The State of Adult Literacy

The need grows. The funding shrinks.

That’s just one of the take-aways from ProLiteracy’s Annual Statistical Report for 2014-2015. Don’t let the word “statistical” in that title scare you away. View the summary here in a breezy, concise infographic format.

We’re especially proud of the positive outcomes reported for all literacy organizations, including ours. While most of our clients arrive with less than a high school education, they can and do make progress.

student infographicCraven Literacy tutoring lets our adult learners build the skills they need in their lives. Our students show learning gains, improved job-related skills, and increased involvement in children’s educational activities.

If you want to be part of this change for the better, join us starting next week on April 12 for a new tutor training workshop.

From a Student and a Tutor

Why Have a Tutor?
I have an English tutor because it has a lot of benefits. The program is free. Other English programs are very expensive but this program is very good and free. My tutor helps me to read, write, talk and understand the English language. I love having a tutor because it is private instruction or small group. For this reason I feel free to express my thoughts.

One of the benefits I like is the flexibility. It is hard to study when you have kids. For this reason our meetings are when my children are at school.

In conclusion a tutor is a new friend who helps you when you need it. Thank you to my tutor for your patience. Without you everything I achieved would not be possible.

And a note from our tutor:
She was my English student for approximately 1 1/2 years. She is married to a U.S. Marine stationed at Cherry Point. They have two young children. This was her first time living in the United States. Her native country is Puerto Rico. She made great progress learning English.

It is very rewarding to develop a tutor/student relationship and I highly encourage others to reach out and teach!

We are beginning out next new tutor training workshop in April. Click here to register or for more information.

We Are All “Learning for Life”

Here at Craven Literacy we live our tag line “Learning for Life”. Not only do we require 15 hours of training for new tutors, we offer several workshops throughout the year for current tutors. These sessions present new ideas about tutoring techniques and offer a chance for interaction among tutors. Sharing the same goals with others who may face the same challenges helps tutors to stay positive and motivated, and committed tutors make for learning success for our adult learners.

tutors at workshopOur latest workshop about test taking strategies was so well-attended that we had to offer 3 sessions. In each session our trainers demonstrated practice lesson activities and provided review study guides for student use. Review is  important even to students who may not be taking tests, so these strategies can help any student achieve his or her goals.

Visit this website to learn some creative and helpful ways to review learned material.

Calling All Tutors

Registration is now open for Craven Literacy’s new tutor training workshop beginning April 12. We have a steady stream of adults coming to our office  for help with their literacy skills. Literacy, of course, starts with reading. But today it is so much more.

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 defines literacy as “an individual’s ability to read, write, speak in English, compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual and in society.”

This broader view of literacy reflects the realities of education and work in the 21st century. As information and technology have increasingly shaped our society, the skills we need to function successfully have gone beyond reading.

The tutoring opportunities are many and varied. Please consider attending the first session of the workshop for an orientation to the clients we serve and the services they need.

Welcome, New Literacy Tutors!

Craven Literacy Council announces that 13 new tutors participated in the new tutor workshop ending on January 28, 2016. These individuals are currently being paired with a student. The next workshop begins April 12. When you see a new face in the hallway, please give them a warm welcome!

Jan 2016 tutor classPictured L-R, 1st Row: Lynda Ahmed, Maggie Nicholson, Pamela Collier, Barbara Haan, Augusta Jackson, Kathy Carter, John Sickles
2nd Row: Patrick Feury, Bernie Frank, John Shipherd, Jan Ecklund, Tim Fisher, Sammie Caswell

Adult Education in the News

newspaperLiteracy for adults is about much more than learning to read. Acting U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. highlighted just how important functional literacy is in assuring that adults can move forward in their lives, whether in post-secondary education, job training or better employment opportunities.

Federal funding for adult education, which includes literacy programs like those we here at Craven Literacy offer, is governed by WIOA (say wee-oh-wuh) which stands for Workplace Investment and Opportunity Act. The latest iteration of this act emphasizes transitions to employment or post-secondary education. Further, it directs all those institutions involved in adult education — community colleges, job centers, literacy nonprofits — to integrate their services. All of us should be working toward those same goals.

To learn more about Secretary King’s comments, click here.

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Free Community College Won’t Help Everybody

In his final State of the Union address, President Obama said, “Real opportunity requires every American to get the education and training they need to land a good-paying job.” Read more here.

Unfortunately for many of the adults who come to Craven Literacy, community college is beyond their reach even when cost is not an obstacle. Our adult learners struggle with basic literacy skills. Many of them have limited ability to use a computer and the internet. At this low level of literacy everyone’s difficulties and needs are unique. Volunteer tutors work one-on-one with our clients to create and follow an individualized learning plan that specifically addresses that adult’s literacy gaps.

Free community college is only part of the solution. We here at Craven Literacy and other organizations like us around the country are also part of the solution.

Low Literacy in the 21st Century

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One in five American adults cannot access or use the Internet.

If you’re reading this blog, low literacy is probably not an issue for you. But what about that other 20% of Americans? No Facebook? No Google searches? No online job searches? Low literacy makes it impossible for adults to participate in life to the best of their abilities.

Basic literacy skills simply aren’t enough in today’s technology-driven world. Adults need computer skills and access to technology to succeed in our society, whether they’re trying to find a job online, getting accurate health information on the Internet, or simply reading an email from their child’s teacher. Adults who lack basic technology skills are stuck at the bottom of an entrance ramp to an information superhighway thay can never reach.

Click here to read more from ProLiteracy about all the ways low literacy impacts adults.