Literacy: just words?

April 6, 2009

Hi friends! This is Yashna, visiting guest blogger, and DLC fan for life. 

I got inspired to blog here today because a a blogger friend of mine told me about this very interesting blog called Capitol Words. 

This is from their About page:

“For every day Congress is in session, Capitol Words visualizes the most frequently used words in the Congressional Record, giving you an at-a-glance view of which issues lawmakers address on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Capitol Words lets you see what are the most popular words spoken by lawmakers on the House and Senate floor.” 

So, I searched for some of the words I care most about. I searched for farmworkers for my new job at the National Farm Worker Ministry (we support farmworkers as they organize for justice).  And of course, I searched for ABEliteracy, GEDESOL and ESL. You can search for only one word at a time so I couldn’t type in “adult literacy”. 

These movements that I care so much about, just boiled down to a few words in Congress, proves to be not so important to our leaders. Over the last two years these words were mentioned: 

ABE 46 times nationally (0 times in NC)
Literacy 405 times  (12 in NC)
GED 24 times (0 in NC)
ESOL 7 times (0 in NC)
ESL  13 times (0 in NC)

as compared to: 

Oil 8442 times

I believe this is an accurate reflection of how our congress views the importance of Literacy Education. So how do we change this? How do we bring not just the words, but the movement of Literacy Education to our chosen leaders? I am not sure of the answer. If you have any ideas, please share them here. 

Thanks again for doing the great work you do. To me, your effort is more then just words.

Veleda’s Speech

March 29, 2009

Here is a video of the inspiring speech Veleda T. gave at the DLC’s 2008 Leaders in Literacy breakfast, which was held at the Washington Duke Inn.

Listen to these inspiring stories from Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County NY:

Student’s Story:

Tutor’s Story:


Emmett Jackson, DLC adult literacy student and advocate, was the guest speaker at the Triangle United Way (TUW) annual awards event at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC in April 2008. The event honored companies who helped support the TUW’s annual campaign. Mr. Jackson received a standing ovation from the audience of more than 300 people. Read more about Mr. Jackson here.

Our students on NPR!!!

January 3, 2009

Lucy & Kiasha

Lucy & Kiasha

Two dedicated DLC students, Lucy and Kiasha Collins shared their inspiring stories on the nationally syndicated radio show, The Story. Kiasha enrolled in the DLC’s Adult Literacy program over a year ago and then encouraged her grandmother, Lucy to join as well. The Story is hosted by Dick Gordon and produced by NC Public Radio.  Listen to their story here!

Thank You!

December 22, 2008

Thank you! The DLC program staff, tutors, and students would like to extend a huge thanks to the DLC’s Executive Director, Reggie Hodges, and the DLC Board of Directors for the countless hours they have spent sustaining this wonderful community over the years. Every new phoneme learned, book read, citizenship test passed, vote cast, parent-teacher meeting attended, and job promotion earned is a victory based in no small part on your work. Please know that we are truly grateful for all of the work that goes on behind the scenes to empower individuals, families, and communities through literacy. We wish that we could share every victory with you directly so that you could feel the daily impact of your efforts as we do. It really is amazing!

The DLC Board Members are Susan Springer and Ann Gale (Co-Presidents), Trina Allen, Mary Ellen Walkama, Rob Matheson, Mary Clayton, Lizzie Ellis-Furlong, Arnold Dennis, Alexandra Dupont, Gail Faulkner Hudson, Elizabeth Feifs, Brian Schneiderman, Sy Mauskopf, Monika Winchester, Jonathan Blitz, Mary Cay Corr, Jennifer Lohmann, Teddy Brown, Julia Fairley, Hubie Mercado, Leslie Wilson, Audrey Boykin, LeRoy Walker, Jr., Ed Wolf, Boris Hartl, Peggy Hardy, Cindy Cho, and Kim Mayo. Ex Officio Members members include Dale Stouch, Janet Hill, and John Hope Franklin.

My Main Goals

December 19, 2008

One of my goals is to stop working my second job and spend more time with my family. But first, there are some things I have to do.

I have to work on my finances by making sure I have a budget plan and have money in the bank. I think that when I have a budget plan and money in the bank it will be easier for me to focus on my reading and writing skills.

One of my most important goals is to get my drivers license, but first I have to pass the test for my learners permit.

I need my license because sometime I get caught in difficult situations when my husband is not available to take me places.

My other most important goal is becoming an American citizen. To get my citizenship I have to work on my reading and writing skills.

I am working hard on these skills. First I signed up for a literacy program and then later I hired a tutor to speed up the process.

Soon I will be sending my citizenship application along with the money I saved up. Once I do that I will wait for immigration to contact me.

In the mean time I am studying for the U.S history and government test.

I am feeling good about where I am right now. I am happy with the progress that I am making and the people that I am working with.

I think that by 2009 I will accomplish all my goals.

by Carol

News, Notes, & Thanks

December 18, 2008

puzzleIn the two short months since I joined the DLC staff, I’ve learned much about the amazing things that this community is accomplishing. For example . . .

  • Carol has earned her driver’s permit and is now preparing to take the U.S. citizenship exam. Good luck!
  • Kathy B. is moving from level 3 into level 4 of the Megawords program. Congratulations!
  • Mike H. is moving from level level 2 to level 3 of the Wilson Reading system. Congratulations!
  • Myrtle spoke at the DLC orientation for new board members, giving them a glimpse at what it is like to be a student in the Adult Literacy Program. Thank you, Myrtle!
  • Lucy and Kiasha’s eloquence and passion made such an impression on visitors from organizations such as the Triangle United Way that they were invited to discuss their adult literacy experiences on the nationally syndicated radio show, The Story, which is hosted by Dick Gordon. We hope that this will be the first of many opportunities our students will have to share their experiences with the larger community. We all have so much to teach and to learn. Thank you Lucy and Kiasha for raising awareness about the DLC and adult literacy!

Many thanks to everyone in the Adult Literacy community – from Christine, who left the hospital where her son’s wife was giving birth to Christine’s grandson in order to take a CASAS test on Monday evening . . . to Deb, who spent a week of her vacation at training to enhance her understanding of reading instruction . . . to James, whose ability to describe how he is learning and how he sees (and hears) the challenges to reading and writing is incredibly instructive . . . to Mia, who is researching ways of meeting the needs of students with special learning needs – I am awed by your dedication to this community.

Have a joyous and peaceful New Year, everyone!


Our students on NPR!

December 4, 2008

Good news! Two dedicated DLC students, Lucy and Kiasha,  were interviewed today by Dick Gordon from NC Public Radio’s The Story. Kiasha started with the Adult Literacy program over a year ago, and encouraged her grandmother, Lucy, to start coming as well.

Their amazing stories will be aired soon…so stay tuned!