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The Voices of Adult Literacy: Letters to the Representatives
Posted by Jennifer Paulding on February 23, 2018 in categoryStories from the FieldcategoryAdvocacy
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In April 2017, ProLiteracy launched its Letters for Literacy Campaign to advocate against the proposed federal budget cuts for FY 2018. The budget includes dramatic cuts to adult education funding and complete elimination of many federal programs that support adult literacy, workforce development, and human services. The Department of Education is facing an overall cut of $9 billion (13%), including a $95 million cut (16%) to Adult Education and Family Literacy state grants.
 
We asked individuals and organizations to reach out to their local legislators and senators to stress the significant role that funding for adult literacy programs plays in our shared communities.

We thank each and every one of you who wrote a letter to their local lawmakers. Below are copies of some of the letters that were sent. For the privacy purposes, we have removed all contact information of the letter writers.

Learn more about how you can advocate for increased adult education funding.

 


 

Letter to the Honorable John J Faso, US House of Representatives, Washington, DC

Dear Representative Faso:

I am writing to you today to ask for your support for adult literacy programs nationwide.

The Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts and program eliminations for fiscal year 2018 will have a significant impact on many local literacy programs and their students by substantially reducing resources necessary to provide learning materials and tutoring.

Research shows that 36 million adults, or 1 in 6, have low literacy skills. Lower-skilled adults are more likely to be unemployed or out of the labor force than they are to be employed. Children of parents with lower literacy levels start school at a disadvantage. This inequality can continue well into a child’s education, and into the later years of their lives.

Investment in adult education and basic skills programs not only improves the lives of adults and their families, but it significantly affects the employability and earnings of American adults, and our country’s economic and social well-being. In order to continue solving socio-economic problems like workforce development, poverty relief, and healthcare, it is critical that we build a more literate population.

I have been tutoring since my recent retirement, and have had many opportunities to learn from the students (the importance of adult education and many other important life values). Over the years the ESL program has grown, and we have many more Hispanic students in ABE & GED classes as well. It’s wonderful to see how well the cultures work together. Many have received their GED; many more have succeeded in finding jobs. MANY lives have been enriched by these programs, which MUST continue. Please support adult literacy programs.

Thank you for your time and considering my request for your support.


Letter to the Honorable Don Bacon WASHINGTON, DC 

Dear Representative Bacon, 

I am writing to you today to ask for your support for adult literacy programs nationwide. 

The Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts and program eliminations for fiscal year 2018 will have a significant impact on many local literacy programs and their students by substantially reducing resources necessary to provide learning materials and tutoring. 

Research shows that 36 million adults, or 1 in 6, have low literacy skills. Lower-skilled adults are more likely to be unemployed or out of the labor force than they are to be employed. Children of parents with lower literacy levels start school at a disadvantage. This inequality can continue well into a child’s education, and into the later years of their lives. 

Investment in adult education and basic skills programs not only improves the lives of adults and their families, but it significantly affects the employability and earnings of American adults, and our country’s economic and social well-being. In order to continue solving socioeconomic problems like workforce development, poverty relief, and healthcare, it is critical that we build a more literate population.  

I have seen firsthand how adult literacy has made a difference in our families in South Omaha. Parents who learn to learn can teach their kids that they can also learn, which guarantees a boost in confidence and participation in the community. South Omaha is a strong and mighty community that we all love. There is enough strength and perseverance here to inspire the whole Nation. 

Thank you for your time and considering my request for your support.  


 Letter to the Honorable Dana Rohrabacher

Dear Dana Rohrabacher,

I am writing to you today to ask for your support for adult literacy programs nationwide.

The Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts and programs eliminations for fiscal year 2018 will have significant impact on many local literacy programs and their students by substantially reducing resources necessary to provide learning materials and tutoring.

Research shows that 36 million adults, or 1 in 6, have low literacy skills. Lower skilled adults are more likely to be unemployed or out of the labor force than they are to be employed. Children of parents with lower literacy levels start school at a disadvantage. This inequality can continue well into a child’s education, and into the later years of their lives.

Investment in adult education and basic skills programs not only improves the lives of adults and their families, but it significantly affects the employability and earnings of American adults, and our country’s economic and social well-being. In order to continue solving socioeconomic problems like workforce development, poverty relief, and healthcare, it is critical that we build a more literate population.

I have volunteered for Read/Orange County in 2013 and I have seen the lists of thousands of Americans in Orange County, CA wanting to learn how to read and write better, help with their children’s homework, and be more productive citizens in society.

Thank you for your time and considering my request for your support.


 Letter to Representative Williams

Dear Rep. Williams,

I tutored a woman and moved her from second to sixth grade level in reading.  One time she came in and asked me if I could help her.  She had bought a car at a corner lot and it failed.  She needed help with the contract she signed.

I read it and told her “you are paying 35% interest!!”

She said “Is that a lot?”

Until we can get adults to an adult reading level, they will not be able to be useful members of the American society. 

In the wake of recent proposed budget cuts, I am writing to ask for your support of adult education, literacy, and workforce programs nationwide.

The Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts and program eliminations for fiscal year 2018 will have a significant impact on many Texas literacy programs and their students by substantially reducing resources necessary to provide learning materials, and instruction.

Research shows that 36 million American adults, or 1 in 6, have low literacy skills. Lower-skilled adults are more likely to be unemployed or out of the labor force than they are to be employed. 

Investment in adult education and basic skills programs not only improve the lives of adults and their families, but significantly affects the employability and earnings of American adults by reducing crime, poverty, homelessness, and illiteracy.

Please oppose cuts to adult education and workforce development.

Thank you.


Letter to Representative Ted Poe

 

As a dyslexia therapist and administrator of an adult literacy program, I am writing to you today to ask for your support for adult literacy programs nationwide.

The Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts and program eliminations for fiscal year 2018 will have a significant impact on many local literacy programs and their students by substantially reducing resources necessary to provide learning materials and tutoring.

Research shows that 36 million adults, or 1 in 6, have low literacy skills. Lower-skilled adults are more likely to be unemployed or out of the labor force than they are to be employed. Children of parents with lower literacy levels start school at a disadvantage. Their parents cannot help them with homework.  They cannot read to them, so these children do experience the same vocabulary and world knowledge growth as their peers. This inequality can continue well into a child’s education, and into the later years of their lives.

Investment in adult education and basic skills programs not only improves the lives of adults and their families, but it significantly affects the employability and earnings of American adults, and our country’s economic and social well-being. To continue solving socioeconomic problems like workforce development, poverty relief, and healthcare, it is critical that we build a more literate population. 


 Letter to Congressman John Sarbanes

Dear Congressman Sarbanes,

In the wake of recent proposed budget cuts, I am writing to ask for your support of adult education, literacy, and workforce programs nationwide.

The Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts and program eliminations for fiscal year 2018 will have a significant impact on many Maryland literacy programs and their students by substantially reducing resources necessary to provide learning materials, and instruction.

Research shows that 36 million American adults, or 1 in 6, have low literacy skills. Lower-skilled adults are more likely to be unemployed or out of the labor force than they are to be employed. Children of parents with lower literacy levels begin school at a disadvantage. This inequality may continue well into a child’s formal education, and later years of their lives.

Investment in adult education and basic skills programs not only improve the lives of adults and their families, but significantly affects the employability and earnings of American adults by reducing crime, poverty, homelessness, and illiteracy.

As a lifelong educator and member in the business of education community, I am asking you to use your leverage as congressman to oppose any severe budget cuts to adult education and workforce development.

I respectfully thank you, in advance, for your serious attention and pro-active stance on this issue. 


Letter to the Honorable Ted Lieu 

 

Dear Representative Lieu,

I am deeply distressed by the ferocity and short-sighted arrogance of the Trump Administration’s proposed budget. Not only does it increase military spending by $52 billion, it proposes a severe cut to Education,  an overall cut of $9 billion (13%), including a $95 million cut (16%) to Adult Education and Family Literacy state grants, effectively eliminating programs that help further the education, health, and employment of Americans.

I am urging you to reject this bald and heinous attempt to increase war profiteering at the expense of health care and education for the majority of our citizens.
The Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts and program eliminations for fiscal year 2018 will have a significant impact on adult education, local literacy programs and their students by substantially reducing resources necessary to provide learning materials and tutoring.

Research shows that 36 million adults, or 1 in 6, have low literacy skills. Lower-skilled adults are more likely to be unemployed or out of the labor force than they are to be employed. Children of parents with lower literacy levels start school at a disadvantage. This inequality can continue well into a child’s education, and into the later years of their lives.

Investment in adult education and basic skills programs not only improves the lives of adults and their families, but it significantly affects the employability and earnings of American adults, and our country’s economic and social well-being. In order to continue solving socioeconomic problems like workforce development, poverty relief, and healthcare, it is critical that we build a more literate population. 

I have been teaching English as a Second Language for 10 years now in Santa Monica. Many of my students are recent immigrants, some come to join their families or refugees escaping persecution, devastation, and violence.  I am always impressed by their resilience and determination to make new lives for themselves.  They depend upon ESL classes to open the doors of opportunity leading to better tomorrows. They come with multiple talents, life skills and experiences to contribute to the rich fabric of our communities, both financially and culturally.  

Thank you for your time and considering my request for your support. 


Letter to the Honorable Danny Davis

 

Dear Representative Davis:

I am writing to you today to ask for your support for adult literacy programs nationwide.

The Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts and program eliminations for fiscal year 2018 will have a significant impact on many local literacy programs and their students by substantially reducing resources necessary to provide learning materials and tutoring.

Research shows that 36 million adults, or 1 in 6, have low literacy skills. Lower-skilled adults are more likely to be unemployed or out of the labor force than they are to be employed. Children of parents with lower literacy levels start school at a disadvantage. This inequality can continue well into a child’s education, and into the later years of their lives.

Investment in adult education and basic skills programs not only improves the lives of adults and their families, but it significantly affects the employability and earnings of American adults, and our country’s economic and social well-being. In order to continue solving socioeconomic problems like workforce development, poverty relief, and healthcare, it is critical that we build a more literate population.

I have been tutoring in the same facility for nearly 25 years, and have had MANY opportunities to learn from the students (the importance of adult education and many other important life values.  When I began, many of the students were older than I was and I was very impressed by these seniors who were so motivated. One of the (African American) grandmothers stayed on to tutor after receiving her GED and served as an excellent role model for many years.  Over the years the ESL program has grown, and we have many more Hispanic students in ABE & GED classes as well.  It’s wonderful to see how well the cultures work together. Many have received their GED; many more have succeeded in finding jobs. MANY lives have been enriched by these programs, which MUST continue.

Thank you for your time and considering my request for your support.

 


 

 Letter to the Honorable Lou Barletta U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

Dear Representative Barletta

I am writing to you today to ask for your support for adult literacy programs nationwide.

The Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts and program eliminations for fiscal year 2018 will have a significant impact on many local literacy programs and their students by substantially reducing resources necessary to provide learning materials and tutoring.

Research shows that 36 million adults, or 1 in 6, have low literacy skills. Lower-skilled adults are more likely to be unemployed or out of the labor force than they are to be employed. Children of parents with lower literacy levels start school at a disadvantage. This inequality can continue well into a child’s education, and into the later years of their lives.

Investment in adult education and basic skills programs not only improves the lives of adults and their families, but it significantly affects the employability and earnings of American adults, and our country’s economic and social well-being. In order to continue solving socioeconomic problems like workforce development, poverty relief, and healthcare, it is critical that we build a more literate population. 

I am always amazed by the determination of my adult English as a second  language students, to work to become U.S. citizens.  Teaching adults with so many different cultures and religions has taught me as much or more from them as I hope I have helped them learn.
Thank you for your time and considering my request for your support. 

 


 

Letter to the Honorable Lou Barletta U.S. House of Representatives Wash., D.C. 

Dear Representative Barletta,

As a student of an adult literacy program, I am writing to you today to ask for your support for adult literacy and students like myself across the country who want to gain basic skills and live improved, more fulfilling lives.

The Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts and program eliminations for fiscal year 2018 will have a significant impact on many local literacy programs and their students by substantially reducing resources necessary to provide learning materials and tutoring.

Research shows that 36 million adults, or 1 in 6, have low literacy skills. Lower-skilled adults are more likely to be unemployed or out of the labor force than they are to be employed. Children of parents with lower literacy levels start school at a disadvantage. This inequality can continue well into a child’s education, and into the later years of their lives.

An investment in adult education will affect our employability and earning potential, and will also have a huge impact on our country’s economic and social well-being. Adult basic skills programs like the one that I am enrolled in, will have a positive return on investment breaking cycles of poverty and illiteracy by providing us the skills we need to succeed as workers, parents, and citizens.

I needed to not be afraid to learn. My teacher helped me gain the confidence to learn. No matter how much you try, the teachers should not force you to learn. It is not a good way to encouraging learning. 

Some teachers can do this in a caring way, because they enjoy what they do. Other teachers are very knowledgeable, but are unable to teach. I have been lucky and have a teacher who knows how to encourage her students.

Thank you for your time and considering my request for your support. 


Letter to the Honorable Mimi Walters

 
Dear Representative Walters, 

I am writing to you today to ask for your support for adult literacy programs nationwide. 

The Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts and program eliminations for fiscal year 2018 will have a significant impact on many local literacy programs and their students by substantially reducing resources necessary to provide learning materials and tutoring. 

Research shows that 36 million adults, or 1 in 6, have low literacy skills. Lower-skilled adults are more likely to be unemployed or out of the labor force than they are to be employed. Children of parents with lower literacy levels start school at a disadvantage. This inequality can continue well into a child’s education, and into the later years of their lives. 

Investment in adult education and basic skills programs not only improves the lives of adults and their families, but it significantly affects the employability and earnings of American adults, and our country’s economic and social well-being. In order to continue solving socioeconomic problems like workforce development, poverty relief, and healthcare, it is critical that we build a more literate population.  


As a volunteer/tutor in the Newport/Mesa ProLiteracy program at the Newport Beach Public Library, I am being part of a greater good that helps our community by making a positive difference and provides fundamental keystone to a free society. 

Thank you for your time and considering my request for your support.  



 





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