David C. Harvey, president and CEO of ProLiteracy, spoke to 50 Congressional staffers and other policy analysts on September 11 as part of the Basic Education Coalition’s Congressional Briefing “Education and Literacy: A Path to Economic Growth and Stability” on Capitol Hill. Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) co-sponsored the briefing.
Harvey shared ProLiteracy’s Literacy for Social Change program as an example of a participatory model for changing lives through literacy and community action. Developed in 1985, Literacy for Social Change has reached more than 4 million people in 120 countries. Literacy for Social Change integrates basic literacy instruction into projects chosen by learner groups, which allows participants to gain the power, skills, confidence, and mobilization to solve their own problems. Core projects are usually focused in one of the following areas of development: economic self-reliance, health, education, peace/conflict resolution, environment, and human rights/status of women.
The briefing was moderated by Kristien Zenkov, associate professor of literacy education at George Mason University, and included presentations by Amber Gove, team leader of teaching and learning at RTI International, and Aubrey Webson, director of Perkins International.
On September 12, Harvey attended an Office of Management and Budget meeting on U.S. foreign aid for education programs. He discussed the work of ProLiteracy partner Operation Upgrade in South Africa.
Find out more about ProLiteracy’s international programs and Literacy for Social Change model.