Adult Education and Family LIteracy Week Has Arrived!

AEFL Week GraphicWelcome to Adult Education and Family Literacy week! To help launch the week, the National Coalition for Literacy is pleased to announce two new PIAAC fact sheets: Bridging the Digital Divide and an Informed Citizenry. These factsheets supply useful facts on the theme Investing in Adult Education PAYS! from PIAAC data and other recent research.

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.”

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 here between now and the end of September. You can also visit and post ideas and photos on our Facebook page.

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