About the Ohio Literacy Resource Center
Enhancing Adult Literacy in Ohio
A Definition of Literacy
Defining literacy in our changing world is not easy. Years ago, being literate meant being able to read and write a little. Now, being literate means being able to read and write at a level to be successful in today's world and also being proficient at math, knowing how to use technology, and knowing how to solve problems and make decisions.
A Brief Overview of Aspire
Aspire includes Basic Skills Education, GED Preparation, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Family Literacy, and Workplace Education. Students come from all walks of life and represent a wide range of ages and cultural backgrounds. Classes are held at various times throughout the day in a variety of locations. People attend Aspire programs to get their GEDs, to improve their basic skills, to get a job or a better job, to go to college, and to help their children or grandchildren with school work.
Why Aspire is Needed
According to the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), approximately 30 million adults in the United States have literacy levels below the basic level and have only perform "the most simple and concrete literacy skills" (NAAL website). This includes people in corrections facilities, the majority of whom have low literacy skills. In Ohio, 24% of all people over the age of 18 do not have their high school diplomas (Ohio's Future at Work). And according to the estimates by the U.S. Department of Labor, literacy problems cost the U.S. businesses about $225 billion a year in lost productivity. These costs result from employee mistakes, injuries, absenteeism, tardiness, missed opportunities, and other problems associated with low literacy.
Outcomes of Aspire
Aspire fills a need - for an educated, quality workforce and for decreases in joblessness and welfare dependency. Family literacy increases the literacy of parents and their children and helps parents understand that they are their child's first teacher, thus breaking the cycle of low literacy skills in families. Aspire provides a gateway to job advancement and higher education by helping thousands of people each year obtain their GEDs. Aspire helps people more successfully perform their roles as family members, workers, and community members by giving people a chance to improve their literacy skills.
How the Ohio Literacy Resource Center Helps
The Ohio Literacy Resource Center provides support, training and resources for the people who work in and attend classes at adult and family literacy programs. The OLRC also works with GED graduates who are attending Kent State University.
OLRC Mission Statement
To stimulate joint planning and coordination of literacy services at the local, regional, and state levels;
To enhance the capacity of state and local organizations and service delivery systems to provide adult literacy services;
The Ohio Literacy Resource Center (OLRC), located at Kent State University, originated as a result of the National Literacy Act of 1991. The OLRC is funded primarily through the ODHE State Aspire Program, the United States Department of Education, and private foundations. OLRC staff also work closely with state agencies, professional organizations, literacy coalitions, public libraries, and a wide variety of adult literacy providers.
- ABLELink - Support and resources for Ohio's student database
- Distance Learning - Coordinating Ohio's distance learning pilot program
- Eureka! - Searchable database of instructional resources
- Family Literacy Resource Notebook - Comprehensive guide for programs
- GED Scholars Initiative - Support for GED graduates in higher education
- Region 3 Professional Development Center - Provides professional development and resources to Region 3 states
- Ohio Literacy Alliance - Leading lifespan literacy
- Ohio Writers' Conference and Beginnings - Celebrating adult student authors
- Professional Development - Presentations, workshops and self-directed training
- Program Management - Leadership, program and grant writing resources
- Publications - For ABLE professionals, students and stakeholders
- Read and Write with Your Little One - Book drive campaign and parent guides
- Reading Group - Reviews books for use in Aspire classrooms
- Standards-Based Education - Resources and lesson plans that focus on standards in the classroom.
For further information or assistance:
Ohio Literacy Resource Center
Research 1 - 1100 Summit Street
Kent State University
PO Box 5190
Kent, Ohio 44242-0001
In Ohio Only: 800-765-2897