ILLINOIS by wulinqing


                       In our rapidly changing world, literacy skills are needed now more than ever. Through
                       the State Library’s Literacy Office, we are able to support those adults and families
                       who want to improve their literacy skills. In this issue, you will see the positive impact
                       that our adult literacy program has had in communities across Illinois. You will meet an
                       adult learner who serves on ProLiteracy’s World Wide Student Advisory Council, which
                       raises awareness of the need for volunteer literacy internationally. You also will read
                       about the exciting and widely varying projects that took place through the Penny
                       Severns Summer Family Literacy Program last summer.
    WINTER             Literacy skills are crucial in order to be successful in today’s society. The programs highlighted in this issue
     2010              are representative of our continued commitment to improving literacy in the state and supporting Illinois cit-
                       izens as they pave the way to a lifetime of growing and learning.

                       Jesse White
                       Secretary of State & State Librarian

                                          Adult Education and Economic Growth Act
                     The Adult Education and Economic Growth Act                 guage proficiency to the achievement of a level of
                     (AEEGA) was formally introduced in the U.S.                 proficiency that will enable the adult learner to
                     House of Representatives in July 2009. A com-               successfully transition to family-sustaining jobs in
                     panion bill also was introduced in the Senate.              careers with the promise of advancement.
                     Both bills have been in development over the past
                                                                                 3) To develop an adult education, literacy, and
                     year and can be viewed online at
                                                                                 work skills system that coordinates and integrates
                     (search by keyword, bill number or author).
                                                                                 adult education, literacy, and workforce skills
                     The House bill is available as L-1 from the Links           services with workforce development and post-
                     page of the Council for Advancement of Adult                secondary education and training opportunities
                     Literacy’s Web site at The                 across agencies and programs.
                     sponsors’ lay-language summary of the bill’s key            4) To greatly improve outcomes for adults receiv-
                     provisions and intent are incorporated. L-2 and L-3         ing adult education, literacy, and workplace skills
                     are the news releases issued by the House and               services in terms of learning gains, acquisition of
                     Senate sponsors, respectively. L-4 is the Senate            basic workforce skills, accelerated learning,
                     version of the Act.                                         acquisition of a high school diploma or its equiva-
                     The Adult Education and Economic Growth Act is              lent, or successful transition to postsecondary
                     based significantly on the recommendations of               education or training or to family-sustaining
                     Reach Higher, America, the National Commission              jobs in the workplace.
                     on Adult Literacy’s final report. If enacted, the
                     AEEGA will put the nation on the path to the kind

                     of coherent, connected system of adult education
                     and workforce skills essential for meeting
                     America’s 21st-century needs. The AEEG Act
                     states its four broad purposes as follows:
                     1) To increase access substantially to adult educa-
                     tion, literacy, and workplace skills services for
                     adults who have limited basic skills, lack a high
                     school diploma or its equivalent, or are limited
                     English proficient.
                     2) To create seamless pathways from adult educa-
                     tion and occupational skills development to post-
 Jesse White         secondary education or training and workforce                Two brothers involved in the Penny Severns Summer
                                                                                  Reading Program at the Mississippi Valley Library District
Secretary of State   development programs and services that help                  enjoy their first visit to the Collinsville Memorial Public
                     adult learners persist throughout the pipeline from          Library. See pages 2-3 for more highlights from the 2009
& State Librarian    the lowest levels of basic literacy or English lan-          Penny Severns program.
                                                          2009 Penny Severns Summer Program highlights
ILLINOIS LITERACY WINTER 2010   The Literacy Office awarded 54 Penny Severns Summer Family Literacy
                                Program grants totaling $249,998 for summer 2009. The program pro-
                                motes learning during the summer months when parents and children
                                can learn together in a variety of educational activities. Last summer’s
                                projects served 1,764 adults and 3,609 children. Following are high-

                                Common Place, Peoria
                                The theme was “Get Wild About Reading! Africa!” Families read books
                                about the people, traditions, folktales and history of Africa.
                                Participants enjoyed guest speakers, storytellers, music and a Bradley
                                University professor who shared her experiences living in Africa. The      Common Place families learned about exotic animals
                                Peoria Zoomobile visited with exotic animals.                              from the Peoria Zoomobile.

                                Christopher House, Chicago
                                The “Around Chicago, Around the World” adventure focused on local
                                farming culture. Families read the book Market Days and made col-
                                lages with their favorite fruits and vegetables. They made drawings of
                                all the food they saw at the local farmers market, and helped tend the
                                community garden across the street from Christopher House.

                                Pui Tak Center, Chicago
                                Baking workshops allowed families to read recipes and use their imag-
                                ination in making different kinds of cookies and dumplings. For many of
                                the parents, this was the first time they had made food with their chil-   Families from Christopher House helped tend the com-
                                dren. Throughout the summer, the parents learned to be positive,           munity garden.
                                patient and encouraging to their children.

                                Asian Human Services, Chicago
                                Growing a children’s vegetable garden was especially meaningful to
                                children in an urban environment. A garden journal was kept and art
                                projects relating to the garden were created, including a mural illus-
                                trating the garden’s growth.

                                ROE, DeWitt-Livingston-McLean, Normal
                                Families visited the Sugar Grove Nature Center for the first time.
                                Before the trip, families learned about wild animals and read Where        A dad and his daughters make a “spider” using Oreo
                                the Wild Things Are. Parents and children enjoyed time in Imagination      cookies at Pui Tak Center.
                                Grove where they could climb into a fort or ride the Zip-line. Families
                                were surprised to learn about this free educational center close to
                                home, and many plan to return.

                                Township High School Dist. 214 Community Education,
                                Arlington Heights
                                Parents looked at nutrition Web sites to create a “Healthy Recipes”
                                cookbook, and typed the ingredients and directions to their favorite
                                recipes into a Microsoft Word template. The older children conducted
                                science experiments using water, cola and eggs to show how food
                                stains teeth. They presented their findings to the younger children        Children water the garden they created at Asian Human
                                while stressing the importance of brushing their teeth.                    Services.
    Meet the Literacy Office staff
 Secretary of State Jesse White met with Literacy
 Office staff recently on programs and initiatives of
 the office. Pictured with Secretary White are: (left
 to right) Diane Manning, Spotlight Awards organ-
 izer, newsletter coordinator and Workplace Skills
 grant program assistant; Cyndy Colletti, Literacy
 Program manager and monitor; Jo Anne Hughes,
 Network Notes coordinator and Adult Volunteer
 and Family Literacy grant programs assistant;
 Beth Paoli, Resource Bins and Online Tutor
 Training organizer, and Family Literacy program
 contact/monitor; and Mark Shaffer, Workplace
 Skills grant program contact/monitor.

 Right is Dorothy Whitney,
 Chicago literacy liaison
 and literacy program con-

                                             Adult learner appointed to ProLiteracy Council
                                Ben Bickerstaff, an adult learner from              Galesburg, and with determination and hard work he eventually
                                Carl Sandburg College Literacy Coalition,           obtained both his GED and a welding certificate. Last year, he was
                                has been appointed to the ProLiteracy               awarded the highest annual raise ever by his new employer.
                                World Wide Student Advisory Council.
                                The primary purpose of the council is to            Ben has received numerous awards for his achievements as an
                                give advice, input and a student voice in           adult learner. He participates in several committees, including the
                                the work of the organization. Currently,            Carl Sandburg Adult Education Student Advisory Council and New
                                there is a strong focus on advocacy and             Readers for New Life of Illinois. He has taken part in literacy
                                public policy, and council members have             awareness initiatives such as videos for the United Way of Knox
     Ben Bickerstaff            a significant role to play in this work.            County campaign. He also has completed basic volunteer tutor
                                                                                    training and speaks to new volunteers on a regular basis.
Ben lost his job 10 years ago when the company where he worked
for 22 years moved to Venezuela. He knew that his low reading                       For more information on ProLiteracy, visit http://www.proliteracy.
skills and lack of a high school diploma would make finding a new                   org/.
job difficult. Ben sought help at Carl Sandburg College in

                                          2009 Penny Severns Summer Program highlights (continued)
                                              World Relief, Chicago
                                              Families and their extended family members gathered for an intergenerational bookmaking project. The
                                              books allowed participants to express themselves by choosing a printed word and dictionary definition
                                              for each page and then creating designs that represented that word.

                                              Kewanee Public Library
                                              Families created a memory book documenting what they did during the summer program. A picture of a
                                              tree without leaves was on the cover. The title of each book they read at school or at home was written
                                              on a leaf and glued on the bare branches. A science project titled “Exploring Your Health” had parents
                                              and children trace their bodies on a large piece of paper and then draw a diagram of the digestive sys-
                                              tem on the picture. The book Young Explorers Human Body was given away.

 World Relief families made an inter-         For more information or to apply for grants, visit (click Programs
 generational book.                           then Literacy).
                   Libraries partner with                                                                                  February 26-27 — Illinois Teachers of English to Speakers of
                                                                                                                           Other Languages, Bilingual Education Convention, Naperville,
                     literacy programs                                                                           

Final reports completed by FY09 Adult Volunteer Literacy
                                                                                                                           March 15-19 — COABE, ProLiteracy and IACEA Joint
projects funded by the Secretary of State reveal the variety
                                                                                                                           Conference, Chicago,

                                                                                                       ON THE HORIZON
of ways in which libraries partner with literacy programs:
• 66% of all Illinois public libraries participate in Adult
   Volunteer Literacy programs.                                                                                            March 24-27 — Teachers of English to Speakers of Other
• 597 (83%) public libraries offer the library as a tutoring                                                               Languages Annual Convention, Boston, MA,
• 566 (79%) public libraries refer prospective students                                                                    April 11-13 — National Family Literacy Conference, San
   and volunteer tutors to literacy programs.                                                                              Antonio, Texas,
• 448 (62%) public libraries provide tours and orientation.
• 300 (42%) public libraries help advertise the literacy                                                                   April 11-17 — National Library Week,
• 232 (32%) public libraries house a high-interest/low-                                                                    April 17 — Third annual “Celebrating Volunteers” event.
   vocabulary reading collection.                                                                                          Contact Sherry Woodward at Waubonsee Community College,
• 124 (17%) public libraries donate a high-interest/low-                                                                   630-801-7900, ext. 4106.
   vocabulary reading collection.
                                                                                                                           April 18-24 — National Volunteer Week, www.handson
   About 20 percent of preschool-aged children live
   in poverty and come from families where the
   parent with the highest education has less than                                                                         April 25-28 — International Reading Association Convention,
   a high school education.                                                                                                Chicago,

                                    — National Institute for Literacy
                                                                                                             More literacy event information is available at

   St. Clair ROE begins new tutoring initiative
 The St. Clair County ROE Adult Volunteer Literacy Program is work-
 ing with St. Clair Associated Vocational Enterprises (SAVE) to bring
 literacy to the people who live, work or train at SAVE in Belleville,                                                  The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress
 which assists adults with developmental challenges. The reading                                                        promotes books, reading, libraries and literacy through its many
 program began last spring and has grown to 36 participants.                                                            programs and Web site.
 Students are mostly non-readers at the beginning of the program                                                        Many free games, printable activity sheets and information for
 and have tutors who are upper-level adult learners who live or work                                                    parents and teachers. Some activities are available in Spanish.
 at SAVE as well. St. Clair ROE’s literacy coordinator, Pam Miller, has                                       
 spent many hours training and teaching the tutors how to work with                                                     Developed by the U.S. Department of Education, this free site
 the students. Classes are held twice a week with Pam starting the                                                      provides extensive resources for adults to study English or work
 lesson then turning it over to the tutors. This added training and                                                     on their GEDs.
 support greatly benefits the tutors. The real reward of the program
 is seeing all the smiling faces after every class.

Illinois Literacy is a publication of the Secretary of State/Illinois State Library Literacy Office.
Jesse White, Secretary of State and State Librarian
Anne Craig, Director, Illinois State Library
Cyndy Colletti, Program Manager, Literacy Office

Produced by the Communications Department.

To subscribe to Illinois Literacy, call 217-785-6921 or 800-665-5576 (Illinois only), #3.                                                              Printed by authority of the State of Illinois. February 2010

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