• March 12th, 2014
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Literacy Leads…

Literacy Leads……..On March 8, 2014 Maria Burke, Executive Director of LV Franklin/Essex spoke at the United Way of the Adirondack’s annual appreciation dinner.

  • February 19th, 2014
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Just rolled out a new Intake to Outcomes Tutor Training!

The module we reviewed today was Successful Tutoring. There are new slides, a new format and lots of time to practice planning lessons.  Here’s a screen shot of one of our new slides…..more to come!

  • January 29th, 2014
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LNY Executive Director Janice Cuddahee and LNY Affiliate Director Lisa Cardilli testify on behalf of NYS adult literacy students

Testimony supporting adult literacy funding- January 28, 2014

  • December 5th, 2013
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Daphne Greenberg at TEDxPeachtree – speaking about adult literacy

Here’s a link to a YouTube TED talk about adult literacy. In 12 minutes, Daphne Greenberg covers a lot of ground- statistics, coping with low literacy, family and socio economic issues, funding, waiting lists, real people/real stories…. This is why we do what we do!

Daphne Greenberg on adult literacy


  • November 14th, 2013
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Fun, easy vocabulary building – An acrostic poem

T  hanks for time to be together, turkey, talk, and tangy weather.
H  for harvest stored away, home, and hearth, and holiday.
A  for autumn’s frosty art, and abundance in the heart.
N  for neighbors, and November, nice things, new things to remember.
K  for kitchen, kettles’ croon, kith and kin expected soon.
S  for sizzles, sights, and sounds, and something special that about.

That spells THANKS for joy in living and a jolly good Thanksgiving.

– Aileen Fisher, All in a Word

it’s quite a name- acrostic poem- but easy to create and lovely to share!

  • July 24th, 2013
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The Importance of the Work We Do

In 2012, LNY received funding from the Walmart Foundation – Associate’s Choice Program to develop a Smart Consumer Literacy Program. Smart Consumer focuses on low reading/math level adult learners – helping them understand new consumer skills: budgeting, developing shopping lists, sales and coupon information, and comparison shopping. Learner and tutor pairs were given two $25 Walmart gift cards and they headed off to practice and demonstrate new skills. LNY affiliates participating in the project included: LV Clinton Co., Literacy Nassau, Literacy Orange, LV Rensselaer Co., LV Livingston Co., Literacy Buffalo–Niagara.

Feedback from project participants was incredibly positive. A letter to LNY from Linda Feldmann, Program Director at Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County captures the excitement everyone felt about the Smart Consumer Project. More importantly, Linda’s letter and the stories by tutor, Caroline Stallard and adult learner, Mayumi show the importance of literacy tutoring – how it changes the lives of learners and tutors and enriches us all.

Dear Literacy New York:

I wanted to share an anecdote with you from one of our tutors, Carolyn Stallard. Carolyn is moving away from our area to pursue her postgraduate degree. She has been tutoring a young woman from Japan. I asked Carolyn to tell me what the high point of her tutoring experience had been, and she said it had been completing the Smart Consumer Literacy program with her learner.

Carolyn said that her learner had been very engaged and motivated by the program, and had set the completion of the program within a specific period of time as a personal goal. The literacy level was slightly higher than the learner’s ability, so it was challenging, and the content was interesting. Carolyn told me that the look on her learner’s face upon completion of the Smart Consumer Literacy program was the high point of her tutoring experience. So, I wanted you to know. Thanks for making it available to our tutors and learners!

To give you a little picture of these two women, I’ve attached the stories they wrote for this year’s edition of Student and Tutor Stories: In Their Own Words.

Best regards,

Linda Feldmann
Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County
1915 Fifth Avenue
Troy, N.Y. 12180


A Healthy Baby – by Mayumi

I gave birth to a healthy baby in January 2013.
I thought that it was uneasy to give birth in the United States because I am not good at English.
However, I learned the birth terminology from my tutor. She taught me how to respond at the hospital, and I was able to give birth in this country.
Giving birth in the United States has become a valuable experience for me.
My daughter loves her baby brother very much. Every day, my children make me happy.


My Friend Mayu – Carolyn Stallard

Picture this: It’s a quiet Monday morning at the East Greenbush Public Library. I pull into the parking lot, wondering how I will recognize the woman I have signed up to tutor through Literacy Volunteers. As I step out of my car, I see a Japanese woman getting out of her car, and she smiles at me. “Are you Mayumi?” I ask. She nods her head and we walk into the building together, relieved to have found each other so easily.

Inside, we find a table and begin to get to know each other. Right away, I can tell this is going to be a good experience. Mayumi explains that she is going to have a baby in a few months. This will be her first childbirth within the United States, so she wants to learn enough English to be able to communicate at the hospital. She pulls out a list of pregnancy terms and we begin reviewing the words. As we pull up pictures of baby bottles and breast pumps on my laptop, the man at the table next to ours glances over at us. I can only imagine what he must be thinking!

In elementary school, I had the privilege of tutoring two older boys from Pakistan. Each day, my best friend and I would leave our 2nd grade classroom and walk upstairs to teach English to these boys. The experience left quite an impression on me, and ever since then I have been interested in working with people from other cultures. It wasn’t until joining Literacy Volunteers, however, that I had the chance to once again teach ESOL. I am very grateful for the opportunity to tutor Mayumi and have learned as much from her as she has (hopefully) learned from me.

Tutoring Mayumi over the past few months has been a great experience.  From the very first session right up until our last meeting, it has been amazing to watch her progress in her English abilities and confidence level. I was especially proud when she was able to call the hospital to schedule a tour and ask questions about the pregnancy ward, and I was overjoyed to visit her at home to meet her new baby earlier this month. I have loved getting to know Mayu as a student and as a person, and I look forward to restarting our tutoring sessions next month. I am so grateful for this experience and am happy to be able to call Mayu my friend.

  • April 17th, 2013
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Literacy | Policy Blog by Jeff Carter

Along with the National Coalition for Literacy (NCL), no one keeps abreast of adult literacy and education policy better than Jeff Carter.  Jeff shares his insights on his Literacy | Policy blog at http://literacypolicy.org/   You can also follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffcrtr.  His recent post outlines the Senate Immigration Reform Bill.

Outline of Senate Immigration Reform Bill

Posted on April 16, 2013 by Jeff Carter

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has posted a 17- page outline of the Senate Immigration reform bill which apparently will be called the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.” The outline does not provide much clarification regarding the English language requirement discussed in the principles statement released by the “Gang of Eight” Senators last January. In that document, they listed learning English and civics as one of the requirements that undocumented immigrants currently residing in the U.S. would need to meet in  order to earn the opportunity to apply for lawful permanent residency.

Read more at literacypolicy.org

  • February 7th, 2013
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Number of E-book Readers Growing

According to a Pew Internet and American Life report, the number of people (age 16 and older) who read e-books increased from 16% to 23% in the past year. The number of those (16 and older) reading printed books fell from 72% to 67%. As the Pew report details, the move toward e-book reading coincides with an increase in the number of electronic reading devices and tablets. By the end of 2012, 19% of Americans (16 and older) owned e-book reading devices compared to 10% last year. Tablet ownership reached 25% of Americans (16 and older) in 2012, up from 10% in 2012.

Download the complete E-Book Reading Jumps; Print Book Reading Declines Pew Research report.

  • December 10th, 2012
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Don’t Tell Me an Issue! Tell Me a Story

“In a world inundated by information, Susan Barnett says, “it is the compelling stories, not the issues, that will stand out and be remembered.” Stories, she says, “are the way we’ve communicated throughout human history: stories are powerful; they grab and hold our attention; they put a face on an issue and make it personal; they make people care; and, move them to action – both within your organization and outside of it.”

Barnett’s May, 2012 article on the Network for Good website is one of many Learning Center resources including free e-guides, articles, Webinars, case studies, research, and best practices. The Year-End Fundraising Resource Center includes Year-End Fundraising Essentials: How to make it easy for your donors to give this year, Woo & Wow with Social Media, You Had Me at “Hello” – The Mobile Frontier – and more.  Sign up for the free, weekly Tips Newsletter and check out the Events 101 – Featured Stories.

In her article, Barnett quotes communication’s guru, Andy Goodman, who says it so well:

Even if you have reams of evidence on your side, remember:
numbers numb,
jargon jars, and nobody ever marched
on Washington because of a pie chart.

If you want to connect with your audience, tell them a story.

  • November 15th, 2012
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Short Attention Spans versus Long-term Causes

Susan J. Ellis, President of Energize, Inc. published a May 2011 article that asked: “How do you get your community (and funders and the media) to give time and energy to your organization if it isn’t the current popular cause, is rarely noticed, or is so familiar it seems dated?”  Does this sound like the adult literacy issue?

According to Susan, adult illiteracy was once at the top of the charts, “marked by intensive media stories (news items and human interest features), large grants to fund projects, and a flurry of subsequent activity…”   How do we “challenge people to do something hard” and “how do we reconcile the long-term demands” of our cause “with the what’s new today push of media attention?”

Read the complete article at:  www.energizeinc.com/hot/2011/11may.php