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.

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.

The Florida Literacy Coalition

As I was researching many different literary options in the state of Florida, I was pleased to discover that there are numerous organizations that actively work in hopes of positively benefiting literacy.  While I was researching, I noticed at least four major organizations right from the start.  The organization that I have selected to investigate further into is The Florida Literacy Coalition. 

The Florida Literacy Coalition was established in 1985. The Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC) promotes, supports and advocates for the effective delivery of quality adult and family literacy services in the state of Florida.  As a statewide umbrella literacy organization and the host of Florida’s State Literacy Resource Center, FLC provides a range of services to support more than 300 adult education, literacy and family literacy providers throughout Florida. Special emphasis is placed on assisting community based literacy organizations with their training and program development needs.

It was very relieving to see the number of services in which are provided to the public.  They are listed as the following:

Literacy Promotion and Toll Free Literacy Hot line
FLC promotes reading and raises awareness about literacy issues in Florida. A trained referral specialist provides on call information about education programs and volunteer opportunities in communities throughout the state.
Florida Literacy ConferenceOne of Florida’s premier literacy events, this three day annual conference offers a wide range of training and networking opportunities to literacy practitioners and volunteers.
Training and Technical Assistance
FLC offers professional development opportunities which provide literacy practitioners and volunteers with tools and resources to enhance program quality. Focus areas include program management, planning, curriculum development, marketing, fundraising, board development and volunteer tutor training.
Networking and Communications
FLC promotes and facilitates information sharing, networking and collaborative programming among literacy providers through services such as moderated discussion lists, the Florida Literacy Directory and Resource Guide and targeted technical assistance in developing regional literacy coalitions.
Publications and Resources
FLC provides a wide range of free reference and outreach materials, serving as a clearinghouse for the distribution of quality resource materials for literacy instructors and administrators.
Internet Resources
In partnership with the National Institute for Literacy’s LINCS information system, the Florida Literacy Resource Center’s web site offers a portal to access the latest literacy-related research, statistics, events, curriculum materials, training resources and promising practices from Florida and around the nation.
FLC serves as an advocate for community-based literacy programs and quality literacy services statewide.

To find more about this website, or to volunteer, please visit the following website:

The Texas Reading Institute

The Texas Reading Institute was founded in 1995.  In year 2010, having 15 years of providing comprehensive reading assessment and one-on-one explicit reading therapy, applying and adding to the 35-year research program planned and funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).  The Texas Reading Institute is a great tool that residents of the greater Houston area are able to utilize to perform to their full ability. 

Although this assistance is not free, it has proven to be very beneficial.  This center helps improve the testing scores of prospective students.  It offers help on the GRD, SAT, ACT, as well as GRE MCAT and LSAT.  This type of tutoring is one on one, and is ensured to be beneficial.  This organization is fully determined to ensure that every applicant that wishes to excel further in their educational value, can do so, via The Texas Reading Institute. 

This institutee can be positively utilized in many ways, apart from the traditional help regarding the GRD, SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT, and LSAT.  This tool can also be positively utilized to improve on grammatical aspects, or to simply perfect your interviewing skills.  Suppose you are a bit rusty, and are in need of some interview tutoring in this mega competitive economy.  Well, The Texas Reading Institute would be able to help you!  

For more information on Texas Reading Institute, please visit the following website:

And to  Donate Online Any contribution to the FLN scholarship fund would help fund a scholarship for

parents who lack the means, but not the heart, to help  their child learn to read. Donate online at: https://

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Northern Nevada Literacy Council

NNLC provides English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Skills, and GED preparatory instruction for adults, 18 years of age and over, who lack a high school diploma or GED or essential basic skills to function successfully in the workplace.  Organizations like these are typically made available in every state.  The state of Nevada, however, appears to have a much more successful standpoint in the usage of the website.  The Northern Nevada Literacy Council appears to be highly developed, and has a lot of sponsors.  This statistic indicates that this organization is being utilized properly, and is benefiting many residents of the state of Nevada. 

The website for the Northern Nevada Literacy Council indicates on the website the following informative history.  NNLC’s humble beginnings are credited to a small group of Washoe County women who saw a need to teach undereducated adults how to read or speak English. In 1973, Lola Jones decided to help two Korean girls learn English. Soon, Jones’ efforts were multiplied as Esther Early, Aurora Cortez, Claire Everson, Janet Frandsen, Lou Schaffer, Kathleen Olsen, and Pat Zimmerman trained volunteers to teach using the Laubach Literacy method of "each one teach one." For nearly 20 years, these dedicated individuals and the volunteers they trained met one-on-one with adult scholars for an hour each week in quiet angles of Washoe county public library, coffee shops and book stores. Their efforts and instructional materials were funded through private donations and most often from their own pocket books. In the late 1970s, the group realized the demand for adult literacy services was growing as the County’s populace began to spiral upwards and they laid the foundation for the organization’s future.

With its new non-profit status in hand, the establishment Board of Directors applied to the Nevada Department of Education for an Adult Education grant. With this funding, the volunteers were able to purchase additional instructional materials and serve almost 50 students. However, funding from this source brought with it a new type of responsibility – the need for accountability. How was the money being used? Exactly how many students were being served? How many students were advancing academically? Amongst this added responsibility and the growing need for services, the Board of Directors documented the need for full-time oversight and employed a Policymaking Director.

A main use of this network is to indicate the use for primary language skills.  Individuals who need to improve their English literary skills turn to this organization, and it serves to be a very beneficial outcome of the state of Nevada.  This tool can be utilized in many different ways, and it is a positive feature that residents of the state of Nevada have multiple choices as to what aspect and feature they wish to utilize this website for.

For more information about the Nevada Literacy Council, please visit their website at:

The Nevada Literacy Council or the NNLC is a very beneficial factor in the success of literacy in the state of Nevada.  Each individual who uses this website can take away useful skills that will positively benefit them in the future.  Whether the skills are required to perfect the English language, to improve GED scores, or simply to obtain better interview skills; every aspect and feature of The Nevada Literacy Council is a beneficial aspect that can only benefit the future success of our nation, because literacy is an issue that will always be of great importance. 

The Washington Literacy Council

                The literary organization that I have analyzed this week is the Washington Literacy Council.  This is a beneficial organization that allows citizens to utilize if they are in need of perfecting literary skills, interview skills, or simply need assistance in improving the way they read.  Any beneficial help is useful, and it is a positive aspect that this organization is made available to residents of Washington. 
The mission of the Washington Literacy Council is to increase the literacy level of adults and children in the nation’s capital.   In order to achieve this goal,, the WLC trains helpers to use a structured reading database based on the latest research in linguistic acquisition. The requirement for its facilities is as strong nowadays as when it was originated more than 40 years ago by literacy pioneer Frank Laubach. What began as a ordinary association in a church cellar is now a small but increasing nonprofit organization in which is serving more than 200 students and 200 volunteer tutors and small class instructors.

The Washington Literary Council is committed to revolution through discovering and applying best practices for education basic literacy to adults.  Conscripting, inspiring, and recollecting the staff and volunteers who carry out this work.  Enabling our students to enhance their life involvements and influence personal developmental objectives.   Educating decision makers and hovering public awareness of literateness efforts to advantage adult learners and their children.

                Volunteering for organizations like the Washington Literacy Council is considerably the most important aspect in the success of the organization.  For example, the website states multiple ways residents can become more involved within their community and also to help the council succeed in the future.  One the website for the Washington Literacy Council, it states that volunteers are the heartbeat of our program and allow us to fulfill our mission with limited staff. Volunteers come to us from many sources in the community. Both volunteers and students find the experience fulfilling in tangible and intangible ways. One student summarized by saying, "My tutor is the teacher I wished I had in school." A volunteer explained that, "I can have the worst day at work, but after meeting with my student I feel great."  Great testimonies are often made, because nothing is more rewarding than the beneficial feeling of knowing that you helped make a positive difference, in regards to literacy, in the life of another person.

For more information on ways you can become involved with The Washington Literacy Council, or, to simply just find out more information about this organization, please visit them at their website:

There are multiple other organizations that benefit the success and determination of Literacy in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.; however, I have chosen to evaluate this organization, because of the success it has endured.  This organization started off as a simple idea in one innovator’s basement, and now has developed into a rather successful origination in which are allowing residents of the greater Washington D.C. area to succeed, day after day. 

Literacy Organizations in the State of Oregon

As I searched for literacy benefit organizations in the state of Oregon, I was surprised to discover that not many organizations are available.  The organizations are far and few and it appears as though more organizations need to be made possible in lacking states.   The area in Oregon in which I did manage to find some form of literary help council, apart from simply checking with community libraries, was the area of Portland.  The organization is called The Portland Literacy Council or, (The PLC). 

The Portland Literacy Council (PLC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to evolving and supporting adult literacy programs in the Portland, Oregon urban area. PLC events include subsidizing a yearly tutor discussion, evolving literacy coaching programs, broadcasting the Literacy Links newsletter, and supporting volunteer literacy tutors. 

Their mission is to “assist, develop, and facilitate literacy programs throughout the Portland metropolitan area. We are committed to helping provide the learning tools that are necessary to ensure that a basic education is available to everyone."    It is a known fact that adults who have not established high school diplomas are jobless at closely three times the rate of their aristocracies with high school diplomas. Statistic discovered on the State of Oregon Employment Dept.  The literacy levels of parents are vital in forecasting their youngsters' literacy levels and instructive accomplishments. Information found at the National Institute for Literacy.   It was also sticking to discover that more than 20% of adults read at or underneath a fifth-grade level, which averts them from becoming employed at jobs with a living wage, encumbers their ability to vote, and obstructs their aptitude to read a newspaper. Information found at the National Institute for Literacy.

It is beneficial, however, that this organization is partnered with multiple other community connections that can better market and develop the success of this organization.  Some of the organizations that they are partnered with are The Children's Book Bank,  Center for Intercultural Organizing  Portland Community College - Adult Basic Skills  Mount Hood Community College - Adult Basic Skills and also the Learner Web Project.  To find more about these projects and beneficial help that can be offered, please visit any of these websites, or The Portland Literacy Council at 

If interested in volunteering, it is beneficial to know that annually the Portland Literacy Council guarantors the Volunteer Literacy Tutor Conference with the goalmouth of conveying together literacy instructors and tutors to interchange ideas, progress new teaching plans, and hone training skills. Instructive performances and knowledge workshops address the requirements of both GED and ESL tutors and scholars.

It appears from this information that the state of Oregon is in need of more literacy programs; as well as many other states.  It is our nation’s responsibility to ensure that the appropriate tools are made available for each individual to have to opportunity to succeed to their full potential.  The start of success stems from the ability to succeed within the appreciation of literacy. 

California Literacy Network

Literacy education is a dynamic part of any society's educational desires and goals. Everywhere around the world, many individuals cannot read or write a single sentence making the illiteracy rate surprising to some. Typically, in most industrialized nations, the literacy rate of individuals over the age of fifteen, is 90 percent or above. However, the definition of literacy can be quite misleading. It has been estimated that while 99% of persons over the age of fifteen in the United States are able to write their names, and read some words, certain studies have estimated that 40 to 50% of adults are functionally illiterate.

The phrase functionally illiterate describes those persons over the age of fifteen who are unable to read well enough to read a daily newspaper and comprehend it, or to read well enough to understand a simple contract, or a basic letter concerning their children's school needs, or the pamphlets that are enclosed with prescription drugs that explain side effects and precautions.

Certainly, this illiteracy makes it very hard for a person to hold a well-paying job, or to care for a family member, and is a contributing factor to poverty. Other studies have demonstrated that the functional illiteracy rates in the United States are not as high as 40 to 50 percent across the population, but the studies do acknowledges that in certain impoverished regions of the country, as many as one-third of the residents are functionally illiterate.

Even if the statistical rates of functional literacy may vary from one study to another, it is still apparent that a high number of adults in this country are poor readers. This has tremendous implications for employers and social service programs. Employers need to have an educated workforce to perform well in various jobs that bring revenue to a community. People who cannot read well enough to have a good job are more likely to need social services assistance, which costs taxpayers more money. Therefore, it is important that literacy education be promoted as a highly important need for all communities. Literacy education needs to begin from early childhood, with parents spending time talking to and reading to even the youngest of children. Additionally, early learning programs are a vital part of literacy education for young children to prepare them to read once school begins. In addition to a literacy program, other programs such as early identification of those with learning disorders are also critical for children to get the help that they need before they fall too far behind in reading.

For more information on the information above, please visit the website

The California Literacy Network, or Literacy Education-Teaching Literacy, is again fully dedicated to ensuring that the citizens of California are educated to their full ability to become more and more educated on the importance of literacy. The number of individuals who are illiterate will continue to rise, unless further action is taken in order to dissolve this problem.  This problem can be considered an epidemic, and our society cannot afford to take on the challenge of an uneducated society. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Literacy Network

On my search to find more positive organizations and institutions in which provide beneficial help to those individuals in need of improving their literarily skills, I discovered the organization The Literacy Network.  It is relieving to witness first hand a greater deal of organizations becoming available as time increases, because, as time increases, the need for positive organizations to positively benefit the outcome of literacy will be needed even more. 

The Literacy Network teaches reading, writing and speaking skills to Dane County adults and families so they can achieve financial independence, good health and greater involvement in community life. This organization’s vision statement is to ensure that every person in Dane County will have the literacy skills needed to independently pursue their life goals, support their family and be active in their community. Individuals apart of this organization emphasize heavily that Learner persistence requires encouragement from dedicated volunteers and staff.

This organization battles for success by having highly prepared, responsive and culturally competent staff and volunteers ensure high-quality outcomes. This organization also has tailored personal approaches to education encourage learners as they pursue individual goals.  Through teamwork, the literacy network achieves by working together, valuing everyone's contributions and clearly communicating.

A little history about this organization: The Literacy Network was founded in 1974 as a non-profit organization; Literacy Network has been a United Way Agency since 1979. Literacy Network is also a member of Wisconsin Literacy.

The Literacy Network strives to provide learner-centered literacy services to Dane County adults through one-to-one tutoring of reading, writing, and English speaking skills. We also offer ESL classes to the community. All programs apart of this feature are free of charge.  Every year, The Literacy Network learners achieve life goals through literacy, such as reading a newspaper, reading to their children, understanding direction, developing resume skills to battle for economic success, improving basic skills to earn a GED or get a better job, or even from a task like communicating with their child’s teacher.  All tasks are equally as important as the next in their own way, and any beneficial learning that can be taken away from this site is worthwhile to succeed. 

For more information about this organization, please visit

This website appears to be another positive tool apart of the process of improving our nation’s literacy skills, one small step at a time.  Volunteers are needed now, more than ever, and any assistance to better our society is appreciated.  Literacy will forever be a feature that is highly valued in our society, and it is essential that everyone a part of our society is properly educated in terms of the adequate amount of education.  With proper literacy skills, it makes individuals more confident, and more able to battle for educational and long-term success. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Ohio Literacy Network

The lack of literacy knowledge has proven itself to be rather detrimental to our society.  So, how can this issue become corrected?  Through this chain of postings, my goal is to investigate deeper into possible advocacy sites, as well as develop collaborative opinions.  Also, more importantly to share stories that will sufficiently support my thesis.  After all, the importance of literacy is an issue that impacts each one of us; but impacts our society even more.

This week, I researched The Ohio Literacy Network.  The OLN was developed to build Ohio’s workforce by strengthening adult and family literacy education.  The OLN accomplishes this by connecting learners, educators and volunteers to a wide variety of educational resources. Depending on if the individual is seeking to develop stronger workplace skills, enhance their ability to perform higher on the GED exam, or simply just assist your children with their homework; on the Ohio Literacy Network there is help and assistance available for everyone. If anyone is interested in learning more about The Ohio Literacy Network, or is interested in volunteer work, more information can be found at:

            In today's society, there are many individuals who feel scared to seek the extra help, or given the current economic state, perhaps cannot afford to pursue the assistance.  The Ohio Literacy Network serves as a common ground where individuals can not only afford the help, they can feel comfortable seeking the help in an inviting atmosphere. 

For a couple of years now, I have become very involved with the advocacy of the encouragement of elementary school reading.  It is very essential that children develop the love of reading at a young age.  When children discover their love of reading at a young age, limitless opportunities are made visible, and success is enabled.  The OLN serves as an advocate as well for the encouragement of young readers, and the advocacy of literacy in general.  The OLN is a beneficial tool for advocates and educators to utilize to insure that children become educated about the importance of reading at a young age.  The knowledge of the importance of reading develops when a child discovers their love for books. 

The value of reading seems to be a topic most of our society is innocently and obliviously ungrateful about.  Even I, must admit, that I paid little attention to the privilege that I can read, until I stumbled upon this statistic.  42 million American adults can't read at all; 50 million are unable to read at a higher level that is expected of a fourth or fifth grader.”  (The Education Portal). 

From this statistic, it appears that the improvement needs to begin within the classroom.  If more attention was shown to grade-schoolers, perhaps this statistic would significantly decrease.  The hard work does not stop at the end of grade school, though.  Middle school and high school students also need special attention to ensure this problem decrease.  So, the question is, how exactly do schools ensure that this problem can be eliminated?