Basic Literacy & Numeracy

Our New Partnership Supports Access to Literacy in Urban Communities

May 22, 2024

A large part of our work is to make resources available to help adult literacy organizations build capacity and serve more learners. For this reason, we are proud to announce that we have partnered with the Urban Alliance for Adult Literacy to promote nationwide information sharing and joint projects and advocacy initiatives in urban areas.

Two years ago, a steering committee of respected adult educators began work to rebuild the urban adult literacy networks of the past. In this new iteration, they would support literacy collectives in large US cities in the sharing of resources and collaboration on joint initiatives. Providers of adult education services in cities and urban counties are partnering with other service providers, such as employment agencies, prisoner re-entry agencies, immigration and refugee programs, and more, to better support the adult learners in their communities. Then through Urban Alliance, the various collectives can build a nationwide network to share ideas and learn from one another. In doing so, they aim to help more adults in these areas gain access to the diverse services they need by:

  • bringing together members of adult foundational education collaborators serving US cities, metropolitan areas, and urban counties,
  • providing them ways to share their experiences, challenges, and resources through virtual meetings and webinars, a website, an asynchronous discussion group, and possibly professional development and joint projects, and
  • raising awareness within the field and with policymakers, funders, and others about the importance and needs of urban adult foundational education services.

Through our partnership, we will help the steering committee scale and amplify its message with our urban affiliates through email, newsletters, and blogs. Urban Alliance will also be part of our conferences to share its work and message and to invite new participants.

Thus far, the initiative has built an alliance of seven urban collaborations and mayoral initiatives. Each represented metro area has indicated the needs of that area and how they will use a collective to share resources to maximize efficiency and increase success rates.

Learn more about the Urban Alliance for Adult Literacy and sign up to receive its newsletter.

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Upcoming Webinar

Urban Alliance steering committee member Paul Jurmo, Ed.D., is leading a webinar on May 29 with Jessica Tomkins, M.Ed., of Literacy New Jersey about the benefits of a community-oriented approach to adult education.



Urban Alliance Steering Committee

  • Paul Jurmo, Consultant, Adult Foundational Education for Development, Washington, D.C.
  • David J. Rosen, President, Newsome Associates, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Laureen Atkins-Holliday, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, The Literacy Cooperative, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Melissa Moore, Executive Director, Read Muskegon, and the Read Muskegon Literacy Collaborative, Muskegon, Michigan
  • Steve Hannum, Director of Literacy Initiatives, the Literacy Council of Central Alabama, and the Literacy Providers Network, Birmingham, Alabama