April 14, 2011

Volunteer for Computer Literacy!

I’m excited about LCCT bringing volunteers and students together through the Learner Web... and the launch date is almost here! I like to know what volunteers experience with different opportunities, and there’s only one way to find out. So I decided to co-tutor a computer class at LCCT's good friend and partner program, Manos de Cristo.

So far it’s been an interesting, fun experience, and I’ve learned a lot in a short time. With ESL and ABE, I’ve worked on giving concise directions, but now I try to say each step in 3 words or less. Of course, the most rewarding aspect is getting to know the students. Almost everyone in our evening class has a job, but they still go to class after for two hours, two nights a week. What motivates them? After our first class together, I asked them to do a quick notecard quiz. Here’s one question with their responses:

Why is it important learn computers and the internet?
“I want to learn email and pictures, I want to use the computer to look for information and not fall behind on the internet.”
“Porque quiero aprender mas ingles y tener mas oportunidad en mi trabajo.”
“I want to learn to manage files in order to easily manage my small business in the future.”
"To be updated with the rest of the world. So when my kids ask me questions about anything, I can be able to say something positive and answer. Learning basic computer lessons can help me achieve part of it."

If you can get online and find this blog, you can help the workers, small business owners, and parents in your community. Most tech-savvy people of my generation take their skills for granted, not realizing the amount or value of their expertise. By sharing your knowledge, you can share the opportunity and free information that the internet can bring. Volunteer to be a Computer Literacy and Internet Coach!

April 11, 2011

Quick Health Literacy Resources To Get You Up To Speed

Do you ever read our blog posts or get e-mails from us about health literacy and think, “This sounds really important, but I’m not sure I’m ready to add another issue to my catalog of causes”? We know, you need quick proof that health literacy is worth your time, and quick ways to keep up. Here are a few resources that will get you up to speed on the facts behind health literacy, and keep you in the loop once you're hooked. Who says advocacy can’t be efficient?

1. Partnership for Clear Health Communication’s Health Literacy: Statistics at A Glance is a great place to get the basics.

2. Low Health Literacy: Implications for National Health Policy-- for an added body slam of relevance.

3. The Health Literacy Discussion List is a low-maintenance way to keep posted on new issues and efforts in place to fight low health literacy. Plus, you can post your own questions or announcements to get some national input.

What is Family Literacy?

By Erica Schmidt, MSSW Intern

A mother’s literacy level is one of the most significant predictors of a child’s future success in school, and family literacy is one service that works to overcome that reality and increases literacy rates throughout Central Texas. Many family literacy programs exist throughout Central Texas, and the Literacy Coalition is working to gain a better understanding of them one-by-one.

A pre-analysis of seven of the larger LCCT family literacy providers revealed that these organizations strongly believe there is great need for program support in Central Texas. For that reason, we have been conducting a needs assessment with all family literacy providers over the past weeks.

Some of what we are looking at includes populations served, program content, best practices, availability of resources, challenges, as well as establishing a standard definition of family literacy through our five-county area. We are also curious to hear about the interest of providers to participate in the expansion of literacy services in Central Texas. All of this is important for providers and us to know as we build community capacities to ensure the success of family literacy programs.

So what is family literacy exactly? Family literacy programs are most effective when they deliver services through a holistic approach that empowers families by educating the children and parents together. Family literacy fosters an ability and readiness of families to interact with printed materials of any kind. The hope is that families not only feel confident in their literacy ability but that they promote it throughout their children’s lives.

April 8, 2011

Come to the First Instructor Meet-up!

This coming Monday we are going to initiate an exciting new Literacy Coalition event - the Instructor Meet-Up! Come network and share your classroom stories with other ESL, ABE, and GED instructors. Instructors of all levels of experience are welcome, and we hope to turn these gatherings into a monthly opportunity to hear about what's happening in adult education around the area. In the future, we may also tailor some of our Meet-Ups to specific topics based on your suggestions, such as how to lead multi-level classrooms, strategies for teaching low-literacy students, etc. For now, however, we just want to start with a big group discussion about your experience teaching - and we're eager to hear what you have to say!

Monday's Meet-Up will be from 12p-1p at the Carver Library Branch at 1161 Angelina, in East Austin. To RSVP please click here!

We hope to see you there!