Elizabeth: Ask who is in the audience: academic, public libraries, schools; NYC, NJ, Out of state Sheila: 85,000 disconnected youth in NYC have not attained a high school diploma or GED. The 2008 high school drop out rate was 43% in New York City. Report advised to create small programs with literacy services, wrap around social services that were based in youth development principles. Brooklyn has the largest share (39%) of disconnected youth in New York City Eva: BPL began to track young people turning to the library with questions about their education. In 2007-2008 1/3 of patrons at Pre-GED registrations were between the ages of 17 and 24. Harder to retain. Issue to be addressed. CEO started planning the program in 2007. CEO approached BPL in spring 2008. Implemented in 3 library systems.
Aneicia City’s definition: Out of school and out of work . Over-aged and under-credited . Our definition-Experience Students struggled academically. Often came from families with similar issues. Students with few credits and difficulty in reading would often drop out of high school or were pushed out of school (discharge). Reading at the 4th grade level in 10th grade. (Sample of writing?) Disenchanted with the public school system. Felt that teachers don’t have time to deal with their issues; guidance counselors are overwhelmed. Didn’t meet the basic literacy requirements of GED and other Alternative High School programs. The combination of low literacy and communication. Encountered difficulties navigating the large DOE system, would give up and look outside the DOE. Want to get their diploma; want to work. Some have been able to work part time positions. Older immigrant youth. 1.5 generation who immigrated as adolescents. Reports say that there is a disproportionate amount of black and Latino young men who are disconnected. We found an equal number of M/F (second year).
Sheila and Sandra Safe neutral environment In every neighborhood Emphasis on lifelong learning Librarians are nonjudgmental in their orientation
Aneicia and Eva: Why would this type of program fit in a library-based adult literacy program? How does an adult education setting differ from a regular school setting? BPL Literacy programs’ educational philosophy: -Mini-library with accessible texts that are appropriate for adults. -Emphasis on writing and technology from day one. -Build library usership -Group instruction (literacy is social practice) rather than one on one -Resource rich. Thematic/content based instruction with lot of books, databases. Example: Immigration and identity
Sandra, Eva What was the process in creating this collection? Based the usage and circulation, what changes were made the second year? Accessibility and reading level 4th-6th grade reading level Visuals such as photographs, illustrations and captions Controlled vocabulary Thin books (under 300 pages) Diversity of topic format and genre Balance of fiction and nonfiction Multicultural Literature Titles and covers Popularity and appeal Contemporary realistic fiction Nonstandard format Popularity within BPL System Connections to curriculum content Literacy instruction thematic units Career exploration and job readiness Pre-GED texts in content areas Resources used: Adult literacy publications, YALSA book lists, awards lists, yalsa-bk listserv Read as much adult fiction as young adult fiction. Use the cover art, subject (“real stories”) and size of book (#pages). More interested in urban or street fiction; utilizing the regular library collection more. Classroom collections are used more for instruction.
Can you speak a little about the curriculum planning process? What library resources did you find useful? How do you make class engaging? Aneicia, Eva, Sandra State of the art technology. Students all have laptops. There are smart boards in each classroom. Special collection located in the classroom; students put holds on books from throughout the system Connection outside the classroom; opportunities for extended learning/application. Field trips, life skills. On field trips students are engaged in an activity in which they apply the skills/knowledge that they learned in class. Ex. Environment unit visit to Central Park Conservancy; workshops from EJIC. Thematic planning (backward planning). Research demonstrates that students retain literacy skills when they are presented with a common theme and overarching questions over time. Choose hot topics for 10 week units and work from there. Choose learning strategies and skills that will be the focus. Choose materials/stories that connect to their experiences, and make connections to the GED content. Independent reading. “Milk a book”: Routines are set up in the class in which students are able to reflect, discuss, write about what they read. Active reading; pursuing their interests and questions. Not a passive approach in which we “cover” material.
Aneicia, Sheila, Sandra, Eva Can you describe the outreach strategy? What tips/advice would you give about outreach? Language of marketing important, pre-ged vs literacy program Building partnerships for reference and referral; Lit database for outreach Large network of outreach across the borough through librarians Mailings to organizations, gov. organizations Street outreach
Aneicia and Sandra Can you explain what the GED is & the distinction between pre-GED & GED programs? What is the requirement for enrollment What makes this program different from other GED/Pre-GED programs besides it being in a library?
Library view – Sheila & Sandra Staff awareness of pre-GED, captive group for programs, life-long library users, staff more open to this group, opportunities for staff training (lexile, ged etc) Aneicia & Eva Stats etc
Brooklyn bridges the_gap_2
Brooklyn Bridges the Gap A Collaborative and Innovative Library Program to Help “Disconnected Youth” Succeed NDLC 2010: From Groundwork to Action Friday, July 16 2:30-3:45
Elizabeth Lewis is the director of Brooklyn Public Library’s Literacy Program and Volunteer Resources . She has recently earned her Master’s in Social Work. Eva Raison is the ESOL & Pre-GED Coordinator at Brooklyn Public Library. With 9 years of experience in ESL, family literacy and adult literacy. Eva oversees 28 adult education classes throughout Brooklyn. She led the team in the planning and implementation of the library’s Young Adult Pre-GED project. Sandra Sajonas is a librarian and was part of the team that planned and implemented the library’s YA Pre-GED program. In March, she was selected as a 2010 Library Journal Mover & Shaker for her work in innovative library services, including the Book-a-Librarian Pilot and Young Adult Pre-GED project. Sheila Schofer is the Coordinator of Young Adult Services at Brooklyn Public Library. She is responsible for the coordination and development of policies and plans for services to young adults in 58 neighborhood libraries and oversees system-wide planning, guidance and delivery of library services to young adults including the evaluation of materials, public programming, staff development and in-service training. Aneicia Washington is the current project manager of the Young Adult Pre-GED program as well as the Learning Assessment & Goals Advisor for the library’s Pre-GED program. Aneicia has an undergraduate degree in Speech and Language Pathology and over 10 years experience in social services.
How did this project get started? <ul><ul><li>In 2008, there were approximately 223,000 “disconnected youth” in NYC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Department of Youth & Community Development work group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Of the five boroughs, Brooklyn has the largest share (39%) of disconnected youth in NYC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NYC Mayor’s Office Center for Economic Opportunity launches the Disconnected Youth Literacy Initiative </li></ul></ul>
What are some characteristics of this population? “ 16- to 24-year-olds who are not working and not in school”
Why in a Public Library? <ul><ul><li>Safe neutral space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library literacy programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resource rich: special collection and classroom resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outreach and partnerships </li></ul></ul>
Why in the public library? <ul><li>1.Safe neutral community space </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessible for all ages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Librarians </li></ul></ul>
Why in the public library? <ul><li>2. BPL’s library literacy philosophy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis on technology and writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mini library with accessible text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thematic curriculum </li></ul></ul>
3. Resource rich: special collection for disconnected youth
4. Public libraries excel at outreach & partnerships Free Pre-GED Program For 17-24 year olds who are out of school Registration dates: Brooklyn Public Library Sunset Park Branch 5108 4th Ave at 51st St 718.567.2806 Monday, January 5 10:00 AM Thursday, January 8 10:00 AM
BPL’s YA Pre-GED Program Support Metrocards Food Onsite Caseworker Community days Life Skills Access to computers Library Library cards Reading is Fundamental Librarian visits in classes Information literacy Trips to main library Literacy curriculum Thematic Individual laptops Independent reading Mini collection Explicit comprehension strategy instruction Field trips State of the art technology
Outcomes “ All the lessons I learned from here I will take them with me in everyday life. It’s always good to get all the knowledge you need; you are never too old to learn.” “ I took my responsibilities and gain new friends in the program. I have changed into a new man that u see today. “ “ My mom Maisha, My Auntie Ellen, my grandma Sandra. This is the best time, I made friends. I love everyone. I’m happy that I met everybody” “ I can’t stop reading” “ I completed my first resume” “ Right now I’m kinda addicted to reading.”