What’s happening during AEFL Week 2016: Part Two


Adult Education and Economic Inequality

World Education is publishing a blog series about adult education and economic inequality throughout the week. As part of it, they will also make available a free packet of selected Change Agent lessons related to the theme.

The staggering economic inequality in the United States affects adult education and adult learners directly and in multiple ways.  That is why we at World Education commemorate the Adult Education and Family Literacy Week this year by turning our focus on this topic in this blog series.

Digital Promise Webinar

Do your adult learners struggle with reading comprehension? Do they read, reach the bottom of a paragraph, and have no idea what they’ve just read? In support of National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, our focus this month for our free webinar series is on helping adult learners develop the complex comprehension processes associated with strong reading skills. Learn from experts at Mockingbird Education specific comprehension strategies, including digital tools, that help reluctant and resistant learners deepen and develop their reading skills. Register here!

#adulted webinar Sept 28@12pmET Help adult learners improve reading comprehension. Support #AEFLWeek @digitalpromise http://bit.ly/2cln9N1

South Carolina

North Area National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

North Family Community School, The Challenge Center, is partnering with Save the Children and Reach Out and Read to hold what’s being billed as North Area National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, which began with a kick-off celebration on Saturday, Sept. 24. For more information, check out www.facebook.com/TheChallengeCenter, or e-mail sasigmon@tds.net. orstephanie.jones@yahoo.com.


Shawnee Community College and South Suburban College (SSC)

More than 1.2 million adults in Illinois lack basic literacy skills that limit their ability to advance in education and at work. Shawnee Community College and South Suburban College (SSC) are two of the more than 84 adult education providers offering programs funded through the Illinois Community College Board, ICCB. Both are recognizing AEFL Week as an opportunity to draw attention to the need for adult education.

According to the the Gazette-Democrat, “adult education provides a path from low-income jobs and limited opportunities to the middle class wages and family sustainability.”

“Nearly 90 percent of the fastest growing jobs of the future require education or training beyond high school,” said Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson, ICCB Executive Director.

“Illinois has taken the lead in creating partnerships between adult education providers and employers to ensure a seamless pathway for students to higher education and employment in high growth occupations.”

For more information about adult education programs and services at Shawnee Community College visit www.shawneecc.edu.

For more information about adult education programs and services at South Suburban College visit http://www.ssc.edu/adult-continuing-education/.

For information on adult education throughout Illinois visit https://www.iccb.org/adult_ed.

Meanwhile, Brenda Boggs, the Literacy Program Director of the Southwestern Illinois College’s Adult Education and Literacy department, is using the occasion to put out a call for Project Read volunteer tutors.

SWIC is seeking individuals, particularly in the Granite City and East St. Louis regions, willing to commit to tutoring an adult student for two hours per week on reading, writing, English language acquisition or math, based on their student’s needs.

Tutoring is a great way to contribute to the community and make a real difference in the lives of adults and families.

Tutors receive training before being matched with one or more adult learners. Once trained and matched, volunteers receive free books and materials to use for tutoring. Tutors meet students at a public location for scheduled tutoring sessions. 

For more information, visit swic.edu/literacy-volunteer


2016 Literacy Leadership Award Winners

Literacy Leadership Awards

Today, on the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day, the Board of Directors of the National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Literacy Leadership Awards. Our 2016 Literacy Leadership Awards Event will be held during Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, on Tuesday, September 27 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., here in Washington, DC in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-369.

The NCL Literacy Leadership Awards recognize individuals and/or organizations that have made extraordinary national contributions to improving adult literacy and English language learning in the United States. This year, the NCL will recognize the following outstanding individuals and organizations:

  • Johan Uvin, Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education, for his long-standing commitment to advancing adult education at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Senator Jack Reed, who has been a champion for Adult Education funding in the U.S. Senate, and at the forefront of legislative efforts to strengthen Adult Education research and Adult Education’s role in the workforce system and Career and Technical Education.
  • The Division of Consumer & Business Education at the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, for its commitment to serving and guiding adults with limited reading ability, and for its outreach to those working with them, particularly teachers in adult basic education and ESL programs.
  • Margaret Becker Patterson, of Research Allies for Lifelong Learning, and Marty Finsterbusch, of VALUE USA, for ALLIES, a groundbreaking research study on adult learner leadership.
  • John Y. Cole, Library of Congress Historian and founding Director of the Center for the Book, who has been instrumental in shaping numerous literacy and reading-promotion programs during his 50-year tenure at the Library, including the Library of Congress Literacy Awards.

In addition, retiring Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX), the Co-chair of the House Adult Literacy Caucus, will receive special recognition for his life-long commitment in support of adult education, and for outstanding leadership in advocating education as a congressional and national priority. Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN), Co-Chair of the House Adult Literacy Caucus, has also been invited.

Registration for the event is now open: http://literacyleadership2016.eventbrite.com

The NCL Literacy Leadership Awards are made possible through the generous support of NCL members, with additional support from ETS HiSET and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Find out more about becoming a sponsor.

National Coalition For Literacy Calls for Omnibus Appropriations Bill

This week NCL sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to approve an omnibus appropriations bill before the end of the calendar year, rather than passing a continuing resolution based on FY 2014 levels that inadequately supports adult education (along with many other important programs). In addition, the letter calls for an increase in funding for Adult Education to at least the $609 million level proposed in the Labor-HHS-Education bill released by Representative Rosa DeLauro in September; urges restoration of the “ability-to-benefit” provision under the Pell grant program; and endorses a call by the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce to provide at least $250 million in WIOA implementation funding.

You can read the entire letter here.

You can help! Contact your members of Congress urging them to enact an omnibus appropriations bill, with an increase in adult education funding, as soon as possible.

Coalition Announces New Board Members and Officers

The National Coalition for Literacy welcomed four new members to the organization’s Board of Directors in September: Jean Fleming, representing the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE); Silja Kallenbach of World Education; Deborah Kennedy of the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL); and Amy Schmitz of ProLiteracy.

Jean Fleming will serve as AAACE’s president for 2014-2015. She has over 30 years of experience in adult, community, and higher education, including positions in adult basic education, in workforce oriented community based organizations, and as a faculty member and advisor in higher education.

Deborah Kennedy, Associate Vice President for Adult English Language Education at CAL, leads CAL’s programs and activities in English language acquisition for adults from ABE/ESL to business and professional English. A specialist in English for specific purposes, she has extensive experience in designing, developing, conducting, and evaluating workplace communication skills programs and professional development courses for adult educators.

Silja Kallenbach, Vice President of World Education’s U.S. Division, has more than 30 years of experience as an administrator, professional development provider, program developer, researcher, and teacher. Silja is the author of numerous reports and articles that bring the lessons of her diverse project work to the field.

Amy Schmitz is the Director of Marketing and Communications at ProLiteracy, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing adult literacy and basic education. Her work focuses on rebranding and strategic communications; developing advocacy and public policy messaging; and developing and disseminating unified messages and priorities, including the organization’s social media strategy.

The new board members were installed as of September 11, 2014, and will serve three-year terms.

In addition, the Board of Directors elected new officers at its September board meeting. Jeff Carter, Director of Adult Education Initiatives at Digital Promise, was elected President. Jeff Fantine, representing COABE, was elected Vice President. In addition, former NCL President Marty Finsterbusch of VALUE and Margaret Patterson, Senior Researcher at Research Allies for Lifelong Learning (R-Ally), were elected Treasurer and Secretary respectively.

Board members whose terms expired in September include Marcie Foster of CLASP; Jane Hugo of ProLiteracy; Geri Mulligan, recently retired Director of the Center for Literacy, Education and Employment at the University of Tennessee; and John Segota of TESOL.

“Serving on an active, hands-on board like this one requires dedication, time, and a genuine commitment to the idea that working together across organizations makes our field stronger and better,” noted incoming NCL President Jeff Carter. “Our members are incredibly grateful for their service. In particular, we are deeply appreciative of Marty Finsterbusch’s willingness to step in and serve as President of the Board for multiple terms. Without his dedication we wouldn’t be in the position of strength we are in today.”

Carter continued: “I’m looking forward to working with the new members of the board, who bring with them a unique set of talents and a fresh perspective. I know that their service will provide tremendous benefits to our board and to the coalition as a whole.”


Press Release: Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

AEFL2014 Press Release

For the sixth consecutive year, the National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) has asked Members of Congress to declare this week National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. Resolutions introduced by Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) in the House of Representatives and by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in the Senate were approved by the House and Senate on September 19th.

The week is declared to recognize and celebrate the contributions of adult education, English language, and family literacy programs and the achievements of adult education students across the country.

Legislative Action Alert: Adult Education and Family Literacy Week Resolution

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.