How Supporting Adult Literacy in Public Libraries Changes Lives
ProLiteracy Blog: 3.30.2017 by Jennifer Paulding
Adult Literacy Through Libraries
A public library—with its collections of books, journals, magazines, films, recordings, and other print and digital resources—is a community’s core source of reference, engagement, and learning. It is a user-friendly place of opportunity to organize and collaborate.
With safe and welcoming environments, it is important for public libraries nationwide to continuously offer adult literacy programs. Success stories, like that of Nyla Henry, an adult learner from the Carlsbad City Library Learning Center, inspired ProLiteracy to partner with the American Library Association (ALA) to help libraries implement adult literacy initiatives.
Nyla’s Adult Literacy Journey
Nyla Henry is a native English speaker who has been in our program for about 7 years. When Nyla’s employer discovered that she could not read, she was afraid of losing everything. Instead, he referred her to our literacy program at Carlsbad City Library.
When she was in school, she was passed along. Nyla was a pleasant student—a “teacher’s pet”—and showed skill in art, in addition to having sisters who did her homework for her. Her lack of skills wasn’t discovered until high school when she couldn’t pass the proficiency test. She was placed in special education where she memorized the answers to the test in order to graduate. After high school, she lived her life like so many learners do—in the shadows—avoiding social activities and parties where she could be discovered, and taking jobs like dishwashing and cleaning that didn’t require reading and writing. She fed her children frozen TV dinners because they had pictures on the box to show what was inside. READ MORE @