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

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

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

Tutor Training Ideas From the Huntington County Literacy Coalition

By Dawn Schmidt, Coordinator, Huntington County Literacy Coalition At last fall’s Indiana Literacy Association’s annual meeting, many of us were interested in tutor training. So I’ll share what we have done at Huntington County Literacy Coalition. Please share your practices and ideas too! We have around 35 tutors who meet with adults and children for individualized tutoring. Our volunteers are exceptionally caring citizens of Huntington County giving their time to help others learn. They epitomize our literacy’s tag line: “YOU CAN LEARN”. Each fall, we have new tutor training one night a week, for two weeks. This was a change

Annual Poetry Contest Announcement

  Greetings fellow Literacy friends, We are very pleased to be announcing our 1st Annual Poetry Contest! Adult Literacy Providers throughout the state are encouraged to help us find the “2017 INDIANA LITERACY ASSOCIATION’S POET LAUREATE.” The recipient of this award will be honored with: Indiana State Library Membership Card Press release to local newspaper in award recipient’s area Overnight stay at French Lick Springs Resort, French Lick, IN, on Wednesday, 4/26/2017 Recognized as a special guest during the Indiana Association of Adult and Continuing Education State Conference luncheon, where the award winner will be a featured presenter, and read

Our New “Blog of the Month”

Greetings and Salutations fellow Literacy friends, At our last annual meeting, one of the things that you said you wanted from the Indiana Literacy Association was and is communication and sharing of ideas/resources. So, we formed a communications committee and continued the brainstorming on how best we can do that. Ta-da…you are now reading the blog of the month. Is that a cheesy name? Maybe we let you name it, hey; maybe we let you write it! Now, we are talking. We will be reaching out to members if you want to be a published blogger, send us an email.

Literacy in Indiana

By ​Cynthia L. Cates, Executive Director, Kosciusko Literacy Services Long before adults become casualties of illiteracy, they were children who could not read. The window of opportunity for literacy never fully closes, but learning to read becomes more difficult as one ages. The literacy and language centers of the brain develop rapidly during the first five years of life. Though any child may have reading difficulties, children living in low-income homes are more vulnerable to not developing reading skills. The Indiana Literacy Association estimates that between 800,000 and 1,500,000 adults in Indiana read at basic or below basic levels of

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