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OLRC News, Volume 2 Number 1

Winter 1997

March 18, 1997 has been set aside as the day when adult basic and literacy education professionals and students from throughout the state will go to Columbus to meet with their state senators and representatives. These meetings are intended to help educate elected officials and their staffs about local adult basic and literacy programs, the functions that they perform, and the outcomes they achieve. In addition, the professionals will learn about key issues facing Ohio legislators this year and what they see as opportunities for adult basic education.

The March Legislative Day is being coordinated by a group of practitioners from around the state under the direction of Karen Scheid, Ohio Literacy Network. Letters have been mailed to all programs explaining this event and asking for coordination with a regional coordinator. If you did not receive this letter and would like to participate, call Karen Scheid at 614-486-7757.

Do you read the Tech Talk section of this newsletter? Do you get on your computer and check out the web sites listed? Are you a member of the Ohiolit or NLA listserv (or any of the special topic ones)? Or do you shrug all this aside and say that this is not relevant because you do not have Internet access?

If you are not a part of the Information Age, why not? If you work in an ABLE program, you are required to have online access by the end of this year. And even if you are not required to get online, you may want to find out for yourself what this is all about. Check out your public library to see if they have access, talk to local K-12 schools to see if they have access, attend one of the OLRC beginning Internet workshops, stop by the technology center at the OAACE Conference in April, or ask a neighbor, friend, or relative who has access to help you. Try out some of the web sites that we publish and see if you can find relevance for yourself as a professional and for your students. And then be creative in finding the funds needed to bring the Information Age to your adult education students.

National Institute for Literacy Kicks Off Public Awareness Campaign
The National Institute for Literacy is planning a nationwide adult education and literacy public awareness campaign to redefine literacy for the general public, policy-makers, and business leaders in order to increase their understanding of literacy as part of the solution to our most pressing problems. The campaign theme is "Literacy: It s a Whole New World." The first campaign PSA, which is aimed for the general public and will be launched in late March, features three adult learners telling in their own words why literacy is important in their lives as family members, in the workplace and in the community. The second and third messages aimed at policy makers and business leaders will be launched in June and September.

Karen Scheid, Executive Director of the Ohio Literacy Network, has been named state coordinator for Ohio for this campaign. She will be working with Jim Bowling, ODE, and Jean Stephens, OLRC, to coordinate with NIFL and to provide information to Ohio programs. Adult Numeracy Practitioners Network (ANPN)

Nancy Markus, Staff Development Coordinator at the Ohio Literacy Resource Center, will assume the role of president of ANPN at its annual meeting in Minneapolis this year. This organization, dedicated to adult mathematics reform, has been instrumental in helping teachers implement effective teaching practices.

The Adult Numeracy Practitioners Network (ANPN) is a self-supporting group of teachers, curriculum developers, and researchers interested in mathematical literacy for adults. Many work in ABE, GED, ESOL, workplace education, and developmental math programs in the United States and Canada. The third annual all-day meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 16, 1997 in Minneapolis, Minnesota in conjunction with NCTM (The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics). This day meeting will include sessions by presenters from many areas of the United States on implementing math reform in the adult education classroom. Registration forms and/or additional information can be obtained from the Ohio Literacy Resource Center. Information on the entire NCTM conference can be obtained by calling (703) 476-2970 or going to their web site here. The web site for ANPN will also have continually updated information. The ANPN web site is here.

Funding Information
-The Graphic Arts Literacy Alliance (GALA) is offering ten or more grants of $1,000 each to help purchase printing for teaching reading and related skills, and/or promoting grass roots literacy organizations. Information is available on the NIFL web site or by calling the OLRC.

-The new Title I legislation puts more focus on the family as a means to support and prepare children for their education. Title I now requires that targeted schools and programs incorporate parental involvement into their programs, which includes family literacy components. Contact the Title I director for your school district, the superintendent or principal of your local school, or the local PTA/PTO and let them know of your adult basic education program and how you would like to use Title I funds to address educational goals of both the school and your family literacy effort.

-The American Bar Association Commission on Public Understanding About the Law announces the 1997 Adult Public Education About the Law Mini-rant Program. Innovative adult education projects on the law and legal system will receive up to $5,000 for a 12-month grant beginning in September, 1997. Deadline for applications is May 1, 1997. The OLRC has a copy of the application or more information can be obtained from Tracey Graves, 312-988-5721 or .

Using Hard and Soft Data in Proposals
"Hard Data/Soft Data: How they help you build strong proposals" is an article by Norton J. Kiritz in the Winter, 1997 issue of The Grantsmanship Center Magazine. Hard data is statistical information or any data that can be quantified. Soft data is anecdotal information that has been gathered informally. Kiritz discussed the use of both types of data in preparing the Proposal Introduction (or agency description) and in writing the Problem Statement.

Some suggestions for using hard data in proposal writing:

  • -Use comparative statistics to put your situation into context.
  • -Document evidence of past successes
  • -Demonstrate the economic as well as the social benefits of the organization
  • -Use statistics that describe a local problem rather than the national problem
  • -Use statistics from the organization s own records
  • -Leave out data or statistics that are confusing

    Some suggestions for using soft data in proposal writing:

  • -Use quotes from well-known persons that endorse your principle or your agency (but avoid quotes that seem to be just boiler-plate endorsements)
  • -Use quotes from people who refer clients to your agency
  • -Use statements from clients
  • -Quotes do not need to be long to be effective
  • -Have staff members collect quotes on 3x5 cards throughout the year

    The Grantsmanship Center Magazine is free to staff of nonprofit organizations and government agencies. To receive your free subscription call 213-482-9860 (or contact the OLRC for a copy of the subscription form).

    Equipped for the Future
    Do you know what adults need to know and be able to do to be successful workers for the 21st century? Ohio is a part of a project sponsored by the National Institute for Literacy which is designed to answer this question. This NIFL grant will define the content standards and performance measures that will allow all adults to be Equipped for the Future. Ohio, along with Maine, Vermont, Virginia, and North Carolina will be working with the Center for Adult Learning and Literacy at the University of Maine to examine the role of worker. The grant has a four tiered structure: national, interstate, state, and local levels. The OLRC will be conducting the efforts in Ohio from January - September, 1997. One of the activities planned is a meeting in the Spring for teachers working in Workplace Literacy programs to provide feedback on the skills adult students need. Anyone interested in being a part of this meeting or having questions concerning this project should contact Nancy Markus, EFF Coordinator.

    Writing Activities
    The OLRC is interested in helping adult educators improve their teaching of writing by getting teachers to share their ideas and stories about writing strategies. Bryan Bardine of the OLRC is willing to work with a group of teachers who are interested in this area. If you would like to participate in either a regional or state-wide writing group for teachers in the next year (time, place and activities to be determined by interested teachers), please give Bryan a call or email him at

    Learning Disability Publications

    The National Adult Literacy and Learning Disabilities Center has two new publications:

    Assistive Technology: Meeting the Needs of Adults with Learning Disabilities is a 12-page publication that provides an overview of the assistive technology that is available to adults with learning disabilities. Difficulties with reading, written language, math, organization, memory, and listening are matched with suggested low- and high-tech tools.

    The Adult ESL Literacy Student and Learning Disabilities is an 8-page information sheet providing an overview of learning disabilities and suggesting techniques that teachers in adult education have found to be effective. Single copies of these publications are free and can be obtained by calling the Center at 800-953-ALLD or by E-mailing to .

    Learning Consortium
    Approaches to Forming a Learning Consortium is a Business Assistance Note from the National Alliance of Business that explains about learning consortia, which are groups of companies that come together to learn from each other as they build the skills of their employees and increase their capability for productivity. Some consortia include labor, educational institutions, job training organizations, economic development agencies, and community agencies as well as companies. Most learning consortia work on improving both the skills of the individuals in the companies and the productivity of the companies processes and strategies. This 6-page publication discusses issues in forming a learning consortium and the benefits of a learning consortium. Copies of the publication can be ordered from the National Alliance of Business, 800-787-7788 or E-mail .

    Workforce Skills
    Workforce Skills is the newsletter of Educational Partnerships in Colorado that reviews current issues and problems in workplace learning. To receive this quarterly publication, call 303-595-1608.

    Two articles that were published in 1996 that may be of particular interest to Ohio programs providing education in workforce settings are "Summary of Successful Strategies That Have Worked to Strengthen Workplace Learning" and "Workplace Learning: Reports of Change from Supervisors and Learners." Call the OLRC for copies of these articles.

    Just Add Kids
    Just Add Kids,a resource directory of learning partners, reading sites, and other literacy services for families and communities who want to help children improve their reading and writing skills, has been published by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education and the US Department of Education s Partnership for Family Involvement in Education. Just Add Kids is available by calling 1-800-USA-LEARN or can be found on the Internet here.

    ESL Newsletters
    1) The Fall 1996 issue of NCLE Notes, the twice-yearly newsletter of the National Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE) includes new ESL resources, news briefs, information on NCLE publications, and an excerpt from the forthcoming book, Literacy and Language Diversity in the United States by Terrance Wiley. To receive a copy and to be added to list for future mailings, call NCLE at 202-429-9292, ext. 243 or send an E-mail message to . 2) Hand-On English is a newsletter for ESL teachers and tutors that contains suggestions, ideas, and ready-made activities. To receive a free issue, call 800-ESL-HAND. (Suggestion came from a participant on the ESL listserv.)

    Literacy of Older Adults
    The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) at the U.S. Department of Education has published another report on the National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS). Single copies of "Literacy of Older Adults in America" (NCES 97-576) are available free, while supplies last, from the National Library of Education (E-mail: or 800-424-1616.

    An executive summary of the 187 page report is available on the web here or by calling the OLRC.

    Welfare Reform
    The National Center for Family Literacy reviewed the new welfare legislation as it relates to Family Literacy in its Fourth Quarter, 1996 issue of Window. To receive the newsletter quarterly, send $22 to 325 W. Main St., Suite 200, Louisville, KY 40202 or E-mail Janene Leonhirth at .

    Equipped for the Future
    Equipped for the Future: A Customer-Driven Vision for Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning is a publication of the National Institute for Literacy which summarizes comments from over 1500 adult students on what knowledge and skills they need to perform effectively in their roles. Students from the Cleveland Public Schools ABLE were among those who participated.

    The adult students were asked to explain what competing in the global economy means and what exercising the rights and responsibilities of citizenship mean, and then were asked what skills and knowledge they needed for those roles. Across all the answers, patterns developed that shaped a common set of goals for adult literacy and lifelong learning that reflect how adults see their roles as parents, citizens, and workers. The four major purposes that emerged were

  • -Literacy for Access and Orientation
  • -Literacy as Voice
  • -Literacy for Independent Action
  • -Literacy as a Bridge to the Future

    This study serves as the basis for the Equipped for the Future project that OLRC is participating in. If you would like to learn more about the four purposes and what students actually said, call the OLRC for a free copy of this book.

    Focus on Basics
    The National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) has just been established as a collaborative effort between the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and World Education. NCSALL s goals are to help the field of ABE and ESL define a comprehensive research agenda, to pursue basic and applied research under that agenda, to build partnerships between researchers and practitioners, and to disseminate research and best practices.

    Focus on Basic is NCSALL s quarterly newsletter which will be launched in February 1997. The first issue will address the topic: What is Research? The OLRC will receive some copies of the newsletter for distribution to all program directors in Ohio. If you do not receive a copy within the next month and would like one, contact the OLRC or call Anita Patwardhan at World Education at 617-482-9485.

    Strategic Planning/Collaboration
    The Wilder Foundation has published a series of books that are very useful to nonprofit organizations. Three of them, Strategic Planning Workbook for Nonprofit Organizations, Collaboration Handbook, and Collaboration: What Makes it Work, are available at the OLRC for programs to borrow. Each of these books provides practical, interactive guidelines, including worksheets to help a program solve problems and plan.

    Locally Produced Materials Wanted
    Have you developed materials for your classroom that you have found successful? Have you prepared materials for a presentation which contain information which other adult educators would find useful?

    As part of the NIFL technology hub project, all states are being encouraged to put locally produced material on their web sites so it can be used by other educators. The OLRC would like to add your materials to their web site. Please let Jean Stephens or Tim Ponder know if you have such material.

    NALS Facts
    The National Adult Literacy Survey, 1992, showed that the more education a person receives and the higher their literacy level, the greater the chance they will have higher paying jobs and the less likely that they will be unemployed. Some other facts about the survey include:

    Males who scored at prose proficiency level 4 had 29% higher average employment earnings than males who scored at prose proficiency level 2. However, for females, the difference in salary between the two levels was not statistically relevant.

    Females who earned a high school diploma with a prose proficiency level of 4 were much less likely to be unemployed than those with a similar degree who had a prose proficiency level of 2. The unemployment rate for these two levels was 5% and 12%, respectively. By looking at bachelor s degrees, however, the unemployment rates were consistent at proficiency levels 2,3, and 4.

    On the survey, adults received proficiency scores from Level 1 to Level 5 with Level 1 representing the lowest and Level 5 representing the highest level.

    The National Center for Education Statistics: Indicator of the Month, January, 1996

    1996 Family Literacy Conference
    Once again the collaborative effort of numerous state and local agencies throughout Ohio culminated in a successful Family Literacy Conference November 18-19 at the Columbus Convention Center in Columbus. Sponsored by Ohio Even Start, Ohio Adult Basic and Literacy Education, State Library of Ohio, and the OLRC, the conference had over 300 adult literacy and Even Start professionals in attendance. The 70 individuals who provided their expertise as presenters represented eighteen types of organizations including libraries, Even Start, ABLE, OLRC, LVA, hospitals, public schools, Head Start, higher education, ERIC, YMCA, Title I, Early Childhood Education, Department of Human Services, and the Department of Education.

    The 1997 Family Literacy Conference will be held as a part of the comprehensive Early Childhood Conference in Columbus October 10-12, 1997. Look for more information on how the family literacy component (and adult education) will be addressed as a separate track of this conference and make plans to attend.

    New Family Literacy Activities
    Connie Ackerman, the State Coordinator of Even Start, was recently awarded one of the five U.S. Department of Education grants for state level family literacy funding. The OLRC received funding from this grant to develop family literacy partnership training over the next thirteen months. The Project Coordinator is Connie Sapin, formerly the Coordinator of the Cleveland Even Start Program.

    State and regional representatives of Ohio organizations that provide programming for parents and children--Head Start, Even Start, ABE/ABLE, Title I, public libraries, and public preschools--will participate in the creation of the regional support teams. Later in the year, these support teams will help organize staff development that brings together these family literacy providers.

    The first phase of the grant is a needs assessment survey, which has just been sent to family literacy administrators throughout the state. You will hear more about this project as the year progresses.

    National Conferences
    Ohio adult basic and literacy education professionals will be able to participate in three national conferences in 1997 and 1998 without traveling far. Make plans now to take advantage of these professional development opportunities.

    COABE: Detroit, Michigan, May 29-31, 1997
    AAACE: Cincinnati, Ohio, November 10-12, 1997
    Laubach Literacy Action Biennial Conference: Columbus, Ohio, June 11-14, 1998

    Federal Notes
    President Clinton on Adult Literacy: Some of the passages on adult literacy from President Clinton s weekly radio address of December 21, 1996.

    "To achieve our full potential as a nation, we must make sure everyone can read--adults as well as children. I m proud that we re increasing the assistance we give to states for adult education and literacy by more than 50 percent, the largest increase in more than 30 years (the actual increase is 36 percent). This will help hundreds of thousands of adults to rise to the obligations of family and community, and to make the most of their own lives. "When it comes to children, their first teachers must always be their parents. ....I urge all of America s parents to make sure there are books beneath your Christmas tree. Share the joy of reading as a family.

    "Of course parents can t do it alone. Our country has outstanding teachers and educators on the front lines of the literacy crusade, but all the rest of us must work with them to make sure that every child and every adult can read."

    Changes in Congress
    Senator Michael DeWine of Ohio has been appointed Chair of the Labor and Human Resource Committee s Employment and Training Subcommittee, the subcommittee that will have the initial responsibility for the new vocational education legislation.

    Senator James M. Jeffords of Vermont is the Chair of the overall Labor and Human Resource Committee and replaces Nancy Kassenbaum.

    Congressman Tom Sawyer of Ohio has left the House Committee on Education and Workforce to join the Commerce Committee. Sawyer, however, has stated that he is still committed to supporting education issues.

    Adult Education in the House has been assigned to the Subcommittee on Post Secondary Education, Training and Lifelong Learning, headed by Buck McKeon of California.

    NIFL Policy Update
    The latest National Institute for Literacy Policy Update states that "education is one area in which both Republicans and Democrats have expressed a desire to work together." Specific pieces of legislation of interest to the literacy field facing Congress this session are:

    Adult Education Act (which appears to be headed for authorization as a separate program)

    The President s America Reads program, which should contain funding for volunteer and family literacy programs working with adults

    Higher Education Act

    Hope Scholarships

    The complete Policy Update can be found at here or can be obtained from the OLRC.

    The OLRC conducts an annual evaluation. We use responses to plan the next year's activities. Please take a moment to complete this form. We need your response by April 1. Thanks!


  • March 1: Math for Nonmath People, Central/SE ABLE Resource Center
  • March 7: Sensitive Issues Workshop, NE ABLE Resource Center
  • March 14: Math for Nonmath People, SW ABLE Resource Center
  • March 18: Legislative Education Day
  • March 21: Implementing Literature in the ABLE Classroom, NW ABLE Resource Center
  • April 5: Sensitive Issues, NW ABLE Resource Center
  • April 9-10: Leadership Development Institute
  • April 11: Integrated Curriculum, SW ABLE Resource Center
  • April 17-20: NCTM Conference, Minneapolis
  • April 18: Sensitive Issues, Central/SE ABLE Resource Center
  • April 19: Economic Literacy, NE ABLE Resource Center
  • April 25-26: OAACE Conference, Columbus
  • May 2: Integrated Curriculum, NE ABLE Resource Center
  • May 3: Economic Literacy, NW ABLE Resource Center
  • May 7-8: ABLE Directors Meeting, Columbus
  • May 9: Math for Nonmath People, NW ABLE Resource Center
  • May 16: Economic Literacy, Central/SE ABLE Resource Center
  • May 22: Equipped for the Future Working Group Meeting, Columbus
  • May 28-31: COABE, Detroit
  • June 13: Integrated Curriculum, NW ABLE Resource Center
  • June 18-19: Leadership Development Institute
  • June 20: Technology Team Meeting, Columbus

    Ohio Literacy Resource Center - Celebrating 10 Years of Enhancing Adult Literacy 1993-2003 This page
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