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6/26/2015

ProLiteracy Receives Support of Best-Selling Author Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts speaks with Sherrie Claiborne, a ProLiteracy board member, at the ProLiteracy Conference on Adult Literacy. Nora Roberts is a supporter and advocate of literacy. Nora Roberts speaks with Sherrie Claiborne, a ProLiteracy board member, at the ProLiteracy Conference on Adult Literacy. Nora Roberts is a supporter and advocate of literacy.

ProLiteracy is pleased to announce that Nora Roberts, New York Times best-selling author and passionate advocate for literacy, has written a public letter to declare her support for the advancement of adult literacy, ProLiteracy, and local literacy organizations nationwide.

“We heartily support organizations which seek to empower people through literacy. Reading is a portal—into the past, the future. It’s a parent reading to the child on his lap. It’s someone filling out a job application to better her life or following a recipe from a cookbook to feed her family. It’s elemental, and it’s vital,” Roberts said. “We can help open worlds by funding literacy, by giving our real and tangible support to organizations like ProLiteracy and their members that work to teach the power and pleasure of reading and devote their time and efforts to that most basic, necessary and human skill. By funding literacy you help give that pleasure and wonder to others.”

ProLiteracy is a nonprofit organization that believes that every adult has a right to literacy. For more than 50 years, it has been working with passionate people and organizations across the globe to create a world where every person can read and write. It develops and promotes adult literacy learning, content, and programs to help adult learners, and advocates on their behalf. When individuals the world over learn how to read, the more likely they are to lift themselves out of poverty, contribute to improved health care costs, and find and keep sustainable employment.

Kevin Morgan, president and CEO of ProLiteracy said, “Through her foundation, Nora Roberts is a major, longtime ProLiteracy supporter, helping us transform lives and communities through adult literacy. The support of high-profile people such as Nora Roberts really matters, and enables us to raise awareness about the crisis of adult literacy. The educational gap has become such a serious problem in our country that of the 36 million American adults that need literacy help, nearly half live at or below the poverty level. That's why it's so important to understand the issues and confront the facts head on. Only then can we can stand together to impact change.”

Nora Roberts has written more than 200 novels, and more than 400 million copies of her books are in print around the world. In 2001, Roberts created the Nora Roberts Foundation with the primary purpose of supporting literacy. Roberts also sees the foundation as an avenue of support for local organizations that promote and encourage literacy, children, the arts, and humanitarian efforts. These areas, particularly important to her and her family, serve as the focus of the foundation. For more information about Roberts, please visit her websites, www.noraroberts.com and www.norarobertsfoundation.org.


About ProLiteracy?
ProLiteracy believes every adult has the right to literacy. ProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the nation, is committed to creating a world in which all adults are literate. ProLiteracy has 1,000 member programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and works with 52 nongovernmental organizations in 34 developing countries. For more information about ProLiteracy, please visit www.proliteracy.org.

 

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6/23/2015

ProLiteracy Comments on WIOA Regulations

Last week, on behalf of its member network, ProLiteracy submitted comments to the Department of Labor and the Department of Education on the proposed regulations governing implementation and administration of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). A number of ProLiteracy members and state organizations provided feedback that helped ProLiteracy develop our comments document in response to these proposed WIOA regulations.

Our suggestions centered around the following:

  • The new system’s focus on rapid advancement to postsecondary education or employment, which can be a challenge for low-level and hard-to-serve adults
  • Additional evaluation and measurement procedures that meet employment and education needs of low-level learners and that do not financially burden smaller service providers
  • The importance of including non-traditional service providers, including CBOs and volunteer-based organizations, in local workforce investment boards
  • Alternatives to the use of “integrated education and training programs” for those at the lowest levels
  • Requesting English Language Learning provisions that are not exclusively focused on career pathways

Review a copy of ProLiteracy's comments here.

 

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6/9/2015

ProLiteracy’s National Book Fund Awards $104,639 in Grant Funding to Local Literacy Programs

Kevin Hanna of AT&T presents a check to ProLiteracy staff. The contribution will support a joint financial literacy project with AT&T, ProLiteracy, and WCNY. Employees at the ProLiteracy warehouse prepare New Readers Press books for shipment.

ProLiteracy is excited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the National Book Fund and has awarded literacy programs nationwide with $104,639 in grants this year. The National Book Fund boldly aims to put one book each in the hands of 125,000 adult learners nationwide by providing adult education and literacy programs with grant awards to help purchase high-quality educational materials and resources.

The National Book Fund awards organizations that are providing service in the following areas: basic literacy, adult basic education, English as a second language, and family literacy. New Readers Press, the publishing division of ProLiteracy, provides the books and materials for the grant program. These books are high-quality instructional materials specially written to meet the needs of adult literacy students, instructors, and trainers.

To date, ProLiteracy has distributed more than 1,500 grant awards worth more than $2.9 million of materials to organizations in 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 305,000 adults, youth, and children improved their reading skills as a result of this initiative, and more than 33,000 tutors and literacy volunteers have received the resources they need to provide direct literacy instruction to students.

National Book Fund’s grant acceptance rate this year was 80 percent, the highest ProLiteracy has been able to award to date. Grants typically average $500–$2,000, but can vary depending on the needs of the applicant organization.

Kevin Morgan, president and CEO of ProLiteracy said, “When local nonprofits are forced to reduce budgets, the materials budget is often the first to be cut. The National Book Fund is ProLiteracy’s answer to this problem that adult literacy programs face each year. There are 36 million adults in the United States that lack basic education and literacy skills. ProLiteracy is proud of the legacy of the National Book Fund and grant awards that are so critical for struggling nonprofit adult literacy programs. Every year, we receive a number of compelling, high-quality applicants and we are pleased to be able to offer grants to these deserving programs. ”

Morgan said, “We greatly appreciate our donors that join us in raising awareness and in helping to improve so many lives through literacy. We are pleased to partner with esteemed and impactful organizations such as the Donchian Foundation and Tucker Andersen, who have continuously supported the National Book Fund since its inception in 1995. Their generous support has made it possible for it to continue another 20 years. To build on what these generous donors have started, the Nora Roberts Foundation has offered ProLiteracy a unique matching opportunity of up to $100,000, allowing ProLiteracy to serve twice the number of students.”

Kathryn B. Thompson, executive director of Tarrant Literacy Council in Fort Worth, Texas, said, “We operate our program on a very tight budget, and we are always looking for more funding for books. The grant we received from the National Book Fund helped us get our program on the right track, and made it possible for us to create a program that is a model for others in our community.”

For a list of grant recipients and additional information on how to invest in the future of adult literacy visit www.proliteracy.org/our-solutions/nbf.

 

About ProLiteracy
ProLiteracy believes every adult has the right to literacy. ProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the nation, is committed to creating a world in which all adults are literate. ProLiteracy has 1,000 member programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and works with 52 nongovernmental organizations in 34 developing countries. For more information about ProLiteracy, please visit www.proliteracy.org

 

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| New Readers Press International Programs Ruth J. Colvin Center ProLiteracy Education Network