Tuesday, 21 of October of 2014


NCL Welcomes New Website

Thank you for visiting our blog! In celebration of AEFL Week 2014, the National Coalition for Literacy is pleased to announce the blog’s transition to the new NCL website. You can now find all of our AEFL Week blogs, and much more, by pointing your browser to http://national-coalition-literacy.org/. Our newly streamlined site has been re-designed to help you access information about adult education advocacy quickly. The new site will also allow us to post more frequent updates and to refresh content. Plans to phase in materials from our former site, as well as new information, are in the works. Thank you for your patience during this transition. Enjoy the new site!

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AEFL Week Has Arrived!

Welcome to Adult Education and Family Literacy week!

To help launch the week, the National Coalition for Literacy is pleased to announce two new PIAAC factsheets. These factsheets supply useful facts on the theme Investing in Adult Education PAYS! from PIAAC data and other recent research. The latest factsheets, posted on the PIAAC resources page, cover the topics of Bridging the Digital Divide and an Informed Citizenry.

According to the Bridging the Digital Divide factsheet, many adults around the world have fallen into the digital divide. PIAAC findings indicate that “in most countries, significant shares of adults have trouble using digital technology, communication tools and networks to acquire and evaluate information, communicate with others and perform practical tasks. Across participating countries, from 7% to 27% of adults report having no experience in using computers or lack the most elementary computer skills, such as the ability to use a mouse.”

The factsheet For An Informed Citizenry focuses on political efficacy. “The launch of the OECD Survey of Adults Skills (PIAAC) results should be seen as a wake-up call for action for policy and decision makers”, wrote Motschilnig. While many US adults struggle with becoming informed citizens, OECD Secretary Gurria remarked, “The good news is that there are very few countries in the world that are able to make better use of their citizens’ skills than the United States.”

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Thanks to your contributions, NCL is excited to celebrate how adults and their families learn. More of your ideas follow:

Pima Community College (AZ) has a full week of AEFL Week activities ahead, including high school equivalency orientations, family fun reading events, student success stories, and voter registration events.

One of our contributors from Maryland writes that she plans “to shamelessly steal from the Ice Bucket challenge by challenging people to fill a Literacy Bag (a shopping bag with usual school supplies, etc.) for a local adult literacy center and/or donate to a local adult literacy center. My bag is filled with a 3 ring binder, paper, a GED calculator, ruler, folder, individual whiteboard, whiteboard markers, dictionary, pencils, erasers, and a flash drive!” Who is up for the challenge?

Also in Maryland, the Maryland Association for Adult Community and Continuing Education (MAACCE) is joining with the NCL member Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL) to pilot “a green literacy wristband campaign to increase awareness of literacy in Maryland.  Programs will be sending pictures of staff, instructors and adult learners showing off their green” for their Facebook page all week. “Join MCAEL and wear green!”

The September 18 OCTAE Connection urges its readers to celebrate AEFL Week and writes, “Adult education is a key rung on the ladder of opportunity, and is critical to building a globally competitive workforce for the 21st century.  Individuals with more education are more likely to get and keep jobs, lift themselves out of poverty, incur lower health care costs, increase their children’s success in school, and be engaged citizens.”

Lewis and Clark Community College (IL) will be honoring AEFL Week via sharing student experiences and hosting a Celebration Open House Thursday, Sept. 25. A state representative and the college president are slated to speak. Also in Illinois, Rock Valley College Adult Education will host a family reading night Sept. 26 in honor of National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week.

California’s governor has proclaimed September Adult Literacy Awareness Month, and  the state’s “public libraries are hosting events this month to address the very serious issue of low adult literacy as part of a statewide awareness campaign called ‘Together, California Reads.’ It’s an effort to spotlight inspirational adult learners and the trained volunteer tutors who change lives forever by sharing the gift of reading through free, one-on-one and group sessions at more than 500 local public libraries.”

Don’t stop now! Continue to send your AEFL week ideas to: ncl@ncladvocacy.org. We will keep posting them on our NCL blog between now and the end of September. You can also visit and post ideas and photos on our Facebook page.

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It’s Almost AEFL Week: More of Your Ideas on Celebrating!


National Adult Education and Family Literacy week is almost here. Thanks to your contributions, the National Coalition for Literacy is   celebrating the many ways in which adults and their families learn. More of your ideas on celebrating are below.

Please keep them coming! Continue to send your AEFL week ideas to: ncl@ncladvocacy.org. We will post them on our NCL blog between now and the end of September. You can also visit and post ideas and photos on our Facebook page.

Center for Literacy in Philadelphia, PA, is raising awareness about adult literacy throughout September and encouraging people to get involved by volunteering as a tutor, joining a citywide literacy alliance, and promoting family literacy and professional development. They are also raffling off a $50 gift card to a McCormick & Schmick’s restaurant and have set up a display of student poetry in a city library.

Olney Central College in Olney, IL, is celebrating National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week Sept. 22-26 with an Adult Education Open House.

The Washington DC Adult and Family Literacy Coalition (DC-AFLC) is hosting its first ever Adult Learner Essay Contest and Byte Back is donating two computers as prizes for the winners.

A variety of events are happening the week of September 22 at Washington DC Academy of Hope: a panel discussion on new WIOA legislation, an Advocacy Day with elected officials, and an essay contest.  DC Adult and Family Literacy Coalition is sponsoring a Big Tent Meeting. Four (4) lesson plans to celebrate AEFL Week are available on the DCAOH website.

Several ways our NCL member organizations are celebrating include:

COABE has posted ideas on how to use social media to raise awareness and is expanding the use of its app. They are also celebrating AEFL week by showcasing student stories.

GED Testing Service has announced their See for Free promotion beginning September 22. Adults can contact their local adult education center to see whether they’re ready to pass the GED® test and get a personalized study plan at no charge.

In Des Moines, Iowa, NAASLN is sponsoring Lattes for Literacy. Folks from the Drake University Adult Literacy Center are going to local coffee shops to build awareness for adult literacy.

Check out the new World Education infographic, which highlights some of the work that World Education is doing to strengthen adult education programs.

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CELEBRATIONS START THROUGHOUT THE USA

Stories and ideas celebrating Adult Education and Family Literacy Week (beginning September 22) continue to pour in… please keep sharing throughout September via our Facebook page or by e-mailing ncl@ncladvocacy.org!

Local literacy program writes guest column and sponsors tutor training in honor of AEFL week:

Guest Column: Remembering the importance of literacy

Carlisle Sentinel

Romans (Georgia) celebrate English Language Learners:

The Language of Learning

Northwest Georgia News

Georgia station promotes International Literacy Day:

Literacy Day is Today

AM 1180 Chattooga County Radio

Georgia celebrates literacy week beginning September 8:

Moultrie Tech to celebrate Literacy Week next week

Moultrie Observer

Technical college sponsors essay-writing contest:

Moultrie Tech to Recognize State and International Literacy Emphasis Beginning September 8

WCTV

Local literacy program hosts membership celebration:

Temple Literacy Council to hold membership celebration

Temple Daily Telegram

NCL advocacy and AEFL week post:

Solutions for Families Struggling With Literacy: The National Coalition for Literacy and National 

Concordia University Nebraska Online

News from California:

“Word in the Margins” Video of a determined California student

California history of adult education posted

Student goes to state capitol to share the story

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Legislative Action Alert: Adult Education and Family Literacy Week Proclamation

LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT: Ask Your Members of Congress to Co-Sponsor a Resolution Dedicating National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

ACT BY: Monday, Sep 15 (House); Tuesday, Sep 16 (Senate)

The National Coalition for Literacy has some terrific news! This month, Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) will introduce, for the sixth year in a row, a House resolution designating the week of September 22-28, 2014 as National Adult Education and Family Literacy (AEFL) Week!

In addition, for the fourth year in a row, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will introduce a Senate resolution that also recognizes this important honorary week.

Coming on the heels of the near-unanimous passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), this year’s AEFL week will not only celebrate the critical role that adult education, English language services, and family literacy plays in our country, but the opportunities that lie ahead in the implementation of WIOA. WIOA calls for a strengthening of our adult education programs so that learners can both improve their literacy and prepare for postsecondary education and employment.

In previous years, states and communities have followed this national leadership, establishing state and local resolutions to honor the importance and impact of adult education. It ultimately serves to leverage local partnerships, resources, and funding for adult education and family literacy nationwide.

How You Can Help

The good news is that we will not need a minimum number of co-sponsors to move either piece of legislation forward. However, it will be important to show strong, bipartisan support for our issue by having Representatives and Senators stand behind the commemoration of this week.

Action: Call or email your Members of Congress (both your Representative AND Senators). Click here to enter your zip code and find contact information for your Members.

Message: Please sponsor the resolution for National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week 2014! (To support this resolution, interested Members of Congress should contact the Congressional staffers listed below.)

· House offices should contact Allie Kimmel with Representative Polis’ office to sign on in support by September 15.

· Senate offices should contact Ariel Evans with Senator Murray’s office by September 16.

At a time when education is facing significant budgetary challenges, it’s critical we lift every voice for adult education and family literacy. Our nation’s economy and well-being depend on it.

If you have questions, please contact Marcie Foster mwmfoster@clasp.org.

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AEFL Week Is Approaching Fast… Share Your Ideas!

National Adult Education and Family Literacy week will be September 22-28, 2014. To kick off this gala week, the National Coalition for Literacy is celebrating the many ways in which adults and their families learn. We’d love to hear how you and your adult learners are getting involved.

Please send your AEFL week ideas to: ncl@ncladvocacy.org. We will post them on our NCL blog between now and the end of September. It’s a tremendous way to celebrate the week and spotlight what your organization is doing to advocate for adult education.  You can also visit and post ideas and photos on our Facebook page.

Not sure yet what to do? One opportunity is writing a note of thanks to your state’s U.S. Senator or Congressional Representative to thank them for their support of the newly authorized Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). You can find tips on writing to them on our website at contacting Congress.

Another opportunity is having your governor proclaim AEFL week (or month) in your state. For example, in 2012 and 2013 Florida’s governor declared the month of September as Adult Education and Family Literacy month. The state’s literacy coalition has identified numerous ways to promote literacy, such as essay contests, inviting officials to class, book collection drives, and field trips.

A few ways our member organizations are celebrating include:

American Library Association is sponsoring the month of September as Library Card Sign-up Month and urges parents to get to their local public library to sign up. Overlapping with AEFL week they are also promoting Banned Books Week, which celebrates the freedom to read.

In its August 2014 member update, COABE writes:

“Don’t forget that National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week is coming up–September 22nd – 27th, 2014. NAEFL Week is a great opportunity to raise awareness about adult education.  Take advantage of the new WIOA legislation to educate your policymakers at the local, state, and national level.”

International Reading Association writes…

“Our mission begins September 8, 2014, the day the world celebrates International Literacy Day and the transformative power of literacy. How can you participate? Pledge to add an extra 60 seconds of literacy activities in your classroom for 60 days. It’s that simple!” They have established an ILD 2014 Pinterest board for photos, videos, and stories.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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