Literacy levels influence:the kind of jobs we'll get, the salaries we'll earn, our standard of living, the type of homes we'll live in, the type of education our children will receive and our ability to participate fully in our communities.
*In the U.S., 30 million people over age 16, 14 percent of the country’s adult population, don’t read well enough to understand a newspaper story written at the eighth grade level or fill out a job application. The United States ranks fifth on adult literacy skills when compared to other industrialized nations.*More than 60 percent of all state and federal corrections inmates can barely read and write.*Low health literacy costs up $238 billion each year in the U.S.*Low literacy's effects cost the U.S. $225 billion or more each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.
People used to talk about “illiteracy” Thought of issue as can or cannot read and write.Instead, now recognize it is a spectrum of abilities.More proper to speak of “low literacy levels”
Pop. 68,434US Census 2010 and NAAL 2007/2003
We may be fooled into thinking that literacy is not a big issue here—after all this is a university town, most of the people we know are well educated…2003 NAALS study: 7% of Portage County adults (age 16 years and older) lack basic prose literacy skills7% of 51,487 is 3,814. Seating capacity of Goerke Field is roughly 3,500 (because a few hundred stand at some events)Last year we served 170 adults.
Adults come to us because they’ve identified that they lack the skills they need to reach their goals.English Langauge Learners (no longer called ESL) comprise about 75% of those we serve. Other 25% are native English speakers who, for one reason or another, did not do well in the public schools.
We offer a variety of ways to learn.ELL classes are held at times that do not conflict with the University’s and Mid-State Technical College’s classesLearners can be matched with trained volunteer tutors to receive 2 hours of individualized assistance each weekLearners can come to our Tutor/Learner Resource Center in downtown Stevens Point to use proven computer learning programs.
At one time we described our goals as helping parents read to their kids, or being able to talk to their child’s teacher, but we are much more than that.Now we add that we are an Employment Development Agency. We build skills that help learners get jobs or better jobs.There is a direct correlation between a person’s literacy level and their income.When our learners earn more money we all win.Message to students about why our classes are free....Story of “Rosa” Employers have also partnered with us, in our Rural Literacy Project... (next slide)
You might not think of literacy when you see this photo, but there definitely is a connection.
PCLC Rural Literacy Project began in August 2008 as a pilot program on the Feltz Family Farm in Stevens Point. Goal to pair English instruction for employees and Spanish instruction for farm owners to improve communication and employee self-sufficiency.At first students were unable to speak more than 20 words. Now read and comprehend short newspaper articles, children’s books and are more comfortable communicating outside of the workplace.Mastitis story....Story of germs, viruses, Swine Flu...
Based on the success in the pilot program, Paragon/Paramount Farm invited the PCLC to begin a similar program on site at the Russet Potato Exchange in Bancroft.38 Hispanics and 12 English speakers began. 30-35 consistent learners since January 2009.Increased empathy, sense of respect, willingness to try new laguage.“Communication is essential in not only everyday life, but to the success of a company. This program has helped us to bridge that gap, and for that we are grateful. Thank you for offering this program.” – Lori Patoka, Human Resources Assisant.Story of “say something in English”...Visit from Shawano County Literacy Council
Hmong elders who want to learn English and become US citizens.Some had never had the opportunity to attend school in their home country.
Learning answers to 100 civics questions for citizenship test. “”What ocean is on the East Coast of the US?” “Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.” “Name one state that borders Canada.”Map with longitude and latitude lines.United Way and Sentry—globe in classroom.Why it is night time in Laos when daytime in Wisconsin, why it is warmer in places nearer the equator, how and why the seasons change, the moon cycle, etc.
Tutor training every Monday evening in March. Held in spring and fall.
Organization profile of the pclc 2 11
Organization Profile<br />February 2011<br />
Our mission: <br />To help Portage County adults develop basic math and English literacy skills necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency and community integration.<br />
On the most basic level, literacy is defined as “the ability to read and write.” <br />What is literacy?<br />
would say that it’s not just the ability to read and write, but also to understand, use and apply what you read, and to communicate effectively in writing.<br />It is also a social practice or social currency, and, as such, a key to social mobility . Learning the hidden rules and cultural codes of the dominant culture, according to this perspective, facilitates upward mobility. <br />An advanced definition<br />
Literacy levels are connected to most of the pressing social and economic issues:<br />
The relationship between level of education and poverty is clear. <br />The National Institute for Literacy estimates that 43% of adults with very low literacy skills live in poverty. <br />About 70% of adult welfare recipients have low level literacy skill on the National Assessment of the Adult Literacy (NAAL). <br />Literacy provides a common factor<br />
In Portage County:<br />3,800 residents do not speak English at home<br />25% of whom live below the poverty line<br />752 are “linguistically isolated”<br />Current and Critical Community Need<br />
Diversity<br />Learners come from more than 17 countries<br />and speak more than 10 native languages.<br />We serve 170 adults ranging in age from 18-74<br />We serve more women then men; most of whom are mothers<br />Our largest learner populations are Hispanic and Asian<br />
106 community volunteers spent more than 2,500 hours teaching our learners. That’s the power of community.<br />
Workplace<br />Personal<br />Community/<br /> Citizen<br />Lifelong Learning/ESL<br />More than just reading & writing<br />
Refer a learner to the PCLC<br />Volunteer to be a tutor<br />Be a tutor recruiter<br />Support the local United Way<br />Volunteer for a committee or event<br />Become a fan of our Facebook Cause<br />Read our blog<br />Sign up for our newsletter<br />Make a donation online<br />How you can help<br />
For more information <br />Desiah Melby, Executive Director<br />Portage County Literacy Council<br />1052 Main Street, Suite 104<br />Stevens Point, WI 54481<br />(715) 345-5341<br />firstname.lastname@example.org<br />pocolit.org<br />pocolit.wordpress.com<br />
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