Innovative Ways to Address the Literacy Crisis

By Amber Harris, guest blogger When it comes to literacy, it might seem to the casual observer that the United States as a whole is doing well, especially for people living in urban areas. The numbers, however, tell a different story: a story of a literacy crisis, even in big cities. New York City is home to 6.4 million working age adults, but 2.2 million of these adults do not have a high school diploma or English proficiency, reducing their ability to make a living wage and lead a fulfilling life in the United States. 50% of adults who do

Join us at the IAACE conference in French Lick!

You probably know by now that the IAACE Annual Conference is being held in French Lick from April 25th to April 27th, but did you know that we were included in the conference planning? Our board members have worked hard to ensure that adult literacy is represented and that there are many literacy sessions to choose from. Take a look at the sessions to be presented by ILA board members: Decoding Skills for Beginning Readers, presenter Cynthia Cates, Executive Director, Kosciusko Literacy Services This lecture is for tutors or teachers teaching decoding skills to adult learners. The sessions will blend

ILA Offering Five (5) $100 Mini-Grants for the IAACE Conference

We are excited to announce that we will be awarding FIVE mini grants worth $100 each to ILA members interested in attending the IAACE conference on April 25th to the 27th in French Lick. The mini-grants will be awarded based on the completion of the short application located at the bottom of the page. Eligibility requirements and additional details are as follows: You must be an ILA member You must attend the ILA meeting held at the IAACE conference (meeting date and time TBD) Reimbursements will be given out on April 27th, at the end of the conference Deadline to

How do you recognize your volunteers?

By Laura Priebe, Literacy Administrator, Hoosier Hills Literacy League How do you recognize your volunteers? Some organizations have a volunteer appreciation dinner, others give gifts, but if your budget is limited, here’s an option for your organization that requires just the cost of nice paper and color printing. The idea came from a session that I attended at the ProLiteracy Conference in Minneapolis. The title caught my eye – “More than a Gift Card – Low and No Cost Ways to Recognize Volunteers.” Minnesota has a huge volunteer literacy organization, as their state funding mandates that a certain percentage of

3 words – Volunteers, Community and Technology

– A Pro Literacy conference update by Laura Priebe, Literacy Administrator, Hoosier Hills Literacy League Originally published on the Hoosier Hills Literacy League website Volunteers The first day was a Pre-Conference on Volunteer Management, presented by the Minnesota Literacy Council. Minnesota uses hundreds of volunteers to address the problem of literacy, which, by the way, is the world’s largest solvable social ill. So, needless to say, they have a lot to say about managing volunteers! It’s commonly assumed that volunteerism is not as common today as it once was. “Those Millennials” just don’t want to volunteer…well, I discovered that this

September is a HUGE month for literacy!

This month we’re asking YOU to share! September is a huge month for literacy. Last week was International Literacy Day and just around the corner is Adult Education and Family Literacy (AEFL) Week. The National Coaltion for Literacy (NCL) created this week to raise awareness about the need and value of adult education and family literacy. We hope that you will make the most of this opportunity and set aside some time to plan how your organization will recognize AEFL Week. The NCL and Pro Literacy have created many excellent resources to help you promote the importance of literacy. Here

Recruiting Volunteers – Suggestions From Our Members

Last month we asked you for ideas and suggestions on how you find and recruit new volunteers. Here are some of the suggestions we received. Please continue to let us know how you are doing in your efforts to recruit volunteers! My program recruits volunteers by using a comprehensive approach. We speak to as many groups as possible to educate the community about the problem of low literacy adults and how our volunteer tutors change their lives. It is always good if you can have a newspaper story or two as well. In our experience, people seldom volunteer after immediately

Volunteer Recruitment

As all adult literacy programs know, volunteers are the lifeblood to our programs. We use volunteers to tutor students, to assist in the office, to serve on boards, etc. But the challenge is always the same: where do we find more volunteers? This month we would love to hear some of the things that you do to find and recruit new volunteers. Here are a couple of examples to get you started. Social media. Though the usage of social media by literacy programs is improving, there are still more opportunities to improve usage of the media. It is imperative that

Why Join the ILA?

We asked a few of our members to provide us with a comment or two about why they are members of the ILA. Here’s what they had to say: Bob Stephenson, The Literacy Coalition of Howard County and ILA President: I joined ILA for the networking opportunities. In the 18 years I have been at the Literacy Coalition so many great people have mentored me and I love the opportunities to share ideas and experiences. My ILA membership gives me that opportunity and has helped me keep my program viable through good and bad times. Dan Helms, Board Member: I

ILA Literacy Strand at the IAACE Annual Conference

We asked our board members to provide us with a comment or two about the Literacy Strand at this year’s IAACE conference. Here’s what they had to say: Jennifer Wigginton, Vice-President: I loved hearing the input from all the participants in my online tutor training workshop. Check it out here. If you are a member of ILA and want full access, send email to We of course welcome input on improvement. The other great thing I learned about is the It is a free resource we are implementing! Check out page for a video feed of part

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