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MLIS Capstone Presentation

MLIS Capstone Presentation

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  • 1. Functionally Illiterate AdultsRochelle Ford did not learn to read inschool:“I didn‟t know I couldn‟t read, I was justwaiting to learn how to read.” (NPR, 2007)
  • 2. Functionally Illiterate AdultsNelson Lauver feared being humiliatedevery time he had to read in school:“The other kids were reading well, but Icouldn‟t get through a sentence. A few kidssnickered, and soon most of the class waslaughing.” (Lauver, 2011)
  • 3. Functionally Illiterate AdultsJohn Corcoran always wanted to read:“There wasn‟t a day that went by that Ididn‟t want to read. . . . When I was abouteight years old I can rememberpraying, „Please God when it‟s my turn toread tomorrow let the words come out ofmy mouth, let me read.‟” (Corcoran, 2008)
  • 4. Capstone PresentationLiteracy Programs in Libraries for Functionally Illiterate Adults Mary Helen Copeland November 29, 2011
  • 5. % of Functionally Illiterate Adults30 million American adults perform at below-basic literacy level( million Americans are functionallyilliterate( million Americans lack the propereducation or have English-as-a-second-language barrier(
  • 6. Literacy DefinitionsFunctionally Illiterate - Functioning with basic or below-basic literacy skillsBasic Literacy - Having some high school education, reading occasionally, locating pertinent information on a formBelow Basic Literacy - No more than the most simple and concrete skills such as signing a form or adding two numbers
  • 7. How Does This Happen?• Lacking in third-grade reading skills• Undiagnosed learning disability• Lack of support in the home• Poverty - 30 million word gap (Hart & Risley, 2003)
  • 8. Libraries Creating BridgesRochelle Ford found help in the library -“I went to a library, and I walked up to thisyoung lady and I said, „Do you have anyinformation about any reading classes foradults?” (NPR, 2007)
  • 9. Libraries Creating BridgesJohn Corcoran found help in the library –“I remember well that summer day when Idrove up to the Carlsbad City, CaliforniaLibrary Adult Learning Center.” (John Corcoran, 2008)
  • 10. Public Libraries A natural place to offer adult literacy classes –• Safe and neutral ground• Already in the community• Not the same as school
  • 11. Tutor Training• Understanding the problems associated with illiteracy• Learning how to work with adult learners vs. working with children• Understanding the importance of positive feedback• Understanding the importance of learner-centered, social-humanistic lessons• Understanding the importance of creating a trusting relationship with the student• Understanding the importance of setting goals with the student
  • 12. Learner Assessment• Assess level at which the student is reading• Assess student‟s personality for tutor placement• Assess commitment level and goals of the student• Assess days and times available
  • 13. Variety of Programs• Below Basic Skills Group Tutoring• Basic Skills I Group Tutoring• Basic Skills II Group Tutoring• One-on-One Tutoring• Family Literacy Training• Job Skills Tutoring• Resume Writing• Interview Tutoring
  • 14. Tutor/Learner ExpectationsContract created for both tutor and student – • Days of the week • Times • At-home practice • Stay in program for six months • Post-assessment after six months
  • 15. Leaders Trained in Treating Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities• Trained in either Lindamood Bell or Orton Gillingham• Trained in treating auditory problems• Trained in treating sensory problems• Trained in treating Asperger‟s syndrome
  • 16. Standardized Data Collection• Number of years completed in school• Age of dropping-out (if applicable)• Reason for dropping-out (if applicable)• Current age• Sex/race• Reason for seeking help• Ultimate outcome of literacy tutoring
  • 17. How does this issue affect Americans?27% of Medicare recipients and30% of Medicaid recipients have a Below Basic level of Health Literacy (Miller, McCardle, Hernandez, 2010)$225 billion is the cost to Americans each year because of non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment (
  • 18. Can the Cycle be Broken?$57.2 billion spent on public education with< 1% spent on adult literacy programs This translates to$10,000 spent per student in elementary and secondary education with$225 per student to educate 2.5 million adults (Zachry, 2010)
  • 19. The Cycle CAN Be Broken“Education in its purest form is for thegood of the individual and for the good ofthe world.” (Elliot Galloway)“A library outranks any other one thing acommunity can do to benefit its people. Itis a never-failing spring in the desert.” (Andrew Carnegie)
  • 20. ReferencesCorcoran, J. (2009). The bridge to literacy: No child – or adult – left behind. New York, NY: Kaplan Publishing.Greenberg, D. and Perin, D. (2007). Researched-based reading instruction in an adult basic education program. Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal, 1(3), 123-132.Hart, B. and Risley, T. (2003, Spring). The early catastrophe: The 30 million word gap by age 3. American Federation of Teachers. Retrieved from, R., McCardle, P., & Miller, B. (2010). Advances and remaining challenges in adult literacy research. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 43(2), 101-107. doi 10.1177/0022219409359341
  • 21. ReferencesLauver, N. (2011). Most unlikely to succeed: The trials, travels, and ultimate triumphs of a ‘throwaway kid’. New York, NY: Five City Media. [Kindle].News and Notes. (National Public Radio). (2007, August, 16). Grappling with realities of illiteracy. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from, E. M. (2010). Who needs a second chance? The challenge of documenting k-12 dropout and why adult educators should be concerned. Adult Basic Education & Literacy Journal, 4(2), 75-85.