Monday, March 12, 2012

Save California Libraries & Literacy - ADVOCATE !


The Budget Subcommittees are gearing up to meet, so it's time to make our voices heard and work to reinstate funding for libraries and literacy!

EVERYONE -- tutors, learners, literacy professionals, and friends -- must rise to the occasion and write letters. Lots of letters!! Some things to keep in mind . . .

1. Handwritten letters are the best, but if you can't do that, don't worry -- send a typed letter.
2. Volume matters! Our goal is a minimum of 200 letters on the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittee Chairpersons' desks, with copies on the committee members' desks.
3. You can use the same wording in your letters to the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittee Chairs.
4. Personal stories make a difference. Ask your tutors and students to write about the difference your literacy program has made in their lives.

See a sample letter below to get you started. More Advocacy Tips @ CLA.

It's best to send your letter via U.S. Mail. 2nd best is fax.
Do NOT email your letter -- emails are not effective.

Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 5061
Sacramento, CA 95814

Stage 1: 200+ Letters BEFORE March 31
Stage 2: 200+ Letters in the Spring

Senator Senator Carol Liu,Chair

Dear Senator Liu,Please reinstate funding for public libraries --$3.7 million to Adult Literacy Programs (the California Library Literacy and English Acquisition Program), $8.5 million to the California Library Services Act, and $3 million to the Public Library Foundation.

I would like to specifically address the $3.7 million for Adult Literacy Programs, which serve English-speaking adults who read at less than a 6th grade level.

It is estimated that 23% of adults in California lack basic literacy skills such that they would be unable to fill out a job application. Last year these programs served 22,733 adult learners using 12,609 volunteer tutors who volunteered 855,206 hours (a value of $20 million in volunteer time). Additionally, the programs leveraged every $1 of state funds to raise $5 in local/private funds, much of which will not be available without the state's money to leverage.

We received no state funds in 2011/2012 which closed several programs and forced surviving programs to make deep cuts to program hours and staffing levels. We estimate that we will serve 25% fewer learners (approximately 5,500 adults) as a result. This is in addition to our existing state-wide waiting list of 3,000 adults. If funds are not restored for 2012/2013, up to 42 more programs could close.

There are very few other options for these adults. 57% of our programs reported that there is no other local service. And 76% reported a decrease in service or the elimination of their local adult school.

Don't let this happen! Improving literacy makes good economic sense when you consider that 70% of our adult learners were in their prime wage-earning years (ages 20 - 49). And the programs work -- of the adults who set the goal: 48% wrote their first resume; 58% were able to fill out a job application; and 53% found a job. California clearly needs programs that produce results like this.

Thank you in advance for your support.
(Your Name)

cc: Senator Ted Gaines
Senator Rod Wright

Senate Budget Subcommittee 1-Educ Finance
Senator Carol Liu, ChairState Capitol, Room 5061
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 324-7543

Senator Ted GainesState Capitol, Room 3060
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 324-2680

Senator Rod WrightState Capitol, Room 5064
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 445-3712

Assembly Budget Subcom 2-Educ FinanceAssemblywoman Susan Bonilla, ChairState Capitol, Room 2188
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2111

Assemblyman Bill Berryhill
State Capitol, Room 3141
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2126

Assemblywoman Julia BrownleyState Capitol, Room 2163
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2141

Assemblyman Brian NestandeState Capitol, Room 4139
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2164

Assemblyman Sandre Swanson
State Capitol, Room 6012
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2116

. . . from
Laura Seaholm - Program Manager, Project Second ChanceContra Costa County Library

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WordCount: 86,800 Most Common Words

86,800 Most Common Words

The WordCount website is alive and well !

It was created by Jonathan Harris in 2004. Here’s link to a conversation with him @ Wordmaster on Sep 2, 2004.

an interactive presentation of the
86,800 most frequently used English words

Anonymous reported that Wordcount was no longer available (see comment). Contacted Jonathan Harris; he said the site was being moved to a new host and would be up and running soon.

Here are 2 other lists of the most common English words:

6000 Most Frequently Used English Words
Word Frequency Lists and Dictionary: Corpus of Contemporary American English