Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reflecting

My interest of Literacy is fully dedicated to developing strong leaders through the path of literacy.  Through reading, adolescents are presented the opportunity to truly discover themselves, and also to empower themselves. When adolescents discover their love for reading at an early age, limitless opportunities are made possible, and the possibilities are endless.  I am fully determined to promote awareness of the many positive futures that can be made possible through reading.
The promotion of the awareness of literacy is a cause that is extremely close to both my family and I.  I have already had the opportunity to positively promote my platform in an effective way.  I have had the advantage of volunteering as a reading tutor at my church, as well as my community libraries.  Having the opportunity to see the success on these children’s faces makes my platform more than worthwhile.  I have also had the privilege of holding several benefit fundraising dinners at some my local restaurants.  I was very pleased with the outcomes, and all proceeds were donated to The Ohio Literacy Network.
Every person should have the opportunity to discover themselves and to strive for a positive future, and the root of this success stems from literacy.  Anything can be made possible through the success of literacy, and if more awareness is made possible, it will only continue to benefit our society.  The encouragement towards literacy will never stop because the success of literacy is a cause that will forever be essential to the achievements of our nation.   It gives me great joy in knowing of all of the positive futures that can be made possible when our society lends a hand towards literacy. 
Through these postings... I have presented multiple literary help sites, and my hope is that many people will find positive use out of them!

What I've Done

Through my interest in the success of Literacy, I have had the opportunity to volunteer, raise money, and more importantly, raise awareness.  I have had the privilege of volunteering at my community libraries where I serve as a reading tutor.  My duty at the libraries is to teach one child at a time, how to read.  It is beyond rewarding to see the amount of progress that each child makes, and also to see the pride in their eyes.  If I am not assisting a child on improving their reading skills, I am listening to a child express their passion and excitement for reading.  I have also held several benefit fundraising dinners at my local Applebee’s restaurants.  Applebee’s has been extremely accommodating and understanding of my passion to raise awareness of the importance of reading, and also to raise funds for the Ohio Literacy Network.  These fundraising dinners are a great way of my community being actively involved in a great cause, while at the same time, enjoying a great dinner with great company.  Applebee’s has donated 15% of every check from every table which presented a “Learning through Literacy” flyer.  I am very proud of the amount of funds that I have raised, and all proceeds were delivered to benefit The Ohio Literacy Network.  These fundraisers were extremely successful, and I strive to have many more in the future.   I have also held other smaller fundraisers to benefit The Ohio Literacy Network.  I have set up games in my local libraries.  For example, I have set up a poster board filled with riddles, and each guess at the riddle is one quarter, or donation.  When a person gives one quarter, they are given the answer.  If their guess to the riddle was correct, they get a lollipop.  Either outcome, they walk away with the satisfaction that they have just benefited a great cause.  I have also held a contest through my library that raised awareness to the importance of reading.  I am very pleased to say that this contest has actively engaged the kids of my community.  Since I absolutely believe that strong leaders develop from active readers, I held a contest, along with an incentive, that encouraged the kids of my community to get involved!  The flyer stated “Do YOU want to win a Chipotle Gift Card?”  The contest rules were that these kids had to write a short essay on how the person they are today today, and their goals today are inspired by a book they have read in the past.  The amount of contestants was very impressive, and this contest was extremely successful.   I feel privileged to have the opportunity to raise funds, and also to raise awareness of the importance of reading.  I will continue to positively benefit this cause that is so close to my heart, as well as the hearts of all Americans. 

QUIZ: A list of some fun stuff to test what kind of reader YOU are!

ALTHOUGH THESE QUIZZES ARE NOT NECESSARILY ACCURATE, THEY ARE FUN!
The results are meant to be fun and an interactive way in which you can read and engage your personal aspects at the same time!


Readers come in many stripes; some of us place more importance on our reading than others, and some of us are a lot more literate than others. But are you really more literate than average, or just more of a snob about your reading?
This quiz will tell you how you rank compared to other readers - are you more obsessive than the rest, or are you just faking it? Or maybe you're only just able to read well enough to take this quiz??



This next quiz will ask you questions on how many books you read, what kind of books you like, and how often you read. 



Please be cautious of the "spam" ads that might pop up during these quizzes!!!

=)

Exploring the topic...

I became interested in finding out real world information on the extremity of this topic.  I decided to investigate the site "Yahoo Answers" 

This is a site where individuals anonymously or openly post questions in which they have on a certain topic. 

The topic that i searched was "Literacy"  in the open search bar on "search yahoo questions"

Of the first search I executed with simply the word LITERACY I found some of the following proposed questions within the last year:

How can I become a literacy tutor?

How can I become more informed on literacy programs in my area?

Is it important to be well educated in reading skills -literacy

How can I better improve my English skills?

How can I get affordable help on my literacy skills?


From the looks of these questions, i would assume that the need for more information on literacy skills is essential, and more people do want to find out way in which they can be helped.

Want to Volunteer?!

Have you always wanted to find out ways how you can help benefit your community and the literacy skills of your community?  Do you feel that if more people were taught the fundamentals of literacy, that our nation would be a more successful place?  There is a place that I discovered that allows young adults and adults to volunteer locally around in their neighborhood.

Over the summer, I volunteered at my local library as a reading tutor.  I found that this experience was beyond rewarding and really benefited my community in a positive way.  The number of children that i have tutored and the number of success stories was a reward in so many ways.  Looking towards the future, I know that if programs like this are continued, it will only serve to improve the knowledge rate and success rate of our nation.

No matter if you live in California, Ohio or Florida, all across the nation volunteers are coming together in efforts to benefit the literary success rate.

For more information on how YOU can volunteer in your community, please visit the following website:
http://www.literacydirectory.org/?op=ld&mode=volunteers



Looking to Literacy Beyond the Border

The Literacy Network Northeast (LNN) is one of 16 regional literacy networks in Ontario funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. This organization is based in Timmins, the Network serves eleven network communities from Wawa in the west to Temiskaming Shores in the east.

The Literacy Network Northeast, or the LNN, works very closely with government-funded Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) Agencies that deliver free upgrading opportunities for adults who are of the three requirements:
  • 19 years old or over
  • Out of school
  • Want to upgrade their essential skills for employment, further education or independence

They pride themselves on following through with the true definition of literacy.  Everyone deserves a fair chance at succeeding in their education, and no one should be left behind.  


For more information on this oranization, or how YOU could get more involved... please visit the following website for more details:


So a question,
Do you think better literacy efforts are made in other countrys other than the united states?  If so, why?
Literacy is the ability to recognize, acquire and apply knowledge. It constitutes the wide range of skills necessary for improving one's quality of life.

 
Literacy is the ability to recognize, acquire and apply knowledge. It constitutes the wide range of skills necessary for improving one's quality of life.





Monday, November 29, 2010

Some FUN Stuff

I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
A poem by Dr.  Seuss

I can read in red. I can read in blue.
I can read in pickle color too.
I can read in bed, and in purple. and in brown.
I can read in a circle and upside down!
I can read with my left eye. I can read with my right.
I can read Mississippi with my eyes shut tight!

There are so many things you can learn about.
But…you'll miss the best things
If you keep your eyes shut.
The more that you read, the more things you will know
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

Words
A poem by Grandpa Tucker
There are some words so hard to read.
Some confuse like bead and seed.
Do you know of go and dough?
There's sew and sow, then there's so!

Sometimes a word is hard to spell.
But it's important for show and tell.
So work real hard to spell and read 'em.
'Cause all your life you'll really need 'em.

A mother's love, a sunny day,
A frisky puppy hard at play.
Words can chase the clouds away.
Without our words, what would we say?

If you read with your eyes shut you're likely to find
That the place where you're going is far, far behind
SO…that's why I tell you to keep your eyes wide.
Keep them wide open…at least on one side.

Independent Strategies
A poem by Jill Marie Warner

When I get stuck on a word in a book,
There are lots of things I can do.
I can do them all, please, by myself;
I don't need help from you.
I can look at the picture to get a hint.
Or think what the story's about.
I can "get my mouth ready" to say the first letter.
A kind of "sounding out".
I can chop up the words into smaller parts,
Like on or ing or ly,
Or find smaller words in compound words
Like raincoat and bumblebee.
I can think of a word that makes sense in that place,
Guess or say "blank" and read on
Until the sentence has reached its end,
Then go back and try these on:
"Does it make sense?"
"Can we say it that way?"
"Does it look right to me?"
Chances are the right word will pop out like the sun
In my own mind, can't you see?
If I've thought of and tried out most of these things
And I still do not know what to do,
Then I may turn around and ask
For some help to get me through.

A Teacher's Poem

I came across this post on my friend's facebook page.  I think it is incredibly inspiring.
Enjoy, =)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"I mean, you're a teacher, Taylor" he says.
"Be honest. What do you make?"
And I wish he hadn't done that...
(asked me to be honest)
because, you see, I have a policy
about honesty and ass-kicking:
if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.
I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won't I let you get a drink of water?
Because you're not thirsty, you're bored, that's why.
I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
I hope I haven't called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.
Billy said, "Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don't you?"
And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.
I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write, write, write.
And then I make them read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely
beautiful
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math.
And hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this (the finger).
Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a goddamn difference! What about you?

Literacy Center Education Network - Play & Learn English

The Literacy Center Education Network is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with a mission to deliver free, professionally-designed, education material to preschool-age children. Utilizing the power of the Internet, we distribute education material directly to children in their homes, libraries, and schools.
In 2009, the LiteracyCenter.Net had more than 30 million page views from children in 220 countries.
Going Green
Having a centralized repository for education material is not only the most cost-effective solution, it is also better for the planet. We have discovered that printing books in one country, and then flying them around the globe for use in other countries, burns through natural resources. We believe there must be a better way.

It is thier vision that every young child will have free and equal access to culturally appropriate education material. Their goal is to see the world through the eyes of the children we serve and to build educational games, simulations, and visualizations that are not only fun but also effective. Ultimately, they dream of a world where every child is able to read.

One hundred years ago, children learned to read with one book. Today, they are exposed to a dizzying array of objects, toys, and games that purport to be educational. The only thing these products have in common is that they are confusing. They have made simple task of learning more difficult for children.

At the LiteracyCenter.Net, they believe that learning to read in a first language should be as natural as learning to speak. All research at the Literacy Center begins with parents and teachers because no one knows better what children need than those who love them and teach them.

The usability experts collect feedback and work with our design team in the implementation of every online lesson. The system offers alphabets, numbers, and words in clear and concise formats. We limit the learning environment so children can clearly see what it is that they are expected to learn. Our lessons allow children to have fun, concentrate, and remember.

They suggest that parents and teachers teach first language skills, first. Then, using precisely the same method, introduce a second or other language. This unique methodology helps children learn second or other languages even as they are learning to read.

For more information about this organization, please visit



A List of Inspirational Quotes

Unfortunately, the elimination of incentives such as parole, good time credits and funding for college courses, means that fewer inmates participate in and excel in literacy, education, treatment and other development programs.

It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.

The connection between reading speed and comprehension; a film is made up of still images flashed in rapid succession to simulate movement. Slow down the film, and the movement and meaning slows and the film's impact is diminished. Viewers won't learn as much about the film as if it were shown at normal speed. With reading the same thing can happen. When a person reads word by word, like frame by frame, they are not reading on the level of ideas. You need to read on some level that's more conversational and allows things to coalesce into ideas themselves.

Is it possible that literacy standards are falling because young Australians are growing up in a culture in which they can be entertained and informed, and in which they can communicate effectively, without having to master any but the most rudimentary literacy skills?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Disney and Reading

                            Disney is another multimillion dollar cooperation in which strongly encourages the success of literacy among our nation.  As everyone knows, Disney strongly represents family, friendship, and happiness.  It almost seems expected that Disney would jump on the bandwagon and positively promote the success of literacy among our nation. 

Disney recently started a program called Disney Hand, Reading Together.  Reading Together is an initiative of The Walt Disney Company aimed at helping parents and caregivers learn more about reading to children in ways that are both fun and engaging. The program launched this summer in conjunction with the nonprofit First Book National Book Bank.


Disney's partner in this determination is First Book, which is a national nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. As part of its commitment to First Book, The Walt Disney Company will be donating one million books this year to the First Book National Book Bank, to be distributed to children in need.
Disney is also making a positive difference through their reading program across the globe.


  In Hong Kong,  The "DisneyHand Storytelling Session," jointly organized by DisneyHand and Hong Kong Public Libraries, encourages young children to discover the joy of reading through fun-filled games and interactive Disney stories. Over 400 children ages 4-6 have shared in this experience with Disney VoluntEAR storytellers. Michelle Kwan, an official spokesperson of The Walt Disney Company, attended one of the sessions as a special guest VoluntEAR. While there she read classic Disney stories and played games with the children attending the session.


                In England, Fabrice Senac, finance analyst for the Walt Disney Internet Group Europe Middle East and Africa, tutors to a young pupil at St. Paul's Primary School. During lunchtime, once a week and throughout the school year, 25 Disney VoluntEARS tutor reading at St. Paul's and Flora Gardens Primary Schools in Hammersmith, London.


At the heart of the Reading Together program is the belief that reading together can be one of the great joys of family life and can also help a child learn and grow. Setting aside quiet time for reading together gives parents, caregivers and their children a chance to connect. Reading together gives children exposure to stimulating new ideas, encourages their curiosity and imagination, and supports children as they learn to read and to write.
For more information about the Disney Hand, Reading Together Project, please visit the website provided below:


World Book Day

World Book Day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe. The origins of the day we now celebrate in the UK and Ireland come from Catalonia, where roses and books were given as gifts to loved ones on St. George’s Day – a tradition started over 90 years ago. For international information about World Book Day, please visit the website provided at the
World Book Day 2011 in the UK and Ireland will take place on Thursday 3rd March. Please note that this date applies to the UK and Ireland only. The initiative is so well established in schools here that we want to make sure that the Day happens in term time to really make the most of this opportunity to celebrate books and reading. Most other countries hold World Book Day on 23rd April every year.
World Book Day is a partnership of publishers, booksellers and interested parties who work together to promote books and reading for the personal enrichment and enjoyment of all.
A main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. To support this aim, a Schools’ Pack full of ideas and activities, display material and more information about how to get involved in World Book Day will be mailed to schools (including those secondary schools that have specially registered to participate) from mid-January 2011. Most of the traditional pack material will migrate online in 2011 – please register to access the new World Book Day Portal, (link) which will be ready for use in January 2011. Registered pre-schools will also receive material around the same time. In the Events section you can see the range of activities and events organised by thousands of people around the country, many of which you can attend. Over the years our activity has been extended to cover both avid and emergent adult readers. Quick reads are great stories from great writers and are great entertainment.


                            Thanks to the generosity  of The National Book Tokens Ltd and numerous participating booksellers, school children are entitled to receive a World Book Day Pound Book Token (or equivalent €1.50 Book Token in Ireland). The Book Token can be exchanged for one of the six specially published World Book Day £1 Books (where stocked and while stocks last), or is redeemable against any book or audiobook of their choice at a participating bookshop or book club (terms and conditions apply).
                            For more information about World Book Day please visit the website provided below:

Book Clubs for Nickelodeon

                While being 20 years old, and still watching nickelodeon, I stumbled upon something very interesting.  The channel nickelodeon encourages reading and the promotion of literacy by encouraging and motivating its viewers to become actively engaged in reading.  One of the ways that kids can become actively involved in reading is by starting a book club.  This type of book club is promoted and geared mostly towards middle school students as well as high school students.  Nick also encouraged exercising, and they have a worldwide day of play, a couple times a year.   Aside from that, nickelodeon heavily encourages that promotion of reading in schools.
                Their technique is very clever in their approach to encourage reading groups among our youth society.  In a way, their approach is similar to marketing, and what advertisers do in order to sell a product.  Nickelodeon’s product, however, is the encouragement of reading.  They have the most popular actress on the channel of nickelodeon as a spokesperson, encouraging reading and literacy among our youth.  This way, if kids think she’s doing it, they’ll want to do it too.  Maybe reading will be viewed as being “cool” because even celebrities are into reading groups and book clubs at their high schools.  This way might not be the most honest way, but if it works, and is not harmful, it proves itself to be a great alternative!
                As I further explored their website, it’s very interactive and engaging for teens to participate in.  It states that “you are in control of your education” and “it’s up to you to make a difference” this is a part of Nickelodeon’s BIG HELP.  Its small steps determined to change the outcome of our society, one small step at a time. 
                On this website you can find interactive avatars, games, prizes, ways to get involved, ways to contact your school in hopes of getting involved, and also what you could win when you succeed in your book club.  There are beneficial incentives for teens to strive for, as well as the lingering message that the book club can ultimately lead to the success of their own education. 
                            For more information on this great and engaging activity, please visit

No Color Lines Global

No Color Lines Global
Over the summer, I volunteered at an organization called No Color Lines Global, or NCLG.  This organization is a great way to actively engage kids in the neighborhood with extracurricular activities as well as teach them marketable and practical skills about life.  The mission of No Color Lines Global is to serve the needs of the community, by applying basic and fundamental strategies, in which emphasize the importance of education, promoting cultural diversity, and teaching marketable skills.  The purpose of this organization is to teach pre-teens and teenagers to have positive attitudes and self-worthiness which will motivate him/her to be a part of building stronger communities while making contributions to their families, schools, government, and religious-institutions.
Over the summer, I volunteered with the kids, and was able to assist in any way possible.  I had the opportunity to watch the play that these kids thought of, wrote, and produced.  It was amazing to see the work and accomplishments that these kids made, especially because the kids range from 12-18.  That is a considerably young age, to me, and for them to accomplish this success was truly remarkable to see. 
The play was called “They Came to Dance” and it was about a timeline of generations, set back in the early 50’s.  The play was considerably intellectual and was a great play.  Seeing actions like this is proof that children value education and literacy, and more programs such as this program needs to be enforced to improve our children’s education.
No Color Lines Global is a non-profit organization that works with teens and pre-teens to help them establish practical life skills, a sense of self-worth, confidence, and a positive outlook on life.   To do that, we meet them where they are, and help to take them where they want to go in life. By incorporating dynamic programs in education, mentoring, tutoring, business skills, social intelligence, and emotional maturity, NCLG will create stronger communities and, in turn, help society as a whole by creating youths who can be productive contributors and leaders in society. No Color Lines Global offer and create supplemental opportunities in communities, schools, or churches where programs already exist.  No Color Lines Global’s philosophy is that the key ingredients of effective programs include fostering emotional skills, identifying, assessing, and managing feelings, teaching humility, a positive attitude toward life, self-awareness, and accountability of personal decision making. By selecting people of high character to assemble and facilitate the programs with the above components, No Color Lines Global feels that our youth will model this paradigm and build their character.

For more information, please visit:
www.nocolorlinesglobal.org

Sunday, October 24, 2010

...National Center of Family Literacy Success Stories...

Nora Sandoval
Nora Sandoval is a student speaker at the 2010 National Conference on Family Literacy in San Antonio, is originally from the Guanajuato region of Mexico. In April 2010, she had lived in Arkansas for nine years and was a student of the Toyota Family Literacy Program in Springdale, Arkansas. Nora and her husband, Ricardo, have four beautiful daughters: Maria (12), Abril (11), Thalia (5) and Cristal (3).
In 2009, Nora and her family were featured in PARADE magazine. Their story, as captured in this national magazine, served as testimony to the tremendous impact the Toyota Family Literacy Program and the National Center for Family Literacy has had on all their lives.

Sarah Wunderlich
In April 2010, Sarah Wunderlich was studying at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to become a high school history teacher. She planned to return home after graduation in December to the Oneida Reservation to work with the youth in her community. Central in her life are the lessons, values and the identity she has been given as a woman of the On^yote’aka — the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. In the longhouse of her people, she is known as Kaluh’yako — She Takes the Clouds From the Sky. Sarah passes on the knowledge and culture of her nation as she raises her 8-year-old niece, Leida.
Leida Rodriguez is called Yenikhulhaka’ nyese (She Persuades Them) in the Longhouse of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. In April 2010, she was 8 years old and going into the third grade at Hartford University Elementary in Milwaukee. In the summer of 2010, Leida planned to be involved in the Southeastern Oneida Tribal Services Kids Club, where the kids learn about their cultures through stories. She loves traveling, drawing, reading, spending time with her family and attending traditional ceremonies. She is learning her native Oneida language. She is musically inclined, had been playing the piano for a year and had started taking guitar lessons.
A natural communicator, Leida likes to teach kids her own age about her native culture through storytelling and dance and periodically makes cultural public presentations in the Milwaukee area schools. Leida is energetic, outgoing and friendly with people of all ages. She respects and cares for the people in her life and for those that she meets along the way. When Leida grows up, she would like to be an actress. If that does not happen, then she would like to help all of the creator’s little animals and be a veterinarian.

Visit:
For the information provided above.

The National Center of Family Literacy

Literacy is at the source of an individual’s ability to flourish, and the family is at the heart.
More information about The National Center of Family Literacy is provided below.  This is a great organization that provides the opportunity for educational grown for each family and each household.
The National Center for Family Literacy, and since 1989, The National Center for Family Literacy has assisted more than 1 million families make educational and economic progress by pioneering – and continuously improving – family literacy programs.

The National Center for Family Literacy’s emphasis is on family literacy for a simple reason – study after education shows that family, home and community are the true drivers of a child’s schooling.
The National Center for Family Literacy considers children’s reading scores improve melodramatically when their parents are complicated in serving them acquire the skills to read.  They also consider small domestic revenue and a mother’s lack of instruction are the two biggest risk factors that hamper a child’s early learning and development.

Literacy is indispensable to achievement in today’s economy, now more than ever. The family literacy approach harnesses the strength of parent-child bonds to help those who are most at risk of failing economically, expressively and informally. We build achievement by consolidation their confidence, increasing their aptitude and broadening their outlook. The results have an influence on a individual level as well as a nationwide one.
Both national media and academic experts all recognize and support NCFL’s work. As significant, the provision of an additional number more than 150,000 educators and thousands of volunteers help us build relationships that support learning, from teacher to student and, most prominently, from parent to child.
It is The National Center for Family Literacy’s goals to not only provide every household with the occasion to learn, but the aptitude to study and produce together. Household literacy safeguards the cycle of knowledge and development permits from generation to generation.
For more information about this organization, The National Center for Family Literacy, please visit the website provided below:

Volunteering at the Community Center for GED proficiency

My basic job while volunteering at the community center

·         Assist with reading and writing
·         Grading proficiency scores
·         Test tutoring
While I was volunteering at the community center, it was a very useful experience, however, I was extremely shocked at the number of adults who have dropped out of high school, and have below level literary skills.  On a Thursday evening, there were about 30 individuals in which needed tutoring assistance to receive positive scores on their GED.  As I would come back week after week, I would notice an increasingly new number of individuals in which would show up. 

It is great that these individuals are eager to get assistance in order to receive a positive score on their GED, and in turn, be able to receive their GED.  It worried me, however, why these individuals decided to discontinue their education in the first place. 

Most individuals reasoning for dropping out of high school is because of a high school pregnancy, or simply because the work becomes too difficult for them to accomplish without hesitation.  However, there are many groups that are available in many schools in which help students succeed in their education.  Often times, however, students do not take advantage of these groups or assistance programs. 

My suggestions to correct this problem would be to have all guidance counselors monitor every student’s grades.  Supposing the student is falling below a B- average, the student will need to have special attention paid to them, and also have more tutoring available in the classrooms.  This would eliminate the struggle for students dropping out of high school simply because they cannot excel in their studies. 
I understand that all problems cannot be eliminated overnight; however, any positive start is a significant improvement in my eyes.  The hard work does not stop anytime soon. Special attention needs to be paid to students that are struggling, to insure that the high school dropout rate decreases quickly.

Research with Extracurricular Activities

Excessive research has shown a high correlated connection between the level of students dropping out of high school, and the areas with high poverty.  Schools in which have high poverty rates, tend not to offer any extracurricular activities, and often times leads to an extremely high dropout rate within the school systems. 

 It also appears that when extracurricular activities are enforced, students become involved in school, and in turn become involved with their grades.  Sometimes, students are not A students in school, and might by C students, but when they’re involved with extracurricular activities, it gives them the motivation to complete their education, and to even excel further. 
In areas with high poverty, some community programs should be made available, since often times, schools cut funding to extracurricular programs, causing the dropout rate to skyrocket.   Extracurricular activities are essential factors to high schools, and are often partly the reason why some students vote in favor of completing their education. 

Extracurricular activities can range from the football team, cheerleading squad, basketball team, soccer team, debate club, key club, and even choir and band.  All of these extracurricular activities are extremely diverse; however, they all play a very essential factor in the success of a city’s educational system.  Having this information, I think everyone can agree that extracurricular activities can only positively benefit the success of a school. 



Volunteering as a Reading Tutor

                At my public library, I volunteered over the summer as a reading tutor. 
My basic job was to:
·         Teach children how to form sentences
·         Listen to children read
·         Read to children
While I volunteered here, it was so inspiring to see the improvements of children as the day progressed.  At first, the little girl I was helping learn how to perfect her reading skills was quite frustrated; as I would be, too.  I noticed that after about 15 to 20 minutes, she began to gradually catch on. Although the book was not a difficult book, she still was making drastic improvements.  The little girl was only around 6 years old, and the book she was reading appeared to be very difficult to overcome, for her. 
                As we were reading this book, she became a little hesitant because it would take her quite a bit of time to sound out certain words, and to say the sentences fluently, with confidence.  I would simply tell her to try her best, and before she knew it, it would appear easier and easier to her.  And I was right. 
                By the end of our hour session, she was reading the book more fluently than before, and her sentences became more and more structured.  She was so proud to see her improvements, and her capability of success within herself.  She knew that she overcame a very difficult task within herself, and she was so proud of herself.  It made me feel really good to know that I had the ability to help make her succeed at something.
                At the end of the day, she ran to her mom, and was so excited that she was able to read a book that she wasn’t able to read, well, an hour prior.  Although she could not read the book perfectly, it was a significant improvement than before.  Working to help her improve her literary skills, and to potentially succeed significantly in school was very rewarding.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Illinois Literacy Foundation

The Illinois Literacy Foundation is an organization that allows assistance to be made available to those individuals who are seeking assistance in improving their literary skills, or just simply to perfect their interviewing skills or testing scores.
The Illinois Literacy Foundation is fully devoted to better educating the state of Illinois.  The various techniques as well as the mission statement and a brief history of The Illinois Literacy Foundation are listed below.  An overall assessment of the foundation, as well as some interesting facts are listed in addition to the history and mission statement.
The Illinois Literacy Foundation is a not-for-profit Foundation created in 1992 by the Office of the Secretary of State in accordance with Section 10 of the State Agency Entity Creation Act. This current Board was appointed in 1999 by the Secretary of State and is comprised of 11 members. The purposes of the Foundation are to promote literacy among the residents of the State of Illinois by supporting literacy catalogs and attractive statewide learning awareness; to make grants and gifts in aid and support of the goal; and to engage generally in other lawful endeavors reliable with the foregoing purposes. These purposes are reflected in its mission statement. Funds composed by the Foundation shall be considered private funds and shall be held in a suitable account outside of the State Treasury. Bi-annual audits are completed by the Office of the Auditor General of the State of Illinois and reported to the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission, the Governor and members of the General Assembly. In 2002, The Foundation Board and DePaul University co-sponsored a statewide Literacy Symposium. In adding, the Board has partnered with BORDERS Super Store annually to promote the Annual Literacy Donation Program, which benefits local literacy programs.
This program is only benefiting the success of the state of Illinois.  Most every state has a literacy network in which benefits the educational success of each state standards, however, the degree of quality is quite different from state to state.
For more information on The Illinois Literacy Foundation, or to find out more information on how to volunteer, please visit the following website below:


The Northwest Indiana Literacy Coalition

The Northwest Indiana Literacy Coalition is a beneficial organization that allows members to receive help in perfecting their literary skills, or to simply perfect their interview skills and or scores on tests.  There is, however, a small fee that encompasses this membership fee.  The fee, pays for the help to be made possible, in addition, there are also as many volunteers requested as possible.  A little more information about The Northwest Indiana Literacy Coalition is listed below.

The Northwest Indiana Literacy Coalition is a means for individuals, organizations, industries, and governmental agencies to connect with providers of basic skills services. The Coalition is an issue driven group. The Coalition is only involved with literacy and literacy related issues. We promote public awareness, cooperative partnerships, evidence sharing and transfers between literacy packages and societies.

The Northwest Indiana Literacy Coalition’s connotation is comprehensive: Any individual or organization may progress a member for a diffident fee. The Northwest Indiana Literacy Coalition's adherents come from Lake, LaPorte and Porter Counties. Affiliates are from diverse packages that serve diverse constituencies. Individuals representing adult education, volunteer-based programs and community-based programs serve on our Board of Directors.

The Northwest Indiana Literacy Coalition’s website gives you information on volunteer groups who will work with you to improve your English, reading, and math skills. To help you find this material, we've planned the website as follows:
The Northwest Indiana Literacy Coalition offers programs that highlights evidence on Family Literacy programs that educate parents and caregivers about the importance of reading aloud with children. GED has information on the GED (General Education Development) programs, testing requirements, and positions of test sites. Help with Reading provides material on how to get help with reading and desribes the programs offered in your area of Northwest Indiana. Help Learning English contains information on how to get help learning English as a second language and describes the programs offered in your area of Northwest Indiana. Literacy Programs Near You provides contact information on service providers and volunteer programs. This information is prearranged by county, state, and national areas. Free adult basic education, GED preparation, and English as a another philological classes can be found through Northwest Indiana.

Events spotlights two of our biggest events each year: The Executive Spelling Bee and Time Out for Reading. You can also access our calendar here. Members gives information on our affiliates, how to contribute, and how to volunteer your time. You can also contact us using the form here. Contact comprises a form for communicating the alliance as well as our mailing address.  History is a group of articles demarcation the NWILC's happenings and past.  Mission tells the story of the old man and the starfish and explains the Coalition's philosophy.

For more information on The Northwest Indiana Literacy Coalition, or to find out information on how to volunteer, please visit the website below:


The Literacy Assistance Center of New York

The state of New York offers multiple options for literary assistance.  Without a question, New York sees some of the highest school discontinuation rates in the country. Thankfully, literary assistance programs such as the Literacy Assistance Center of New York is a tool that can be utilized to help kids and adults battle for educational success.

The Literary Assistance Center of New York, or the LAC, offers help to not only just high school students.  The help this organization offers is quite wide ranged.  This organization assists Adult students who want to find free classes in reading, writing, and speaking English or information on getting their GED.  It helps Literacy instructors who want to become more effective teachers.  Program managers who want to build a stronger literacy program.  Parents who want to help their children become better learners.  Policymakers who need information from the literacy field to inform their decisions.  All New Yorkers who want to participate in building a more vibrant, prosperous community

One unique factor of The Literacy Assistance Center of New York is that they offer opportunities for professional development.  As stated below: 

The LAC offers professional development and technical assistance for literacy instructors and program managers who want to improve their practice. We serve programs for adults and adolescents that offer basic education in reading, writing, and math; English for speakers of other languages (ESOL); civics and citizenship; and GED preparation. Our professional development in family literacy focuses on programs that work with parents and children to support learning and scholastic achievement. Our health literacy initiative creates partnerships and offers training to instructors so that learners can lead healthier lives. Our instructional technology programs show instructors and program managers how to integrate distance learning, computers, and multimedia tools into instruction. Our Professional Development Center, which includes a library and a computer lab, provides a wealth of resources for literacy instruction.

They also emphasise tremendously on health literacy.  Healthy People 2010 defines health literacy as The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. These are the skills that all people need to, for instance, find their way to the right place in a hospital, fill out medical and insurance forms, and communicate with health care providers.

There is also an influential section on family literacy, as stated in the following.  The Literacy, Art and Families project is a unique collaboration between the Literacy Assistance Center and the vibrant cultural institutions of NYC. Through this project we build partnerships between literacy programs and cultural institutions to provide culturally and linguistically rich learning opportunities for children and adults. The project enjoys the support of the Altman Foundation and the Museum of Modern Art.

Overall, The Literacy Assistance Center of New York appears to be one of the most unique, and one of the most active literacy success organization that I have researched so far.  This organization is fully dedicated to the success of each individual, and it intends to do so by developing unique and unsought of characteristics to incorporate into the success of literacy.  It has proven itself to be very successful, and remains to be one of the most successful literacy success programs so far.