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Literacy New York Shares Literacy News

by Janice Cuddahee
Mon, Oct 24th 2016 05:00 pm

Literacy New York (LNY) works to create and strengthen literate communities throughout all of New York State, and has done so for over the past 40 years.

We are not a hands on service provider. We provide technical assistance and program support to the agencies on the front lines of literacy service delivery. 

Our overarching vision is that Literacy leads to all individuals, families, and communities reaching their full potential.

We scour the news for any developments, new programs or exciting ideas on the literacy scene and incorporate best practices into all of our trainings. 

An initiative that caught our eye today is the City of Philadelphia Mayor's Commission on Literacy. Last month city officials changed the name to the Office of Adult Education. Its original purpose was to teach adults reading, writing and mathematics. Since then, the commission has expanded to also teach digital literacy and English as a second language.

According to Philadelphia city officials, the name change was implemented to make the office's mission clearer - to educate adults in order to help them be successful in the workforce.

At LNY, we were struck by the prominent role that literacy plays in the City of Philadelphia. We commend the Mayor and city for their forward approach. 

The Philadelphia Office of Education runs two main programs: KEYSPOTs and MyPlace. KEYSPOTs are free public computer centers. They offer Internet access as well as training and programs designed to improve one's digital literacy. Currently, there are 50 locations throughout the city and they can be found in various community based organizations and recreational centers. MyPlace consists of four campuses in the city where individuals can seek a learning coach to discuss educational and career plans as well as gain digital literacy. Its services are also available online. Since 2014, the program has worked with 11,000 adults.

The Office of Adult Education assists about 500,000 adults and works with more than 80 literacy and workforce development programs each year. It serves to help individuals gain skills for a particular job, improve their English, get a high school diploma and learn how to use a computer. The Office of Adult Education used over 445 trained tutors this year.

LNY loves the idea of free, widespread literacy assistance. We especially love that city government is leading the way. We spend a lot of time advocating for literacy and it is very affirming to know that elected officials are beginning to understand the undeniable link between literacy and employment. We will be sure to share this information with our elected officials in New York State!

(Philadelphia Neighborhoods Publication)

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