy celebrate the life and legacy of former first lady Barbara Bush, and send sincere condolences to her family on the occasion of her passing, April 17, 2018.

Barbara Bush reads a book to children at the All Children’s House in New York City, February 15, 1990

A passionate advocate for literacy, Mrs Bush continually stressed the empowering nature of the ability to read and write. Through the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which she founded in 1989, she supported programs and services that increase educational opportunity for adults and children across the United States. CNN’s Natalie Johnson notes that “since 1989, the foundation has partnered with local organizations and raised more than $110 million to create and expand literacy programs across the country.”

Mrs. Bush was also an influential voice supporting passage of the National Literacy Act of 1991, which established the National Institute for Literacy and increased the federal support for adult education that had been mandated initially in the Adult Education Act of 1966. (The National Literacy Act and the Adult Education Act were replaced by the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act in 1998.)

Mrs. Bush reads “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” to students of the Ferguson-Florissant School District, Florissant, MO, accompanied by Governor John Ashcroft. 16 Oct 91.

As a powerful champion for adult literacy and family learning over many years, Barbara Bush touched and transformed the lives of countless readers, opening to them the opportunities that literacy affords. The NCL honors her achievements, her commitment, and her passion, and is proud to have collaborated with the Barbara Bush Foundation to advance the field of adult education. We are pleased to know that her work will continue through the Foundation’s initiatives.

As Mrs Bush herself noted in her Family Reading Tips, “The real point is to keep reading — as much and as often as we can.”

Visit www.barbarabushlegacy.org for information on Mrs Bush’s life and legacy and for guidelines on sharing a tribute or making a memorial gift.
Photo credits: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
The Adult Literacy Caucus Is Growing

The Adult Literacy Caucus Is Growing

Thanks to the efforts of our dedicated adult education advocates in Pennsylvania, Congressman Ryan Costello (R-PA-06) has joined the House Adult Literacy Caucus. Welcome, Representative Costello!

For more information on the Adult Literacy Caucus, visit the Caucus page on the NCL website at https://national-coalition-literacy.org/house-adult-literacy-caucus/.
If your Representative is not listed there, contact her/his staff today to promote participation in this important way of supporting adult literacy and adult education.

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