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ProLiteracy Responds to Syracuse House Fire

The tragic deaths on Syracuse’s South Side on November 13 as a result of a home fire are a stark reminder to us all of the importance of having one smoke alarm in each room where people sleep as well as an alarm outside the sleeping area and one on each house level. 

ProLiteracy is committed to ensuring that people understand the importance of fire safety. We are partnering with the Syracuse Fire Department to install free smoke alarms in the homes of immigrants and refugees living on the North Side. They are especially vulnerable because many do not speak English, did not have smoke alarms where they came from, or follow cultural practices that increase the risk of fire here in the U.S. Community volunteers are helping to reach those people who speak little or no English.  

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, some 3,000 people in the United States die every year as a result of a home fire. To help keep Syracuse families safe, we will be installing alarms on the North Side on December 6 and 13. If you know refugees or immigrants who live in that area and don’t have working smoke alarms, please help them contact us to schedule an appointment. 

When it comes to fire safety, we all need to get alarmed!




Family Literacy Improves Education Outcomes for All

Research shows that the way to improve education outcomes for children is to increase their parents' skills. In this third installment of our November Family Literacy Month series, we highlight Susan, a young, single mother who brightened her daughter's future by seeking the help she needed…

Susan struggled in elementary school because she had dyslexia. After a disastrous transition into high school, she ended up dropping out completely. Now 24 years old, she recently decided to resume her education through adult literacy classes in her local community so that she could help her daughter with her homework. It was not easy, but with the benefit of one-on-one tutoring through a ProLiteracy member program, Susan at last received the help she needed. Today Susan is not only assisting her daughter with her homework, but has also secured a better paying job using her newfound literacy skills. Perhaps best of all, Susan now feels good about herself and that affects every aspect of her life, making her a better role model and teacher to her daughter and a better citizen of our shared community.

For more information on how you can help parents like Susan improve their literacy skills and create better futures for their children, donate to ProLiteracy today.

In honor of Family Literacy Month, this is the third in our series of Tuesday eblasts
leading up to #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving to others.
#GivingTuesday takes place on December 2, 2014.




ProLiteracy Urges President to Include ESL Funding in Immigration Reform

ProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the nation, today urged President Obama to include increased funding for English  language acquisition as a core component to his proposed efforts for immigration reform. 

“When making plans that might lead to 11 million undocumented immigrants possessing work permits and a path to citizenship in the United States, it is imperative to provide adequate adult literacy and basic education services to those individuals to ensure their future success in our workforce,” says Kevin Morgan, president and CEO of ProLiteracy. 

We know that when immigrants have access to language and literacy instruction, they assimilate more quickly and effectively into communities and become more engaged in the economy,” says Morgan. 

Adult literacy and basic education programs across the United States are struggling to meet the needs of an increasing number of immigrants seeking English language instruction. In ProLiteracy’s member network, English language learners account for almost 60 percent of all adults seeking help. Still, 74 percent of programs have student waiting lists, often longer than six months, due to lack of available resources. 

“President Obama previously included English language learning in his plan for comprehensive immigration reform,” Morgan continues. “Including an increase in public funding for adult literacy and basic education is crucial because fluent English-speaking immigrants earn nearly double that of non-English speaking workers and have substantially lower unemployment rates. In other words, immigrants with strong English skills make an enormous contribution to the United States economy. It is in our best interest to provide them with these resources.”



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