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

See: http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2016/09/transforming-lives-through-literacy-aefl-week-2016

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, 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.

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.


What’s Happening During AEFL Week 2016: Part Three

AEFL Week 2016


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 McFaddenPresident 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.

What’s happening during AEFL Week 2016: Part Two

AEFL Week 2016


Adult Education and Economic Inequality

World Education is publishing a blog series about adult education and economic inequality throughout the week. As part of it, they will also make available a free packet of selected Change Agent lessons related to the theme.

The staggering economic inequality in the United States affects adult education and adult learners directly and in multiple ways.  That is why we at World Education commemorate the Adult Education and Family Literacy Week this year by turning our focus on this topic in this blog series.

Digital Promise Webinar

Digital Promise AEFL Week Graphic

Do your adult learners struggle with reading comprehension? Do they read, reach the bottom of a paragraph, and have no idea what they’ve just read? In support of National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, our focus this month for our free webinar series is on helping adult learners develop the complex comprehension processes associated with strong reading skills. Learn from experts at Mockingbird Education specific comprehension strategies, including digital tools, that help reluctant and resistant learners deepen and develop their reading skills. Register here!

#adulted webinar Sept 28@12pmET Help adult learners improve reading comprehension. Support #AEFLWeek @digitalpromise http://bit.ly/2cln9N1

South Carolina

North Area National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

North Family Community School, The Challenge Center, is partnering with Save the Children and Reach Out and Read to hold what’s being billed as North Area National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, which began with a kick-off celebration on Saturday, Sept. 24. For more information, check out www.facebook.com/TheChallengeCenter, or e-mail sasigmon@tds.net. orstephanie.jones@yahoo.com.


Shawnee Community College and South Suburban College (SSC)

More than 1.2 million adults in Illinois lack basic literacy skills that limit their ability to advance in education and at work. Shawnee Community College and South Suburban College (SSC) are two of the more than 84 adult education providers offering programs funded through the Illinois Community College Board, ICCB. Both are recognizing AEFL Week as an opportunity to draw attention to the need for adult education.

According to the the Gazette-Democrat, “adult education provides a path from low-income jobs and limited opportunities to the middle class wages and family sustainability.”

“Nearly 90 percent of the fastest growing jobs of the future require education or training beyond high school,” said Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson, ICCB Executive Director.

“Illinois has taken the lead in creating partnerships between adult education providers and employers to ensure a seamless pathway for students to higher education and employment in high growth occupations.”

For more information about adult education programs and services at Shawnee Community College visit www.shawneecc.edu.

For more information about adult education programs and services at South Suburban College visit http://www.ssc.edu/adult-continuing-education/.

For information on adult education throughout Illinois visit https://www.iccb.org/adult_ed.

Meanwhile, Brenda Boggs, the Literacy Program Director of the Southwestern Illinois College’s Adult Education and Literacy department, is using the occasion to put out a call for Project Read volunteer tutors.

SWIC is seeking individuals, particularly in the Granite City and East St. Louis regions, willing to commit to tutoring an adult student for two hours per week on reading, writing, English language acquisition or math, based on their student’s needs.

Tutoring is a great way to contribute to the community and make a real difference in the lives of adults and families.

Tutors receive training before being matched with one or more adult learners. Once trained and matched, volunteers receive free books and materials to use for tutoring. Tutors meet students at a public location for scheduled tutoring sessions. 

For more information, visit swic.edu/literacy-volunteer

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.


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


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:


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!


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.


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


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.”