Advocacy for adult education and literacy will become increasingly important during and in the wake of COVID-19. Especially timely will be demonstrating adult education’s role in directly addressing unemployment and economic mobility exacerbated by the pandemic. To support this effort, ProLiteracy has published a new advocacy guide, the Advocacy Toolkit for Adult Education and Literacy.
The advocacy toolkit, written by longtime advocate, Jackie Taylor, with contributions from experts across the U.S., is a comprehensive guide for helping educators develop compelling arguments for supporting adult education and literacy programs. Utilizing skills estimates, program activity, and impact stories, educators will be empowered to advocate with state legislators, county/district legislators, individual donors, corporations, and charitable foundations.
The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) state and county synthetic estimates released in 2020, available through an interactive Skills Map, provide adult educators with local skills information they need to make their case to all stakeholders. The data derived from the PIAAC Survey of Adult Skills measures the cognitive and workplace skills needed for individuals to function and prosper in society. ProLiteracy’s toolkit guides advocates in using the PIAAC estimates, along with literacy program impact data and stories, in making a case for support.
The Advocacy Toolkit will serve as a critical resource for adult education and literacy advocates—from novices to those who are more experienced. It emphasizes advocacy on state and county levels, which will be increasingly important in the coming year as legislators are forced to make tough decisions on state budgets. Further, during a time when in-person advocacy is not possible, the toolkit includes content on remote or “virtual advocacy” to help programs begin advocating immediately, despite the current social-distancing challenges of COVID-19.
As stated by David Rosen, contributor to the toolkit, "In these challenging times, when education budgets are at risk—including adult education and literacy program public funding at the federal, state, and local levels—this toolkit lays out strategies from experienced advocates at the program, city, and state levels. It is the most comprehensive advocacy toolkit I have seen in our field in over three decades of doing public policy advocacy."
(David Rosen is an adult basic skills advocate, founder and current moderator of the AAACE-National Literacy Advocacy group, and ProLiteracy board member.)
Starting in early December, ProLiteracy will conduct webinars to help educators navigate through the advocacy toolkit and learn from experts who have run successful advocacy campaigns at state and local levels.
To access the Advocacy Toolkit for Adult Education and Literacy visit https://www.proliteracy.org/What-We-Do/Advocacy.