March 2, 2011

Literacy Day at the Capitol

This year’s Literacy Day at the Capitol got off to an unusual start – we had to reschedule at the last minute because of abnormal winter weather and Austin’s rolling blackouts!
City Hall the day after what was originally going to be Literacy Day
When Literacy Day at the Capitol did happen this past Thursday, though, it was a resounding success. Nearly 300 people came out to advocate. After breakfast and advocacy training at the First Baptist Church, we all marched up to the Capitol in groups. I tagged along with Becky Rhodes and the Austin Academy. Our group went to visit Senator Kirk Watson’s staff and had a sit-down meeting. We went around the table and introduced ourselves, with each of the students explaining why he or she was attending the Austin Academy. The staffer was genuinely interested in their stories and asked quite a few questions about the difficulties adult learners face in their educational journeys. We left behind printed information about the severe effects of illiteracy and policies that affect pivotal adult literacy programs.
The Austin Academy group before heading to the Capitol
Across the Capitol, student advocates were able to help increase awareness of adult literacy programs and impress how important those programs are. Other groups had experiences like the Austin Academy's, and were able to really educate staffers about the reality of illiteracy in our community.
More groups visiting the Capitol
It was a successful day! The rain held off everything wrapped up right around noon. The only downside to my morning was getting stuck walking several blocks back to the Coalition’s offices in the pouring rain!

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