We are changing it up this month! I had a conversation with Tom Miller, current president of Indiana Literacy Association (ILA) and incoming President of Indiana Association Adult Continuing Education (IAACE), about the IAACE blog topic for the month of June. The topic is Literacy. He asked if The Literacy Center has a student and a tutor that would be willing to write about their experience, of course, we said yes. A volunteer tutor of 20 years and the 2013 Dollar General Student of the year will be featured this month on IAACE’s blog and we will make sure you get it because that is another reason why we are changing it up this month. We are moving the release of our blog to Thursday this month so that we have an opportunity to respond to the IAACE blogs (http://www.iaace.com/blog–newsletters) this month and expand on the Literacy topic.
So, Miller wrote about how our students are often forgotten and “our voices aren’t heard.” I agree with Miller; we must continue to bring Literacy to the attention of our communities. I still meet people that are shocked that an adult would have difficulty reading. ATTENTION: It is not a character flaw, or a disease! It is not contagious, it can’t kill you and there’s no war to join! Despite lack of some basic reading skills our adult learners lead rich, complex lives. Many of them are successful, they are not impoverished or the underclass- they are smart with many coping skills. What we must do is educate all that the problem of illiteracy is just that- an issue. We need to report the positive side along with the negatives. Let’s report, the whole picture. We should reinforce the idea that our adult learners should be proud of acquiring a new skill and asking for help. All of new readers’ stories are distinct. I hope that identifying our adult learners accomplishments will help show how their successes benefit our communities. Don’t let another potential adult learner “disappear into the shadows” as Millers said. What can you do to accept the challenge of helping others acquire a new skill or to take the step towards literacy. I’m asking you to share this blog, IAACE’s blogs this month and give us a bigger voice. Spread the word #LITERACY.