Oswego Organization Offers Literacy Help Through Adult Education Programs

Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County is part of a national network of literacy organizations offering adult education programs to help Americans break the poverty cycle that too often passes from one generation to the next.

The U.S. House of Representatives designated the week of October 18 as Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. This comes on the heels of Census Bureau data released in late September that revealed that the official poverty rate in 2008 was 13.2 percent, up from 12.5 percent in 2007. The U.S. Department of Education also reported earlier this year that 32 million American adults do not read, write or do basic math above an eighth grade level.

“Education remains the most successful tool we have to fight poverty,” said Jane Murphy, Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County. “Our adult education programs match trained volunteers with adults to help them improve reading, writing and language skills, and to then pass that on to their family members as a means to break the cycle.”

The Literacy Volunteer’s adult literacy program provides learners with two or more hours per week of tutoring to assist adults with reading, writing, English speaking and basic math. LVOC assists adults in gaining the skills needed to progress to technical certification programs, college entrance, citizenship, and, for some, the basic skills needed for survival.

Literacy Volunteers of Oswego is a member of ProLiteracy, the world’s largest organization of adult basic education and literacy programs, and is one of 1,200 community-based organizations that make up the ProLiteracy network.

“In the U.S., one out of seven adults has below-basic literacy skills,” said David C. Harvey, president and CEO of ProLiteracy. “The problem is being further exacerbated as less-educated adults lose their jobs and are further subjected to poverty. Initiatives such as designating Adult Education and Family Literacy Week help us open the eyes of the public, businesses and government officials to this growing American crisis.”